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Laws and Marginalised Bodies: Sex Trafficking, Child Labour and Circus as a Site of Negotiations

Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)

Abstract

The essay is a collaborative piece which examines performance and body discourses of circus performers in light of two laws (child labour law and law banning animals). It will examine the laws and their implementation, its effect on the entertainment and cultural industries, the new relationship between cultural policy (an important rubric in post-independent India) and the neo-liberal atmosphere where culture is being increasingly commercialized and corporatized. We survey conversations between some of the key protagonists and players in the field: the agents who in light of the new opportunities specialize in placing Russian, East European, Central Asian and Chinese performers in circus and across the entertainment industry; the circus managers and owners; social activist and Nobel prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi who works on implementing child labour laws and preventing child trafficking; Positioning the circus at the centre of this controversy, the objective is to study the performances and performative bodies with a gendered critical perspective. The essay focuses on reading the contradictory body signs of circus (women) performers, both in historical and contemporary contexts in light of the laws, neo-liberal changes, possibilities to recruit global performers and the realities of child labour practice, issues of rights and discrimination within larger citizen debates pertaining to India.

Bibliography

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Interviews

  1. Premji Kumar interviewed by Bishnupriya Dutt on 16 December 2014, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  2. Premji Kumar interviewed by Bishnupriya Dutt on 15 February 2015, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  3. Nikhil interviewed by Bishnupriya Dutt on 31 October 2014, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  4. Bhuvan Ribhu interviewed by Aastha Gandhi on 26 August 2015, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar

Videos

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nx_ani-C5M- ‘Women Artist in Circus: Sthree Part 1’. Asianet News October 29, 2013. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nx_ani-C5M). Accessed 15 June 2015.Google Scholar
  2. Ropes in Their Hands (2004) Yatish Yadav. Bachpan Bachao Andolan. September 24, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uL70kYq4J8. Accessed 10 Mar 2015.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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