Project Borderland: A Multi-Sited Curatorial and Anthropological Probing in Selected Parts of India

Dasgupta, Anshuman. 2017. Project Borderland: A Multi-Sited Curatorial and Anthropological Probing in Selected Parts of India. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This theory-practice PhD project combines multi-sited curatorial and anthropological research in selected north-eastern and eastern borderland sites of India. The borderland is a choice for this research due to its manifoldness. Borders, though manmade and historical, often produce ambiguous lines of divide that are amenable to myths and memories, and related animosities and allegiances in a variety of configurations. The abstract borderland is potentially capable of creating different subject positions like citizens, denizens and non-citizens.

This is the project of a curator-participant who works in alternating nuanced roles as participant observer, complicit observer, ethnographer and the critical entity to tease out the different aspects of the borderland from complex anthropological interactions. The research process involves three phases in each site. The first two are the study of the territorial issues via theoretical grounding and fieldwork. These lead to the curatorial intervention in the form of workshops that emerge as knowledge producing situations.

The idea is to work with a curatorial strategy that emphasises the processual and is interactive and collaborative, with a view to exploring the shared body of knowledge generated at the workshop mise-en-scènes. Hence, the workshops are conceived as interactive and participatory, involving theatre and cartographic activities among others. Also, the ideas, images and concepts culled from hybrid sources during all the phases of research are juxtaposed here to create fields of multiple inflections, bringing different spaces and times together without merging under a singular discipline. The workshops are, thus, events poised at multi-disciplinary crossroads, where the knowledge of the border experiences maximum density.

The project is aimed at studying the relational features of the selected sites; examining the emergence and nature of communities, the role of outsidedness in the implicated cultures and the different temporal registers encountered in the anthropological probing into the physical and metaphorical borderland(s) in their micro-social aspects.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Curatorial Knowledge, Visual Cultures, Multi-sited Anthropology, Performativity, Site-Relational Interactions

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


31 October 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Nov 2017 16:47

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 14:09


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