Faculty Publications

Title

Laboring for community, civic participation, and sanitation: The performance of indian toilet festivals

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Civic participation, Community, Labor, Sanitation activism

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Text and Performance Quarterly

Volume

33

Issue

4

First Page

361

Last Page

377

Abstract

In addressing water and sanitation issues, people living in the slums of Mumbai and Pune, India, have created a series of events known as toilet festivals. Using Indian toilet festivals as a case study, this essay analyzes documents detailing sanitation activism to explore how the urban poor have used their bodies and voices to generate visibility and agitate for the right to defecate in private. Although this essay is concerned with the performance of Indian toilet festivals, I am particularly interested in how such events highlight the labor involved in performing community, civic participation, and sanitation activism. As such, I consider toilet festivals' contributions to the discussion of what constitutes activism, arguing that these everyday performances of backstage activities equip the urban poor with skills and relationships that transcend the life of the festival. © 2013 © 2013 National Communication Association.

Original Publication Date

10-1-2013

DOI of published version

10.1080/10462937.2013.825925

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