Political Aesthetics highlights the complex and ambiguous connections of aesthetics with social, cultural and political experiences in contemporary societies. If today aesthetics seems a rather overused term, mixing a variety of historical realities and complex personal states of being, its relevance as a connecting agent between individual, state and society is stronger than ever.
The actual context of political and economic crisis generates new relations between official imposed aesthetics and the resistance and critiques they trigger. Considered beyond the poles of power and protest, the book examines how traditional or innovative artistic practices may acquire unexpected capacities of subversion. It nourishes the current debate around the new political stakes of aesthetics as an inviolable right of ordinary citizens, an essential element of empowerment and agency in a democratic every day.
It will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, political culture and political aesthetics, as well as critical sociology and history. It will also be useful for some broad courses in media studies, cultural studies, and sociology.
Table of Contents
Introduction Arundhati Virmani Aesthetics in Political Culture Chapter 1. Narrating the Nation: Murals and Tapestry in the Indian and South African Parliaments Shirin Rai and Rachel Johnson Chapter 2. The Aesthetics of Sacrifice in Indian Political Culture Arundhati Virmani Chapter 3. The Politics of Aesthetics: Mussolini and Fascist Italy Simonetta Falasca Zamponi Power of Aesthetical critique Chapter 4. The Aesthetic Politics of the Techno Movement in France 1990-2010 Jean-Christophe Sevin Chapter 5. Aesthetics as Critique: A Photographic Inquiry into the Mafia Franco Zecchin Chapter 6. Beyond the Politics of Representation: Tribal Art in postcolonial India Rashmi Varma The Everyday as Aesthetics Chapter 7. Aesthetics of the Suburban Fabric: Marseilles on Foot Hendrik Sturm Chapter 8. Perfecting Political Performance: Spinning, Gandhi and Virtuosity Rebecca M. Brown Chapter 9. Pedestrian Crossings: Some Reflections on the Occasion of a Contemporary Judicial Spectacle Les Moran Chapter 10. Ordinary/Extraordinary: Art, Politics, History Maria Tamboukou Afterword Some Sociological Afterthoughts: Continuous vision and rationalizations of cultural forms, secular rituals and Aesthetics Emmanuel Pedler
Arundhati Virmani is an historian at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Centre Norbert Elias, Marseille. Her works deal with the social and political history of colonial and contemporary India, in particular the forms and mechanisms of social aggregation, symbols and rituals of national sentiment, places and objects of memory.