Performing the Periphery

Performing the Periphery

The politics of performance on the urban periphery in South India

This India/UK research project brings together scholars across the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences to look at the politics of performance on the peripheries of expanding South Indian cities (Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi).

We will be considering festivals across a range of social contexts and performance forms, from traditional Carnatic music and dance, to rituals involving animals as performers, to contemporary performance art.

We will be asking whether and how developing models promote sustainable cities and communities, and what challenges are arising as a consequence of urbanisation. We will also work with MOD, an interdisciplinary urban action and research institute (Berlin/Bengaluru) to pilot methods for using performance as a means of gathering and representing the views and experiences of marginalised communities.

Project Team:
Professor Cathy Turner, University of Exeter (PI)
Professor Sharada Srinivasan, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru (CI)
Professor Anindya Sinha, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru (CI)
Professor Jerri Daboo, University of Exeter
Project Partner: MOD Institute, Berlin/Bengaluru (Tile Von Damm, Anne Fenk)
Sumitra Sunder
Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan

A wider network of scholars and postgraduate researchers will be drawn from Faculty at the University of Exeter and at NIAS, including Professor Carol Upadhya; Professor Narendar Pani; Dr Smriti Haricharan; Krupa Rajangam; Aparna Mahiyaria.

 Project Website:


This is a Research Network for International Development, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the Global Challenges Research Fund.