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Centre for South Asian Studies: Events


Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India’s Long Decolonisation

Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India’s Long Decolonisation
Speaker: Sanjukta Sunderason # University of Leiden
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Date and Time
14th Jan 2021 16:00 - 14th Jan 2021 17:30
Via Zoom

Sanjukta Sunderason, University of Leiden. Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India’s Long Decolonisation.

Partisan Aesthetics explores art's entanglements with histories of war, famine, mass politics and displacements that marked late-colonial and postcolonial India. Introducing "partisan aesthetics" as a conceptual grid, the book identifies ways in which art became political through interactions with left-wing activism during the 1940s, and the afterlives of such interactions in post-independence India. By bringing together expanding fields of South Asian art, global modernisms, and Third World cultures, Partisan Aesthetics generates a new narrative that combines political history of Indian modernism, social history of postcolonial cultural criticism, and intellectual history of decolonization.

Sanjukta Sunderason is a historian of 20th century aesthetics, who works at the interfaces of visual art and political thought. She is interested in particular in the ways in which art reflects and reframes struggles, imaginations, and dialogues around 20th-century decolonization. Sanjukta lives and works in the Netherlands, where she is Assistant Professor of Modern South Asian Studies at Leiden University. From February 2021, she is due to join the faculty of History of Art, University of Amsterdam.

Damaged fishing boat, Telwatte, July 2005