Marking the Local : GI and the politics of techno-cultural differentiation in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu\

Marking the Local : GI and the politics of techno-cultural differentiation in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu\" a talk by Dr. Aarti Kawlra

 

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About The Event

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library cordially invites you to the Weekly Seminar on ‘Marking the Local : GI and the politics of techno-cultural differentiation in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu’ by Dr. Aarti Kawlra, Fellow, NMML.

Abstract : The Geographical Indications of Goods or (GI) is a globally certified standard and legal instrument which seeks to protect the rights to own and produce a commodity, historically proven to be associated with a specific spatio-cultural locale. Taking the case of the “Kanchipuram sari”, this paper shows how the GI mark is drawing silk handloom producers into wider, neo-liberalizing structures of knowledge and power, in particular, the state-supported global framing of artisanal products and technologies for trade facilitation and heritage conservation. I present the contested discourse among various stakeholders around the imposition of the GI in Kanchipuram to foreground the contemporary politics of enumeration which itself presumes the twentieth century discourse and practice of “continuing (craft) traditions” in colonial and nationalist imaginaries.


Speaker : Dr. Aarti Kawlra is currently a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi (April 2013-15) and formerly, Fellow at the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden in The Netherlands (September 2012-March 2013). She has taught at the department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT, Madras since 2007 and also been a Fellow there during the period (2011-12). She received her doctoral degree in social anthropology from IIT, Delhi (1998). Her current research focus is on the politics of the ‘handloom’ in the context of colonial and postcolonial constructions of ‘artisans’ and ‘craft’, in general.

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