Modernist and Post-Colonialist Narratives of Gender and Nationalism Mediated through Alpona

M.H. Groot

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


This paper revolves around designs called alpona or alpana. it compares the reception of alpona as traditional decorative paintings by women and girls in their Bengali private homes with today's alpona as public and nationalist street art in India, Bangladesh, and other parts of Asia as well. It addresses the following question: How does the connotation of gender operate when alpona shift context from gendered female appropriation of homes to a nationalist form of art on the street mediated by men? This question will be framed by socio-cultural concepts of Pierre Bourdieu, Arjun Appadurai and Homi Bhabha.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards Global Histories of Design: Postcolobnial Perspectives
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 Annual Conference of the Design History Society
EditorsTanishka Kachru, Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan
Place of PublicationAhmedabad
PublisherNational Institute of Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad, India
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-81-86199-86-2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016


  • design, postcolonial, decoration, gender, art, politics

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