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Intimate Legal Interactions - 'Jumbos and Jumping Devils'

Wednesday 6 December 2023
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden

In this session, we will listen to a presentation by Dr. Nisha Poyyaprath Rayaroth, a historian who recently joined the International Institute for Asian Studies at Leiden University as a research fellow. In her book, Jumbos and Jumping Devils: A Social History of Indian Circus (Oxford University Press, 2020), she talks about two major legal interventions by the Indian State in the lives of the circus community. In 1991, the Environment Ministry of India initiated a ban on the performance of certain wild animals like lions, panthers, tigers, monkeys, and bears. In a similar vein, on 18th April 2011, a legal ban was issued on the performance of children below fourteen in the circus industry. What are the ramifications of such legal interventions? What happened to these children and animals ‘liberated’ from the circus companies? In her talk, she shall address the binary of cruelty/emancipation in the legal discourses and the limitations of this framework. You are all invited to read the chapter ‘Children of a lesser gold’.

If you would like to join the session, please send an email to j.j.m.van.uden@law.leidenuniv.nl.

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