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Skye Arundhati Thomas
Skye Arundhati Thomas is co-editor of The White Review.

Articles Available Online


Interview with Bani Abidi

Interview

Issue No. 33

Skye Arundhati Thomas

Interview

Issue No. 33

In the three-minute short Mangoes (1999) by Berlin-based Pakistani artist Bani Abidi, two women sit next to each other on a white table, each with...

Art Review

February 2019

Simryn Gill, Soft Tissue

Skye Arundhati Thomas

Art Review

February 2019

I walked into Simryn Gill’s exhibition SOFT TISSUE at Jhaveri Contemporary on one of the worst days of an...

I   All the real niggas are dead or in prison We are elaborating gently We are gooey in the middle The distance between those twin possibilities is Cartesian We know they will kill us, in small & flagrant ways Still, we follow breadcrumbs & hope for a dignified annihilation Slippery as newborn calves, we glisten We are fighting for the inalienable right to be ugly & still have an open casket We are loud about our pain & the world hates us for it We kill with the blunt instrument of kindness       II   Some people are born possessive nouns Some people leave & others stay Amal with the soft earlobes, the suppressed lisp Raspberry milkshakes at the park The skin on her knees like wild chanterelles foraged at dawn Recall the violet of her mood ring Forever stuck on the colour of asphyxiation We are suspicious of purple, Jarman wrote, it has a hollow bombast We found his words in the clammy belly of a Hampstead charity shop  His purple was exhibitionism, Hendrix, impish Prince, imperial tyranny, smut, the smell of Alexander the Great’s piss, luxury, a violation of decent taste Always, a passage Some people are drawn to the dusk of other interpretations Easter Funk Failure Christian repentance in violet robes Away from our cluttered sadness, Jarman wields his cane, bent like a prophet-in-waiting We are gassed up & drunk off our own subjectivity Terminally disappointed the way babygirls raised on prophets & rappers are bound to be Both die young & leave behind poor imitations We refuse to destroy ourselves to give meaning to your Order        III   During that inching hour just before Iftar, the holiest month was ushered in by IM chat sessions & notification alerts She moved to Cairo just in time for the revolution Like clockwork There we go again Blackness as centripetal force, as timekeeping beyond time, as magpie collation, as marooned miscellany, as an inventory under siege, as a mad ting, a wahala, a junoon, a reverie of blue-veined jinns, as a crush of meaning, a sodden map, a

Contributor

February 2018

Skye Arundhati Thomas

Contributor

February 2018

Skye Arundhati Thomas is co-editor of The White Review.

Bani Abidi & Naeem Mohaiemen, I wish to let you fall out of my hands (Chapter 1)

Art Review

February 2018

Skye Arundhati Thomas

Art Review

February 2018

Loneliness is mostly narrative. It also has an aesthetic: an empty tableau in which the lonely act is performed. In Naeem Mohaiemen’s Tripoli Cancelled...
The characters in We That Are Young reside at ‘The Farm’ – a sprawling house in New Delhi complete with its own topiary of fat peacocks, bulbous pink flowers with English names, Fendi furniture, and a room in which it snows at the press of a button It’s not far removed from reality – Antilla, the world’s first billion-dollar residence for a single family of four, is a 40-storey building that towers over the suburbs of South Mumbai, replete with a staff of over 600 people, its own electrical power grid, ten-storey parking for a collection of unusable vintage cars, and a room, of course, where it snows on demand In dialogue with Shakespeare’s King Lear, Taneja’s debut novel explores the lives of a family that owns a multinational conglomerate, ‘The Company’, to which each character’s fate (and inheritance) is inextricably tied We have our patriarch, the Lear figure, Devraj; his three daughters Sita, Radha and Gargi; and his right-hand man Ranjit’s two sons, Jeet and Jivan The embarrassment of riches makes for an irresistible, if outlandish, setting; Taneja vividly indulges our intrigue in the way the rich conduct their daily lives, letting her words ooze out their luxury – filthy, yet so desirable After a particularly gruesome scene in which Radha administers the plucking out of a man’s eyes, she steps back into her suite and calls for a pot of first flush Assam, and rose macaroons   A reinterpretation of Shakespeare is the perfect postcolonial conquest: he remains the epitome of the Western canon, patriarchal, and repeatedly failing to include representations of the ‘other’ without recourse to parody Mainstream appropriations of Shakespeare in South Asia, such as Bollywood filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj’s trilogy Maqbool (Macbeth), Omkara (Othello), and Haider (Hamlet), have generally taken us to rural settings, wherein tragedy is relegated to a matter of the lower castes Taneja, a Shakespearean academic and human rights activist, eschews such stereotypes, and goes straight for the jugular: the innate hypocrisy of the Indian class and caste system ‘It’s not about land, it’s about money,’ states the first line of the book, taking
Preti Taneja’s ‘We That Are Young’

Book Review

October 2017

Skye Arundhati Thomas


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fiction

June 2015

Gandalf Goes West

Chris Power

fiction

June 2015

Hal stands in front of the screen. On the screen the words GANDALF GOES EAST.   GO EAST, types...

feature

February 2011

Middle East protests give lie to Western orthodoxies

Emanuelle Degli Esposti

feature

February 2011

For thousands of individuals across the Arab world, 2011 has already become the year in which the political and...

Interview

September 2015

Interview with Patrick deWitt

Anthony Cummins

Interview

September 2015

Patrick deWitt’s new novel, Undermajordomo Minor, tells the story of Lucy, a bungling young man hired to assist a...

 

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