Reflections on Terror and Performance
A performance lecture by Rustom Bharucha
Date: 13 April
Venue: The Ireland Institute, The Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Create is delighted to be working again with Internationally renowned writer, director and dramaturge, Rustom Bharucha . Drawing on his recently published book Terror and Performance (Routledge 2014), Rustom Bharucha will probe the modalities and enigmas of one key question: What happens when the performance ends? The idea of ‘performance’ will be extended beyond theatre practice to encompass four primary sites of investigation: ‘September 11’, Islamophobia, Truth and Reconciliation, and Non-Violence.
Using a dialogic mode of inquiry, he will throw out questions relating to the relationship between ‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’, the ethical considerations involved in viewing the act of killing as ‘performance’, the efficacy of the Truth and Reconciliation process beyond the aporias of affect, and the ‘violence’ of nonviolence. These issues will be contextualized within a spectrum of practices including suicide bombing, lip-sewing , blood-graffiti, and peace activism. To what extent can theatre counter its complicities within a larger narrative of terror? Is non-violence viable in an age of terror? Can justice exist beyond – and against – the law? These are some of the critical questions that will be raised in the lecture, which attempts to provide a reflective framework on the terror of our times.
Rustom Bharucha is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. A leading interlocutor in the fields of interculturalism, secularism and oral history, he has written a number of books including: Theatre and the World; The Question of Faith; In the Name of the Secular; The Politics of Cultural Practice; Rajasthan: An Oral History; Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin; and Terror and Performance.
In recent years, he has worked as a dramaturge for the Tangencya public art project in Durban, as Project Director for Arna-Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan and as Artistic Director of the Inter-Asia Ramayana Festival at the theatre laboratory Adishakti in Pondicherry. In February 2015 he curated an international conference at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Rethinking Labor and the Creative Economy: Global Performative Perspectives. In April 2015, he will be in Ireland to take part in a symposium Performance and Interculturalism Now: New Directions?, NUI, Galway.