254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    ‘This work goes where other books fear to tread.  It reaches the parts other scholars might imagine in their dreams but would neither have the international reach nor the critical acumen and forensic flourish to deliver.’ Alan Read, King's College London

    ‘This book is not only timely.  It is overdue – and it is a masterpiece unrivalled by any book I know of.’  Erika Fischer-Lichte, Freie Universität Berlin

    ‘The first and only book that focuses on the intersections of performance, terror and terrorism as played out beyond a Euro-American context post-9/11.  It is an important work, both substantively and methodologically.’ Jenny Hughes, University of Manchester

    ‘A profound and tightly bound sequence of reflections … a rigorously provocative book.’ Stephen Barber, Kingston University London

    In this exceptional investigation Rustom Bharucha considers the realities of Islamophobia, the legacies of Truth and Reconciliation, the deadly certitudes of State-controlled security systems and the legitimacy of counter-terror terrorism, drawing on a vast spectrum of human cruelties across the global South. The outcome is a brilliantly argued case for seeing terror as a volatile and mutant phenomenon that is deeply lived, experienced, and performed within the cultures of everyday life.

    Preface i-vii



    Introduction: Mapping Terror in the War of Words 1-39



    Doublespeak of ‘terrorism’

    Risks of misunderstanding

    Ambivalences of terror

    Holy Terror

    Terror through a literary lens

    Visual overkill


    Dangerous liaisons: terror and performance



    1. Genet in Manila: ‘September 11’ in Retrospect 40-88




    Deadly Innocence


    Politics of the ‘real’

    Event/betrayal: rethinking the political

    ‘September 11’: first exposure



    Genres of terror

    1. tragedy
    2. Theatre of Cruelty

    The terror of repetition

    Deconstructing terror

    1. trauma
    2. autoimmunity


    1. Stockhausen’s blunder
    2. The politics of empathy



    Exit the Theatre



    2. ‘Muslims’ in a Time of Terror: Deceptions,

    Demonization, and Uncertainties of Evidence 89-130



    Passing as a Muslim

    Constructing ‘Muslims’

    Phenomenology of passing

    Queering the Muslim terrorist: beards and penises

    The beautiful terrorist

    The Sikh as Muslim




    The Indian Muslim as Other

    Genocide in Godhra

    ‘Dead certainty’: the limits of performativity

    Outing the self







    3. Countering Terror? The Search for Justice through

    Truth and Reconciliation 131-186



    Mapping the Terrain


    Multiple locations, different stakes

    The right to intervene





    The terror of statistics

    Realizing the unthinkable: the provocation of gacaca

    Gacaca as performance: a theoretical trap?

    Dramaturgy of gacaca

    The evidence of experience

    Performing Rwandanicity



    South Africa


    The ‘impossible machine’

    The theatricality of hearings

    Amnesty in performance

    Between performance and justice: an ethical impasse

    The ‘truth’ of story-telling



    Key Motifs of Truth and Reconciliation


    Performing silence

    Forgiveness, or ‘living with evil’?

    Time and reconciliation





    4. Performing Non-Violence in the Age of Terror 187-231


    Enter Gandhi

    Gandhi as Truth Commission

    Performing the Truth Commission

    The performativity of salt

    Non-violence: sacrifice or suicide?

    Suicide bombing: acts of performance

    ‘Just War’: ambivalences and duplicities

    Training to die?: the viability of non-violence

    The violence of non-violence

    Lip-sewing and blood graffiti: the weapons of the weak

    Towards justice?

    Postscript 232-239

    Notes 240-285

    Bibliography 286-300



    Rustom Bharucha is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. He is a writer, director, dramaturg and cultural critic, as well as the author of several books, including Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture (Routledge, 1993).

    'Rustom Bharucha’s Terror and Performance stages a rigorous and challenging analysis of the relation between terror and performance. The book unpacks the entangled relations between performance, embodiment, violence and history. In the course of his book, Bharucha raises provocative questions that unsettle doxic understandings of both terror and terrorism. His book, I argue, works to materialise unspeakable truths that shed light on the complex aporias that inscribe the relation between terror and performance.' - Joseph Pugliese, Macquarie University

    "[Bharucha’s] text overall as well as major geopolitical developments since its publication in spring 2014 suggest a far more conflicting temporality of deferment, suspended between a ‘justice to come’ and a ‘terror-in-waiting.’" – Professor Markus Wessendorf, University of Hawaii