Performance, Affect and Politics
Navaneetha Mokkil
PERFORMANCE AND THE POLITICAL: POWER AND PLEASURE IN CONTEMPORARY KERALA by Ameet Parameswaran Orient BlackSwan, New Delhi, 2018, 248 pp., 795
March 2018, volume 42, No 3

Performance and the Political uses five critical modes—vision, voice, ges-tural, machinic and animality to address questions that are intimately linked to our present such as: what is the political? How do we engage with performative practices in which transgression is not mapped through the paradigms of agency and individualized resistance? Spanning the time period from Emergency to neoliberalism, Ameet Parameswaran’s book focuses on a wide range of performance practices such as theatre, poetry, and other popular forms such as Kathaprasangam (this form usually involves a single storyteller narrating a story interwoven with songs and is performed at public gatherings and events) and ‘Mimics Parade’ (a performance form that uses humour and parody as its base and emerged as one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Kerala in the 1980s) to delineate the complex intertwining of the performative, the political and the affective. The meticulous and sustained attention to the dynamic workings and historical specificities of a range of cultural forms is definitely one of the most impressive feats of this book.

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