The Second Wave

Reflections on the Pandemic through Photography, Performance and Public Culture
Translated by
₹599.00 $24.50 £18.99

Now available in India. Forthcoming internationally in January 2023.

Lessons in resilience in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

Focusing on the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India between April and December 2021, Rustom Bharucha’s timely essay reflects on four interconnected realities that haunted this ongoing crisis—death, grief, mourning, and extinction. How do we cope with multiple deaths and the dislocation of rituals when the act of mourning is either postponed or denied? What roles do political surveillance, censorship, the regulation of lockdowns, and the sheer indifference to the lives of people play in the containment of civil liberties? Through vivid examples of photography, theatre, dance, visual arts, and the cultures of everyday life, this meditative essay illuminates both the horror of the pandemic as well as its unexpected intimacies and revelations of shared suffering. Against the destruction of nature and the disrespect for the nonhuman, The Second Wave offers lessons in resilience through its reflections on the ethos of waiting and the need to re-envision breath as a vital resource of self-renewal and resistance.

Listen to a podcast featuring an interview with author Rustom Bharucha by Cambridge scholar Garima Jaju for ‘New Books in South Asian Studies’.

Read a detailed, perceptive review of the book by Joseph Schreiber: ‘Writing toward a dark hope: The Second Wave by Rustom Bharucha’.

‘This book is a remarkable meditation of the Covid-19 pandemic, which compelled the author “to think about the most basic issues of life, death, survival and resistance,” grief, mourning and extinction, the banality that surrounds us with the state concealing its failure of governance, and to re-envision “what is means to be human”. It is an intellectual, ethnographical and deeply felt personal analysis against a background of personal loss, where even the right to mourn has been snatched away.’—Krishnan Srinivasan, India's former foreign secretary, writing in The Statesman. Click here to read the full article.

ISBN: 9781803090757
Publication Year: June 2022
Rights: UCP
Pages: 250 | 10 colour plates
Format: Paperback
Size: 6" x 9"
Series: The India List
Category: Culture Studies
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