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HematologiesThe Political Life of Blood in India$
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Jacob Copeman and Dwaipayan Banerjee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501745096

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501745096.001.0001

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Substantial Activisms

Substantial Activisms

(p.86) 3 Substantial Activisms

Jacob Copeman

Dwaipayan Banerjee

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on scenes of hematological activism. These scenes constitute a historically significant genre of political performance, in relation to the ebbs and flows of other modes of activist signification. Specifically, the chapter suggests that blood donation spectacles act as rituals of verification, in contrast to other modes of political protest such as the fast that are increasingly open to accusations of insincerity and dissembling. Blood extracted on political occasions holds an elusive promise of political transparency: it is promissory matter. Yet as this chapter shows, blood also exposes itself to accusations of dissembling and deception: when used by politicians perceived as corrupt, the communicative medium is drained of its material intimacy with sincerity.

Keywords:   hematological activism, political performance, blood donation, political protest, political transparency

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