Sil, Esha; Maya Parmar and Katie Beswick

Towards a Spatial Practice of the Postcolonial City: Introducing the Cultural Producer

"This essay offers an introduction to the special issue ‘Reevaluating the Postcolonial City: Production, Reconstruction, Representation’. It institutes the cultural producer as its key reference point for reexamining the spatial imaginary of the postcolonial urban landscape. From internationally acclaimed artists, exhibition curators and marginalized performers to local audiences, tourist consumers, migrant workers, garbage collectors and transsexual pedestrians, the cultural producer is endowed with a diverse range of identity narratives by the contributions to the issue. The authors posit the ‘production of space’ as the principal conceptual axis for reevaluating the postcolonial city as represented, interrogated and recon-structed by the cultural producer. With reference to Lefebvre’s spatial theory, Foucault’s postulation of heterotopia and Soja’s understanding of the Thirdspace, this introduction explores the multiple spatial practices of the cultural producer as she/he engages with the everyday materiality of the postcolonial city along the discursive paradigms of colonial memory, national history, neoliberal hegemonies, racial struggles, gender politics, ethnic peripheries and radical sexualities. The essays in this issue foreground the spatial topography of the postcolonial city as an embodied site of the cultural producer’s canonical, subversive and alternative modernities."

(The authors' article description)

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Esha Sil was a Zukunftsphilologie Fellow in 2013-2014.

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