The City and Its Poets

July 2018 Journals
Pratishtha Pandya

Seminar, Ahmedabad: The City and Her Soul

The article "The City and Its Poets" invited for the special issue of Seminar on Ahmedabad is an exploration of the concept of the city of Ahmedabad through Gujarati poetry. It examines the way poetry inhabits and claims the city by resisting, questioning, and redrawing its boundaries -- both material and discursive. It also questions the very idea of belonging with its inherent logic of exclusion and violence.  Which of the two belongs to the other, the city to the poet or the poet to the city? What legitimizes this belonging? Who exudes the sense of belonging? Where does it come from? Who gives the final verdict as to who truly belongs and who does not and how; and on what basis? What is the politics of the city that turns some poets into tokens and monuments, awards, chowks, margs (Roads), and bulldozes and flattens the monuments of another to make roads? What is the politics of the city? What is the politics of the poet? These are some of the questions that are explored in this self-reflexive article in order to highlight the tensions that exist in the material realities of a geographical space and the abstract notion of belonging. Read the full article: 

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