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Writing queer transnational South Asian art histories

According to the author, queer as an identification and subjectivity is important to his writing of transnational South Asian art histories. This book talks about new transnational South Asian art histories, to make visible histories of artworks that remain marginalised within the discipline of art history. This is done through a deliberate 'productive failure', by not upholding the strictly genealogical approach. The book discusses authorship by examining the writing about the work of Anish Kapoor to explore the shifting manner in which critics and art historians have identified him and his work. It focuses on the author's own identification as queer and South Asian American to put pressure on the coherency of an LGBTQI art history. It connects formal similarities of abstract work produced in the 1960s in New York City by Cy Twombly and Natvar Bhavsar. The book deals with an art history that concerns facile categories such as South Asian/non-South Asian and black/white, and discusses the works of Stephen Dean, Mario Pfeifer, Adrian Margaret Smith Piper, and Kehinde Wiley. It focuses on practice-led research by discussing 'Sphere:dreamz,; which was produced by queer-identified South Asian women. Continuing the focus, the book looks at the multi-site exhibition 'Mixing It Up: Queering Curry Mile and Currying Canal Street', organised by the author in 2007. It addresses the question of how certain subjects are considered as 'belonging' and others as not; and the role of art in the reconstitution of notions of 'home' and transnational South Asian art histories.

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Producing art, producing art history
Alpesh Kantilal Patel

‘Practice-led’: producing art, producing art history In this chapter, I explore the range of public artistic events comprising the project Mixing It Up: Queering Curry Mile and Currying Canal Street that I organized in autumn 2007.1 Created by Manchester-based art and music collectives on the basis of my conception of using culture to subvert, confuse, or ‘mix up’ the production of a rationalized Manchester – and thereby (I hoped) potentially shift expectations about the people generally found in Curry Mile and the Gay Village – the public art projects I

in Productive failure
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Writing queer feminist transnational South Asian art histories
Alpesh Kantilal Patel

has become just as well known for giving rise to punk and ‘new wave’ music in the 1980s and for being the post-millennial, commercial epicentre of gay life in the northwest of England. For instance, the city has many gay clubs, bars and restaurants, which make up the area known as the Gay Village, and became the first British city to host Europride in 2003. Manchester has a diverse ethnic population, too, evidenced most conspicuously in the commercialized spaces of Chinatown and Curry Mile, so named for its many South Asian restaurants and shops. Urban geographer

in Productive failure
Diaspora space and the devolution of literary culture

Postcolonial Manchester offers a radical new perspective on Britain's devolved literary cultures by focusing on Manchester's vibrant, multicultural literary scene. This book presents the North West of England as quintessential 'diaspora space' and contributes to a better understanding of the region in social, cultural and aesthetic terms. It examines the way in which stories, poems and plays set in locales such as 'the Curry Mile' and Moss Side, have attempted to reshape Manchester's collective visions. The book features a broad demographic of authors and texts emanating from different diasporic communities and representing a wide range of religious affiliations. Manchester's black and Asian writers have struggled to achieve recognition within the literary mainstream, partly as a result of exclusion from London-centric, transnational publishing houses. Manchester's unfortunate reputation as one of Britain's 'crime capitals' is analysed by the use of fiction to stretch and complicate more popular explanations. A historical overview of Manchester's literary anthologies is presented through a transition from a writing that paid tribute to political resistance to more complex political statements, and focuses on the short story as a literary mode. The book combines close readings of some of the city's best-known performance poets such as Lemn Sissay and SuAndi with analysis of the literary cultures that have both facilitated and challenged their art. The book affords readers the opportunity to hear many of the chapter authors 'in their own words' by reflecting on how they themselves in terms of the literary mainstream and their identities.

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Alpesh Kantilal Patel

, England, Spring 2006. 10  Sphere, Sphere:dreamz, Sackville Park, Manchester, England, Spring 2006. 11  a b 12  Sphere, Sphere:dreamz, Sackville Park, Manchester, England, Spring 2006. Sphere, Sphere:dreamz, Sackville Park, Manchester, England, Spring 2006. 13  14  Sphere, Sphere:dreamz, Sackville Park, Manchester, England, Spring 2006. 15  Sphere, Sphere:dreamz, Sackville Park, Manchester, England, Spring 2006. Photos of walk down Curry Mile, Manchester, England, 2007. 16  Painting installed in Shahenshah restaurant. Manchester, England, 2008. 17  18

in Productive failure
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Corinne Fowler and Lynne Pearce

more than a place of temporary refuge for peoples of wide-ranging ethnicity and culture. The city’s rival synagogues tell a centuries’ old story of expansion and social diversification. Similarly Rusholme, a nineteenth-century suburb of Manchester, was transformed by immigrant Asian restauranteurs into nearly a mile of neon-lit restaurants (the internationally renowned ‘Curry Mile’), thereby utilizing old Victorian housing to counter the economic malaise of post-industrial Manchester. However, nothing counters the nation’s obsession with the supposed newness of

in Postcolonial Manchester
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Towards creolizing transnational South Asian art histories
Alpesh Kantilal Patel

material exploration of the city’s spaces – both the Gay Village and Curry Mile, an area of the city so named for its many South Asian restaurants and shops. Curry Mile is about a half-hour bus ride from the Gay Village. A motive for the writing of this chapter is the relative dearth of exploration of queer South Asian sexuality in artworks and art historical writing – including my own in the first half of the book, in which queer functions largely as a theory rather than as lived experience. Chapter 6 focuses on practice-led research, or what might be referred to as

in Productive failure
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The writers’ perspective
Robert Crawshaw

Central Library, reveal that ZH actively discussed the subject matter of his book The Curry Mile with a wide range of local groups in Manchester. It was this, she claimed, which had contributed to the book’s profile in the city and had led to its being constantly in demand by library users (JM Focus Group 3). In this and other cases, it is partly through public self-promotion and subsequent integration into institutionalized educational environments that the creative text takes on its catalytic social function. Apart from raw data such as library borrowing and sales

in Postcolonial Manchester
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Sara Upstone

Handsome (2007) illuminates that the British Asian take on ‘chick-lit’ established by Atima Srivastava is alive and well. Zahid Hussain’s The Curry Mile (2006) transfers Monica Ali’s concern with inter-­generational conflict in a starkly realist context to urban Manchester. In the realm of children’s literature, Bali Rai and B. K. Mahal are 209 conclusion.indd 209 05/03/2010 09:48:08 British Asian fiction offering young British Asians the opportunity to engage with issues surrounding their own identities. Most critically notable amongst these writers, Niven Govinden

in British Asian fiction
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The postcolonial city
Lynne Pearce

postcolonial city 67 surprisingly, this ‘new belonging’ (Bromley, 2000) is especially notable in the writings of diasporic communities who now have third- and fourth-generation roots in the district and (to echo the opening lines of this chapter) can stake a claim on Manchester as ‘home’ in the most archaic sense. Two texts which illustrate this ‘at homeness’ with contemporary Manchester are Peter Kalu’s Yard Dogs (2002) and Zahid Hussain’s The Curry Mile (2006). Although Kalu’s writing remains as critical of British society and culture as it ever was, his central

in Postcolonial Manchester