[Reader-list] constructing cosmopolitan

Renee Lulam renee75 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 19:20:45 IST 2007

The past month has garnered more testimonies than any other. We have met
people of all ages— old, very old, young, youngish…. All with their own
stories, all with a willingness to contribute…and perhaps most importantly,
with an interest to have their stories and remembrances acknowledged and
vindicated. As would be expected, narratives yielded have been contradictory
and varied. However, a thread that remains consistent throughout is that the
cosmopolitan nature of Shillong is a colonial creation. B.Dattaray, who also
happens to be a historian, put this across most aptly by calling the place
'an artifact of British administration'. Be that as it may, the various
communities brought in by the British to make their lives easier, have
certainly woven an intricate social fabric that has absorbed, sometimes
risen above, other times caved in to the complicated issues that arise out
of such a mix.

As we speak to and record more people, each narrative changes the meaning of
'cosmopolitan' and 'democratic spaces'. Each narrated experience provides an
insight into the dynamics that have kept, and continue to keep Shillong
complex and alive.

Intending to present a more wholesome picture of our project and recordings
at the final presentation.


Renee and Jules

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