#57 with Prof. Brahma Prakash on Cultural Appropriation

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Here, we talk about the meaning of labour in art and who controls the power to define the ‘pure’ culture. The reasons for marginalization of folk performances in India. How the idea of taste in art is shaped by the role of caste and class.

Prof. Brahma Prakash is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He is the author of the book Cultural Labour (OUP, 2019). His research interest lies in regional cultural performance traditions from northern India with a special focus on the question of aesthetics, marginality and cultural justice.

Topics discussed in this episode:

1 What is the meaning of the often misunderstood term Aesthetics?

2. What is the meaning of 'taste' that defines good and bad art? How does the position of caste and class in this concept of 'taste?

3. What is the meaning of cultural labour?

4. Has the form traditionally belonged to Dalits and was considered 'low art', but then Upper Caste appropriated it and made it 'high art'?

5. How folk art is used as a device to play a transformative and revolutionary role in society.

6. Connections between art, leisure and creative boredom. Can working-class people who don't have the luxury of free time produce high-quality artwork?

7. What is the cultural capital of art in an age when socio-political realities have changed? In the times of social media, people from marginalised communities have used social media platforms such as TikTok and insta reels to express themselves and find a vast audience.

8. The sad reality of Brahmanical appropriation of all local festivals, customs and diety.

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Link to Prof. Brahma Prakash book: https://www.amazon.in/Brahma-Prakash/dp/0199490813/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=1FVS7DTG21SIH&keywords=cultural+labour+brahma+prakash&qid=1663859520&sprefix=cultural+labour+%2Caps%2C774&sr=8-1

Read more works by Prof Brahma Prakash: https://jnu.academia.edu/BrahmaPrakashSAA

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Brahma Prakash’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/bprakash2020

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