The global South, understood as a shifting and historically constituted formation, is the site of myriad agencies that, from the standpoint of global governance, appear unsanctioned, parasitical, and disruptive. Yet, from southern perspectives, illicit and often illegal activities such as squatting, counterfeiting, and piracy appear necessary and valid ways of making a living, of gaining access to social mobility, and of carving out tenuous modes of participation. This talk will conceptualize the piratical as the realm of agencies that emerges in the gap between legality and legitimacy, and that generates its own, distinctive globalities.
Bhaskar Sarkar is a Professor in the Film & Media Studies Department at UCSB, where he also holds affiliations with the Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and History of Art and Architecture Departments. His research interests include risk and speculative media, post-colonial media theory, cultural theory, the political economy of global media, history and memory, and Asian cinema. He is the author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition (Duke University Press, 2009) which critically explores cinematic traces of a particular historical trauma, and has coedited the collections Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), and Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Duke University Press, 2017).