The essay in Hindi emerged organically over the course of several months as we jointly engaged with Jacinta Kerketta’s submission to AGITATE!. It continued to find inspiration from her ideas and poetry as it grew from our verbal discussions into Vishal’s diary, and then into a co-authored reflection and essay. To try to convey in English all of the contents of what has evolved in the preceding pages seems far too mechanical to us. Therefore, we offer here a summary of our engagement with Jacinta, chiefly for those readers who do not read Hindi.
This conversation, built around themes and questions discussed in Dia Da Costa’s book Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theatre (University of Illinois Press, 2016), analyzes the terrain of the “creative economy” and explores its ethical implications for national belonging, epistemic justice, and academic knowledge production through the politics of academic journeying. Exploring the possibilities, limits, and risks of the creative economy across multiple personal trajectories and political realms, we offer perspectives on the creative economy as a landscape where colonial histories of violence, academic privilege and positionality, and possibilities for progressive politics become especially visible and critical.
What follows is a letter exchange between Anna and Richa. Richa’s book, Hungry Translations: Relearning the World Through Radical Vulnerability, underwent significant revisions during the course of this letter exchange. In addition to mediating on the labor of political theater and embodied politics, this exchange underscores the making of conversations and relationships as continuously unfolding journeys that cannot be contained by fixed words on the page.
In Spring 2017, the three of us became part of a semester-long journey through ‘Stories, Bodies, Movements’, a course co-facilitated by one of us (Richa) with Tarun Kumar, a visiting theater artist from Mumbai who joined us at the University of Minnesota. Here we reflect on our ever-unfolding relationships and experiences together.