Sayan Dey


The global evolution of the postcolonial era across diverse spatio-temporal zones generated a highly debatable paradigm: did postcoloniality generate a new epistemological and ontological framework that disentangled from the colonial patterns or did these patterns continue with the pre-existing colonial ideologies? With the end of colonization in India, the physically visible colonial empires of patriarchy were replaced by what we can refer to as “metaphysical empires”, which are physically invisible, but which operate ideologically in a very systematic and convincing manner, reproducing many of the hierarchies entrenched during the colonial period. The interpretation of postcolonial histories has been fractured with gendered, inter-racial, caste and communal hierarchies that have promoted specific (his)tories[1] and have demolished innumerable narratives by women. Even existing historical narratives by women in India are mostly written from a patriarchal gaze, underpinned with definite caste, communal, geographical, demographical and racial preferences, demonstrating the hegemony of patriarchy and the assurance of persistent patriarchal-colonial ideologies, through the self-centered socio-political designs of indigenous groups. As the theoretical backdrop, this essay explores the documentary focused on the contemporary Anglo-Indian women residents of Bow Barracks in Calcutta. The project sought to record and archive the undocumented socio-historical narratives of those women. The film was funded by the Journal of International Women’s Studies, Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts.

Author Biography

Sayan Dey is a Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan