Tag Archives: nights of labour

Oru Kili Iru Kili – A Party in Dubai: Alia Allana

Guest post by ALIA ALLANA

For the Pilipino there was no escaping the Indian song and dance.

A tube-light flickered as loud music blared from a room at the far end of the corridor. The flickering light and the ensuing cacophony gave the corridor in Sonapur Labour Camp a surreal discotheque feel: one that the Pilipino was no longer game to. Nearer the door, voices of men dipped low and then travelled high past the room in which the tired labourer from Cebu lived.

“Oru Kili Iru Kili,” they bellowed in Malayalam and the tune filtered through the flimsy plywood door. The tired looking Pilipino pulled a face as he described the scene he had once encountered when the door was left ajar. The “party” room was clouded over with smoke and six Indian labourers from Kerala lounged cross-legged in a circle, smoking cigarettes and drinking from steel cups, writhing their bodies and shaking their hands up in the air. A bottle with no label was passed around and the brouhaha escalated to a feverish pitch. Once again the merry men burst out, “Oru Killi Iru Killi”. Continue reading Oru Kili Iru Kili – A Party in Dubai: Alia Allana

Interview with Jacques Ranciere

Interview with Jacques Rancière
Conducted by Lawrence Liang
Lodi Gardens, Delhi, 5th February 2009

Jacques Rancière (born Algiers, 1940) is Emeritus Professor, Philosophy, at the University of Paris (St. Denis). He came to prominence when he co-authored Reading Capital (1968), with Louis Althusser, the Marxist philosopher. He subsequently broke away from Althusser and wrote The Nights of Labour, a work that examined the philosophical and poetical writings of workers in 19th century France. Through an examination of the lives of these worker autodidacts, Rancière introduced a new way of thinking about the idea of the worker, and of the injunction that divides between those entitled to a life in thought and those born to do manual labour.

He went on to write The Philosopher and His Poor which looks at the figure of the poor artisan from classical philosophy down to Marx and Sartre. In The Ignorant Schoolmaster, inspired by the experiences of a radical early 19th century teacher, Joseph Jacotot, Rancière sought to rethink the idea of pedagogy away from the idea of moving form the unknown to the known and from those who possess knowledge to those who don’t, to look at how all forms of ignorance are also conditions of knowledge.

He was in Delhi recently, on the occasion of the release of the Hindi language edition of The Nights of Labour.

Continue reading Interview with Jacques Ranciere