Cite: Shenar, Bollywood in Israel: The Aesthetics of Diaspora Transnational Audiences

Shenar, Gabriele. "Bollywood in Israel: Multi-Sensual Milieus, Cultural Appropriation and the Aesthetics of Diaspora Transnational Audiences." Ethnos – Online first, 29 pp.



Research on Bollywood cinema’s increasingly global presence identifies the genre as a significant cultural domain for the articulation of diasporic Indian identity and its constitution. Focusing on the appropriation of Bollywood cinema and its filmi song and dance, regarded as a multi-sensual media, the article investigates Bollywood’s popularity among Bene Israel immigrants in Israel and explores the aesthetics of diaspora, understood as a politics of consumption, embodied performance of identity and claims to ownership of tradition shaped by commercialized popular culture imported into Israeli society. I suggest that a sentient anthropology may provide insights into cultural identity as emerging out of material, social and aesthetic practices. The participatory culture and multi-sensual milieus inspired by Bollywood’s sensorium are constitutive, the paper argues, of diasporic identity and community through their potential to evoke shared emotions and a sense of place and subjectivity, mediated by the qualities of objects, performance styles and etiquette.

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