Theatre in the Smart City: The Case of Pondicherry, South India

Abstract : As culture becomes increasingly important in urban development, it is timely to examine ways in which cultural producers – including those whose activities that fall outside strict definitions of “cultural industries” – are using digital platforms to produce and promote their work. We examine here two contemporary theatre companies in the region of Pondicherry, South India: Indianostrum and Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts and Research. Both of these companies have substantial reputations throughout India and abroad for their innovative work rooted in the investigation of folk and classical performance forms. Nevertheless, institutional recognition of these artistic collectives as cultural industries that contribute to the territory’s cosmopolitan image has been lacking. This neglect continues even at a moment when the city seeks to capitalize on culture and heritage to transform itself into a “global tourist destination”, as per the goals of the Pondicherry Smart City mission launched in 2017. For these acclaimed theatre artists of international stature, who must work at the margins of economic stability because of the conditions for arts funding in India, the use of ICT facilitates obtaining performance opportunities and some funding for specific projects. However, digital platforms are not sufficient to secure the sponsorship needed on an ongoing basis to maintain and enhance the work of these artists and the performance spaces they have developed and curate.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - 5:04:43 PM
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Nicolas Bautes, Shanti Pillai, Nicolas Bautès, Nancy Boissel-Cormier. Theatre in the Smart City: The Case of Pondicherry, South India. Cahiers d’Outre-Mer. Revue de géographie de Bordeaux, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 2018, 71 (277), pp.139-164. ⟨10.4000/com.8857⟩. ⟨halshs-02383400⟩

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