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Black OdysseysThe Homeric Odyssey in the African Diaspora since 1939$
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Justine McConnell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605002

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605002.001.0001

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New Directions: Jatinder Verma and Tara Arts

(p.236) (p.237) Coda
Black Odysseys

Justine McConnell

Oxford University Press

This chapter concentrates on the cross-cultural work of theatre director Jatinder Verma, whose theatre company Tara Arts was founded in the 1970s to ‘achieve presence’ in the midst of the strife embodied in the London race riots. Born in Tanzania to parents who had emigrated from India, his family lived in Kenya before moving to the UK in the late 1960s. Verma’s work exemplifies the syncretic theatre that can do so much to decolonize the stage. His Ramayan Odyssey, as well as his Tempest and Oedipus the King, all work towards this, exploring the position and contested identity of the migrant. Verma’s own words, drawn from an interview conducted by the author, form an illuminating basis of the chapter.

Keywords:   Jatinder Verma, Tara Arts, Kenya Rāmāyana, home, syncretic theatre, Tempest, decolonize

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