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Global Events and Local Narratives: 9/11 and the Picture Storytellers of Bengal


Roma Chatterji


In this essay I examine the process by which a global event-the strike on the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11th, 2001-comes to be rendered in a pictorial narrative tradition in West Bengal. Apart from the significance of ‘folk’ representations of global events, I am interested in the process by which a distant event is made relevant within a specific performative tradition through successive stages of mediatization, both modern such as television as well as traditional- sacred songs from the medieval period which form the basis of much of the performative tradition in West Bengal. The larger theoretical issue that the essay tries to discuss is the concept of the local, seen here not so much as a residual category of the global but rather as the ground on which global events are contextualized.

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Address: Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, 
University of Delhi (North Campus)
Delhi - 110007

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