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SUDESH MISHRA is a poet, playwright and academic at Deakin University born in Fiji into a Indo-Fijian family whose published books of poems include 'Diaspora and The Difficult Art of Dying'.
PHILLIPA ROTHFIELD is a philosopher with a strong interest in dance, a Melbourne editor of arts journal RealTime, senior lecturer in philosophy at La Trobe and a member of the Chinese Medicine Registration Board.



2 Mar 2007 photos Karen Trist

Stepping into the W11 tram is a step into transnational space. Sudesh speaks of how cultural surface affects travel easily, of how there is an interrelationship between India’s current 9% economic growth and rising global distribution of Bollywood. Phillipa notes how practices of the body like yoga and ballet are organised by the specificity of place – yet they also move from that place and take on new inflections in new places. This process can be both positive and negative. Sudesh proposes there is less value in hybridity as an easy fusion of this and that, simply producing part of global commodity culture. Rather, we may look for mutual contamination between the strength of existing forms to produce value of greater depth. For Sudesh all forms are already hybrid in formation, it just may be that we forget the range of informing influences. Nationalism feeds off forgetting our own contaminated geneology – yet we are all the other to ourselves. Phillipa and Sudesh take their conversation to the limit point of what it means to be human and have relationship to human beings, and to the reality of genocide, to the conversion of a people to something that cannot be talked of as human. At journeys end they leave us with the troubling situation of how ‘Muslims’ are currently being negatively constructed in the global imagination



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