Urban Utopias pp 169-187 | Cite as

Past as a Metaphor in the New Utopian Imaginations of Heritage in Kerala

  • Rachel A. Varghese
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology book series (PSUA)


Varghese interrogates the new imaginations and practices around heritage that have crystallized in the South Indian state of Kerala in the context of the international art exhibition, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. She shows how, by building a past narrative of happy cosmopolitanism and bestowing it with time depth, the host city of Kochi is cast anew as “Kochi-Muziris.” This new formulation contains within it the potentiality to achieve a utopian ideal. However, this occurs through a process of narrative exclusion and re-appropriation that plays with the temporal and territorial notions of Kochi’s past and through a selective privileging of places.


Host City Utopian Imagination South Indian State Ancient Port Indian Ocean Trade 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel A. Varghese
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Historical StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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