Fresh from the Press: C. Balme (ed.) “Performing the Cold War in the Postcolonial World”

Bennewitz in India, Three Penny Opera, 1970.

I am delighted to announce the publication of  Performing the Cold War in the Postcolonial World, edited by Christopher B. Balme, former PI of the ERC project Developing Theatre at LMU Munich.

This volume, published with Routledge, London, explores how the Cultural Cold War played out in Africa and Asia in the context of decolonization. Both the United States and the Soviet Union as well as East European states undertook significant efforts to influence cultural life in the newly independent, postcolonial world.

The different forms of influence are the subject of this book. The contributions are grouped around four topic headings. “Networks and Institutions” looks at the various ways Western-style theatre became institutionalized in the decolonial world, especially Africa. “Cultural Diplomacy” focuses on the activities of the Soviet Union in India in the late 1950s and 1960s in the very different arenas of book publishing and the circus. “Artists and Agency” explores how West African filmmakers (Ousmane Sembène and Abderrahmane Sissako) and European authors (Brecht and Ibsen) were harnessed for different kinds of Cold War strategies. Finally, “Cultures of Things” investigates how everyday objects such as books and iconic theatre buildings became suffused with affect, nostalgia, and ideology.

The book came out just now and will be of interest for students and researchers of the Cold War, postcolonial studies, theatre, film, and literature. Research and publication for this book as well the workshop preceding this publication were funded by the European Research Council Project “Developing Theatre”

Chapters 1, 4, 8, and 11 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.


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