Archipelagos. From Urbanisation to Translocalisation

Archipelagos. From Urbanisation to Translocalisation
How do increasing movement and mobility impact the production of space? An engrossing journey to the plains of the Ganges Delta, two of the most densely populated cities of the world, Dhaka and Kolkata, and the “development model” Kerala, this book lets the performative-transformative everyday–life–stories of people-on-the-move answer the question. Everyday life, following Henri Lefebvre, is regarded as the predestined site for the exploitation, formation and validation of practices by which subalternised subjects can cope with oppressive social circumstances, arriving sometimes to reverse them.

On the basis of empirical research in Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal and Kerala, the author presents the everyday–life–stories of individuals without a fixed abode in nine jatra plays. The popular itinerant theatre genre was sensibly adapted to craft heteroglossic plays, in which the experiences narrated by daily commuters, seasonal and migrant labourers, while travelling, at the worksites, or resting at home, are interwoven with the voices of Sutradhar, or narrator, and Bibek, or “conscience”. A co-production of cognitions is initiated, making everyday life experiences and wisdom dialogue with the writings of authors such as Walter Benjamin, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Judith Butler, Gayatry C. Spivak, Partha Chatterjee, Ananya Roy, Marc Augé, Henri Lefebvre, and others.

Emerging from these encounters is a social space that is seemingly not defined by any “urban” code, but mirrors an ongoing adaptation of social practices to shifting relations of production. Remarking a transformation of spatial practices, collective organisation, as well as of representations of space, devised and shaped by increasing numbers of people both south and north of the Equator in order to sustain lives on the move, Elisa T. Bertuzzo discusses the virtuality of society’s complete translocalisation. This hypothesis, announcing an age of augmented and partially desperate movement pushed-pulled by expansion, expulsion and exhaustion, demands for the reconfiguring venues and conditions of emancipation, solidarisation and resistance to be acknowledged and supported.


Elisa T. Bertuzzo


Kulturverlag Kadmos








Urban / Rural
Art and Culture
Diasporas and Migration


South Asia