Pantomime Terror

This book is about storytelling and music video – well, also politics and terror, performance and television.

Screenshot 2018-12-21 at 20.42.16

HUTNYK_PANTOMIME TERROR

The book tunes into music in three acts. I have written on these performers before, and so thank them again for the opportunity to return to their stories. The approach is a continuation of a research project and collective political effort that I joined when I first came to Britain in 1994. This iteration rehearses this work for London and in relation to twenty first-century terrors, as well as returning to a long beloved articulation of divergent interpretations of critical theory, especially the work of Theodor Adorno. In the introduction, there is a first rendition of the theme of pantomime, which will resonate throughout, and perhaps perversely, the end of the intro starts in on the end of the video Cookbook DIY, examined more fully in the next chapter. I advance this end because the point of this book is to record how peripheral ‘messages’ are too often ignored. In this sense, the project of ‘pantomime terror’ as distraction will be affirmed. I thank Aki Nawaz and Dave Watts for what is now a long collaboration.

The chapters are:

1. Introduction: London Bus :: Pantomime :: War Diary :: Mediation :: The Orange Jumpsuit :: Alerts.

2. DIY Cookbook: Visiting the Kumars :: A Suicide Rapper :: 1001 Nights :: Cookbook DIY :: Pantomime Video :: The RampArts Interlude (notes from a screening) :: All is War :: Back to the Kumars.

3. Dub at the Movies: Representing La Haine :: Žižek-degree-zero :: Derrida Writes the Way :: The Eiffel Tower :: Ruffians, Rabble, Rogues and Repetition :: Musical Interlude :: Riff-raff :: Reserve Army :: Coda: The Battle of Algiers :: Molotov.

4. Scheherazade‘s Sister, M.I.A.: Cultural Projects :: Storyteller Nights :: M.I.A. :: Born Free :: Sell Out, or Tiocfaidh ár lá :: Witticisms and Wagner :: Despot Culture :: Scheherazade in Guantánamo.

 

Mela- Alexander

An article just appeared on mela which I had not seen when writing about mela films in Global South Asia on screen, but it looks pretty much on point when in the end it:

“argues for the need to build questions of history and of power back in to our understanding of diaspora, without falling back on reductive and essentialised tropes of ethnicity, religion or origin. The arguments are fourfold: first, that the Mela enacts powerful imaginative and emotional ties to idealised notions of ‘home’ and ‘origins’ in Bangladesh among British Bengalis; second, that rather than simply replicating essentialised ideas of Bengali identity and culture, the contemporary shape and significance of these events must be placed within a more locally situated context and (hi)story, conjuring multiple points and moments of emergence and affiliation; third, that these rituals recreate the borders of ‘community’ identity in the UK through appeals to shared national history, experience and ‘culture’ and in so doing generate new borders of inclusion and exclusion (marked particularly through a religious/secular divide and its gendered and generational consequences); and fourth, that these events incorporate multiple histories and (con)temporalities, opening up these sites as demotic spaces of encounter, dialogue and conflict that challenge and unsettle bordering processes”

 

The rest of the article leading up to this is a great survey of the literature on bengali diaspora in the UK. Have a look: here