Ameet Parameswaran (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Fellow in Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters"
May – June 2019
Globality and the Aesthetics of the Left in Germany and India
Ameet Parameswaran's project at EXC 2020 seeks to explore globality in the aesthetics of the Left by examining two specific sites, namely Germany and India. On the one hand, this approach makes possible an analysis of how the performance strategies and philosophies of the Left travel across cultural and national boundaries; on the other hand, it illustrates the need for grounding performance aesthetics within located geographies of imagination that emphasise critical aspects of spectatorship and affect. In order to better understand the specific aesthetics of the post-independent theatre practitioners in India who aligned themselves with the Left, the project investigates how visits of directors from India to Germany and vice versa during the Cold War fostered processes of 'translation' (textual and beyond) via direct exposure to and close engagement with local theatrical practices. In light of these distinct practices, it becomes clear that the framework of intercultural theatre or the canonicity of figures such as Brecht can hamper conceptualisations of the aesthetics of the Left and the critique they present to the status quo. Hence, the project conceives of the Left's performance strategies and its notions of the collective as being critically linked to the category of space (both as a constraint and an opportunity), with the political emerging precisely in the various contexts of collaborative production and affective spectatorships elicited by the productions in question.
Ameet Parameswaran is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His main areas of interest are political theatre and performance, neoliberalism, regional studies and performance theory.