Global India and cultural space in Auckland’s performance scene
This paper presents recent ethnographic research that focuses on young, educated recent migrants from India who are creating cultural space through live performance events, Their emerging voices challenge the establish cultural performance environment and the conventional notions of “Indian” cultural identity in Auckland. The transcultural, transnational and diasporic nature of the performance environment they practice creates an alternative understanding of culture reflected in their event content as well as production practices. For these producers and performers hip hop and rock are as much a part of Indian identity as sitar or bharatanatyam. They grew up in an India that was post liberalisation when global popular culture entered India via radio, cassettes and satellite TV and since 1996, India MTV, a channel specialising in music, reality, and youth culture programming. The research demonstrates the shifting patterns of cultural flows (Hannerz, 1997) of ‘global’ Indian popular youth culture identity. This growing voice is actively seeks a place in Auckland’s cultural production market. Data was collected by interviewing producers and performers of in Auckland who are part of a growing global, transnational Indian performance scene. The case studies demonstrate various cultural perspectives based on individual understandings of India as a place they have lived, visited or vicariously experienced through family and the virtual world. They offer the various cultural perspectives of Auckland’s new ‘global India’ performers and producers who are transforming the content, practice, and place of Auckland’s Indian cultural performance scene.