Writing the disaster: substance activism after Bhopal
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In 2008, survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster in India undertook a 500-mile march to New Delhi, protesting a long history of governmental neglect of the survivors of the event. This is one episode of a 25-year-old organized international campaign that continues in the present. This article examines the ways in which three bodily substances – blood, hearts and ketones – were produced and circulated through the 2008 protests. Placed within a broader history of substance-politics in the region, this article suggests that these protests produced an imagination of bodily substances that surfaced messy contradictions that became difficult for the Indian State to disregard. This article also shows how these protests distanced themselves from the cynicism attached to similar modes of corporeal activism in the contemporary Indian landscape. In sum, this article traces the production of an activist corporeal counter-discourse that, for at least a time, contaminated the procedures through which the Indian State disregards the health of its marginal citizens.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society
Contemporary South Asia
Taylor & Francis
Banerjee, Dwaipayan. "Writing the disaster: substance activism after Bhopal." Cotemporary South Asia 21, no. 3 (September 2013): 230-242. © 2013 Routledge
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