Emily: sloppily femme American lesbian. Part time retail worker. Has vaguely defined aesthetic values. Science fiction, Hindi film, media criticism, leftism, the culture of industrialism, pretty-ass pictures.
"Historically, lavani is the art of the Kolhati women, and it emerged as a construction of the sexuality of the lower caste women in the Peshwa state of the 17th and 18th century in Maharashtra. Although the art of lavani began in the form of Prakrit verses dated between the 1st and 7th century AD reflecting the everyday life of the lower caste communities, in the 13th century it entered the realm of exchange when it became known as performance with the ‘explicit aim of provoking men into handing over their wealth’ (Rege, 1995: 23–24). The Peshwa state simultaneously set about systematically sexualizing lower caste women by intervening in the production of erotic lavanis, while also taking advantage of the dancers’ destitution during famine to enlist them as sexual and agrestic slaves.
The rise of the Marathi theatre in the mid-19th century saw the entry of women from the lavani tamashas, even as middle-class women imbued with a Victorian morality shunned these theatres. These women performers also started theatre companies, with the sangeet barees branching out from them (Rege, 1995: 29–30). While tamasha troupes—which kept lavani alive as a folk art—were dying out, Marathi cinema used the tamasha genre to gain ascendance, thus effecting a revival of the art form. The films, however, kept out the Kolhati women, whose lives as nachees (dancers) remained under patriarchal-male panchayat control. These dancers were prevented from marrying and they had little control over their earnings, as their body and art was symbolically and materially constructed as belonging to the troupe."
Meena Gopal || Caste, Sexuality, and Labour
Sorry for all the posts one right after the other. I am on Tumble mobile. I think I’ll be using my queue for some of these from now on