Calcutta 1908: Apocalypse Now, a 50-minute talk with 10-minute Q&A:
And on the lighter side, a 10-minute account in the storytelling session about my horror at discovering my Kolkata flat was inhabited by numerous lizards, entitled Strange Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Lizard Roommates:
On the lighter side, the other is a 10-minute talk for a storytelling session entitled “Strange Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Lizard Roommates” about my adventures living in a flat in Kolkata.
The abstract for the first talk:
In this unavoidably incendiary romp, Stanley uses news coverage and advertisements from Calcutta newspapers to give an account of daily life for Indians under a heavily militarized police state in the capital of British India. After pro-Independence plays and their songs were banned, and newspaper editors and activist public speakers imprisoned, Indians’ boycott of British goods grew in popularity until–the last straw–the legalization of public floggings of Indian minors. The situation reached its boiling point in 1908 with the bombings of white officials. The Raj responded with increased martial law and intentionally inflaming Hindu-Muslim disunity while keeping the people of England in the dark about what was being done in their name half a world away.
I’m grateful to have been offered an opportunity to write about the international Indian hit film RRR for Contingent Magazine, whose mission statement is “history is for everyone.” They purposely waited until 15th August (India time), India’s Independence Day, to publish the article as their lead story today. What does RRR have to do with my Kolkata theatre research as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar? You’ll see. And be sure to read those footnotes.
The article begins below:
Sure, George Washington was a good war strategist, but could he pick up a motorcycle by one wheel and swing it around in battle? Or how about if Martin Luther King Jr. had busted Malcolm X out of prison by carrying him on his shoulders and dodging gunfire while hopping across rooftops, and together they took out J. Edgar Hoover? These events could not, and never did happen, but would be pretty cool to see in a big-budget historical fantasy action flick.