ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

When Silence Speaks

Performing Silence: Women in the Group Theatre Movement in Bengal by Trina Nileena Banerjee, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2021; pp 444, `1,795.

In the beginning, there was Nabanna. A group of idealistic political workers came together at a time of great human suffering to produce an extraordinary moment in performance history, never to be repeated. The Indian Peoples Theatre Associations (IPTA) famine play Nabanna, first performed in 1944 against the backdrop of the man-made Bengal Famine of 194344, was henceforth to be recounted as a wondrous moment where art and politics had come together seamlessly: a moment that was, according to most recorded evidence, not repeated with comparable perfection ever again (p 67). It was a moment where the actors, irrevocably transformed by the spectre of starvation around them, became the people on the stage. The IPTA at the time had managed a broad congregation of artists who were not necessarily ideologically aligned to the Communist Party of India (CPI). Thus brought together, the IPTA produced performances that,

on the one hand upheld the liberal democratic rhetoric of nationalism through the use of linear narratives and on the other hand highlighted issues that were thought to be in alignment with the Marxist universal logic of a classless society. (Saha 2018: 144)

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 15th Feb, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.