How can we talk about "postcoloniality" in relation to Nepal, which, even though it has never been foreign to Western fantasies about the exotic, was never formally colonized? One of the ways could be to create narratives and deploy images - as has been done by Eric Valli in his popular film Himalaya- that foreground geographically remote and ethnically and politically marginalized people of the nation. And yet, this article argues, such an attempt as Himalaya could easily fall into the same trap as grips orientalist ethnography that seeks to generate spectacles of the other for its own pleasure. Taking a comparative approach by relating Himalaya to a long tradition of creating through cinema ethnographic spectacles about the Pacific, the article not only calls for a critique of exoticism and a certain notion of modernity, but by recalling work done by critics in the Pacific Island Native Studies, it also raises the question of sovereignty of the other.
Interrupting Ethnographic Spectacles in Eric Valli's HimalayaEnglish Faculty Research
Citation InformationDamai, Puspa. "Interrupting Ethnographic Spectacles In Eric Valli’s Himalaya." Postcolonial Text 3.4 (2007): 1-17.