The Trauma of Accents

“The black man has two dimensions,” writes the Algerian philosopher Frantz Fanon. “One with his fellows, the other with the white man.”

To be a migrant is to forever exist in this duality between Us and Them, a schism of the soul reflected in the migrant’s speech. In speech we hear the migrant fly from his known world, adopt a new tongue and, at times, get caught in the act of travel.

Read the full article in Scroll.in

Flags and borders are nationalism’s favourite toys

The beginning of the year held special importance for me for two reasons. On the personal front, it marked two decades since I first set foot in London, the city where I ended up spending the longest period of my life. And it was on January 1 that the United Kingdom reverted to being just a medium-sized island…

Interview in the Dhaka Tribune

Somnath Batabyal: Interconnected cities
Sabrina Toppa

Somnath Batabyal’s debut novel The Price You Pay follows a Delhi crime journalist’s search for truth. Somnath started his career as a journalist reporting on crime, but he now teaches at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

He will appear in this year’s Hay Festival Dhaka to discuss world capitals, commerce and globalization in Thursday’s “Cities” panel alongside Rana Dasgupta and Javed Jahangir. On Friday, he will join British historian William Dalrymple to interrogate the historical narratives behind the Anglo-Afghan War.

Read the full interview here

Somnath Batabyal at Hay Festival, Dhaka

In conversation with Rana Das Gupta and Javed Jahangir: Review in The Daily Star

The (False) Seduction of Cities

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Photo by Ridwan Adid Rupon

The irony of going to attend a Hay Festival session on globalisation, capital, and the brutality of an urban landscape shaped by neo-liberal ideas of capitalism was not lost on me. With the recent case of three outsiders brutally assaulted on dubious grounds not far from the Hay Festival location of Bangla Academy, the issues touched upon at the session struck a chord with the Bengali audience…

Read full article by Shaer Raez

Interview in The Sunday Tribune, India

Q&A with Suparna-Saraswati Puri

BORN in the idyllic environs of Siliguri, the Dhiren Bhagat and Chevening Young Print Journalist, who dodged school books for playing badminton, ran the course of an enthused media aspirant with national dailies. He established his credentials as an academic with a Masters in Anthropology of the Media and a doctorate from SOAS, London, it is Somnath Batabyal’s dexterity to traverse media, scholastic expanse and fiction writing that lends him a distinguished mien. The author of The Price You Pay hailed as an “unputdownable crime thriller”, engages his time and interest with varied forums of writings that include his weekly column titled Nomad Notes in The Sunday Guardian, blogging for Sacred Media Cow (an online collective of media theorists) and lecturing at SOAS, while conceiving his next work of fiction. In an exclusive interview, author Somnath Batabyal reflects upon his appetite for crime and his first novel.

 

Read full interview here

‘An Insider’s Account of Delhi Newsrooms’ – article by Tishani Doshi

Ever since I renounced cosmopolitan life for a middle-of-nowhere-beach-type-of-existence, portraitures of cities in novels or nonfiction have increasingly become my preferred mode for experiencing a city. Delhi, a place I’ve always been intrigued with despite its megalomaniacal tendencies, has been getting a lot of mileage lately with a spate of books offering salaams to the capital, indicating that it may have finally ousted Mumbai as India’s most favoured literary locale.

For Somnath Batabyal, who worked in Delhi as a journalist for over a decade, the city is ‘massive’—not just in size, but in impact…

Read full article here

London Book Launch

14th October 2013: In an evening of sparkling conversation between Professor Ananya Kabir and Somnath Batabyal, the new edition of The Price You Pay made its first UK appearance. The speakers were given a warm introduction by  Annabelle Sreberny, Professor of Global Media and Communications at SOAS, University of London, where the launch was held.

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