Chutnefying English - Report

The Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, was an institutional partner to India's first Global Conference on Hinglish - Chutnefying English, organised by Dr. Rita Kothari at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad. A photographic report for the event is now available here.

In January of 2009, Dr. Rita Kothari, at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, organised the first global conference called “Chutneyfying English”, calling in various stakeholders from different walks of life – academics, scholars, researchers, actors, cultural producers, authors and consumers to critically examine the growing phenomenon of Hinglish and how it intersects with our globalised lives. The two day conference brought together a series of presentations, ranging from academic papers to lively round table discussions to panels that looked at the different manifestations of Hinglish and the political and aesthetic potential of this particular form. Scholars like Rita Kothari, Harish Trivedi, Nishant Shah, Daya Thussu, Shanon Finch and Rupert Snell were complemented by cultural producers like Nandita Das, R. Raj Rao, and Shuchi Kothari. Literary stakeholders like Urvashi Bhutalia, Bachi Karkaria, and Tej Bhatia rubbed shoulders with more mainstream practitioners like Prasoon Joshi, Mahesh Bhatt and Cyrus Broacha.

The Centre for Internet and Society was an institutional partner for the event, and supported the panel on New Media, which saw four paper presentations and a discussion moderated by Nishant Shah, Director Research at the CIS. The panel explored diverse presentations from Mattangi Krishnamurthy, Pramod Nair and Supriya Gokarn, who looked at the diverse ways in which the rise of Internet and digital technologies is not only changing the ways in which people express themselves, but they are also leading to complex ways in which new conditions of identity, consumption and politics are manifesting themselves. Nishant Shah responded to the panel by positing the idea of Hinglish as a paradigm, rather than a set of characteristics, which goes beyond the questions of language and actually resides in the aesthetic conditions of the internet technologies.

A photographic documentation of the event with an introduction by Dr. Rita Kothari, the chief organiser and curator for the conference is now available for a free download here

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Nishant Shah

Dr. Nishant Shah is the co-founder and board member of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, India, and is a professor at the Institute of Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media at Leuphana University in Germany, and is Dean of Research at ArtEZ Graduate School, the Netherlands.