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Title: Barefoot with a ‘band of criminals’: Law and the social life of objects in a street magician’s bag
Authors: Bhagabati, Dikshit Sarma
Chidambaram, Malini
O. P. Jindal Global University
Keywords: Kathputli Colony
Street Magicians
Social Life of Objects
Legal ethnography
Bombay Beggary Act
Urban poor
Issue Date: Mar-2021
Publisher: Alternative Law Journal, Sage
Citation: Bhagabati D.S. and Chidambaram M. (2021). Barefoot with a ‘band of criminals’: Law and the social life of objects in a street magician’s bag. Alternative Law Journal. 46(01), 75-81.
Abstract: Objects have social lives like humans and are invested with the properties of social relations. We restore performativity to the journeying objects of the Maseit street magicians by drawing on our ethnography with this wayfaring community from Kathputli Colony, Delhi. The shifting social incarnations of the magicians' objects threaten law's desire for semantic closure. Their truncated movements indicate how law traps the fluid history of street magic in a rigid definitional register by criminalising it as begging. By mapping these journeys, we illuminate the ways in which the Maseit make sense of their lives within the legal framework.
Appears in Collections:JGU Student Research Publications

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