ISBN 9789382381372,Terror and Performance

Terror and Performance






Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9789382381372

ISBN-10 9382381376


Number of Pages 266 Pages
Language (English)


Focusing on four primary motifs-September 11, Islamophobia, Truth and Reconciliation, and non-violence-this book offers a non-Eurocentric perspective on the dangerous liaisons between terror and performance. Instead of equating terror with terrorism, it offers alternative epistemologies and narratives of terror by drawing on a vast spectrum of human cruelties relating to war, genocide, apartheid, communal and ethnic violence, in India, Rwanda, South Africa and Palestine, among other parts of the global South.
From exposing the liberal biases of September 11 as the paradigmatic event of terror in our times, the book reflects on how the war on terror has catalysed an upsurge of Islamophobia in the performances of everyday life. Against the fictions of passing, covering and queering Muslim identities, the book juxtaposes the very real terror of genocide and communal violence in which Muslims have been marked and killed.
Extending the concept of performance beyond theatre practice, the book also interrogates the performativity of political discourse with particular reference to state-sponsored processes of Truth and Reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda and post-apartheid South Africa. By contrasting the conflicting modalities of Truth and Reconciliation, it questions how the performances of guilt, confession and forgiveness can be valorized at the expense of securing justice for the victims.
To what extent can non-violence serve as an instrument of justice in the age of terror? Is it possible to envision justice outside the strictures of the law? The concluding chapter of this book probes these questions through the activist performances of Mahatma Gandhi in a larger context of critically re-examining his role as a one-man Truth Commission. Affirming the need for non-violent political resistance, Terror and Performance envisions how a turbulent peace may be realized through the uncertainties of the here and now.