Heritage matters. A geography of production and power in the field of subaltern cultural industry: the craft terracotta pottery in South India


Nicolas BAUTES

Start Date: Jan, 2018
Status: Ongoing

Project Details

Department Social Sciences
Duration 3 Year(s)
Funding Agency(ies)

MSH Paris Nord 2019 (partial funding)

AFD Co-Part (pending)

Team Nicolas BAUTES
Venkatasubramanian GOVINDAN

Project Description

From a case study in Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu (South India), this project aims at analyzing the craft production of terracotta pottery. This production is characterized by its subaltern position in the field of so-called « cultural industries »: it concentrates a series of challenges related to its sustainability and territorial heritages, and, at a larger scale, it embeds the question of labor of low-status social groups often situated at the outskirts of the main urban areas. We have chosen a transversal approach, able to consider the diversity of the questions it raises: an urban analysis highlights the effects of rapid urbanization on spaces and rural economies under process of integration into urban areas. From an economic point of view, these issues at the core of the current logics of a precarious local economy fully integrated into global commercial networks. From a social point of view, it reveals the close articulation between this cultural industry, social modes of economic organization and religious practices.

This project addresses the question of heritage(s) through the lens of a geography of production and power.

Main (expected) outputs

Digital platform, mapping of networks and productive system of pottery.

Coordinator:  Nicolas Bautès, French Institute of Pondicherry.