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Spectacular CitiesReligion, Landscape, and the Dialectics of Globalization$
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Ipsita Chatterjee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199465132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199465132.001.0001

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Mapping the Fantastic

Mapping the Fantastic

Akshardham Temples in India

(p.110) 5 Mapping the Fantastic
Spectacular Cities

Ipsita Chatterjee

Oxford University Press

A cognitive map is, as Jameson indicated, a postmodern subject’s representation of her place in the world. Alienation happens when the postmodern subject is no longer able to map her position. The author produces a map of the themed landscapes of the Akshardham temples in India for which tickets are sold. Just like capitalism, she argues, accumulation in religion is fraught with contradictions: religion needs worldly wealth to survive, but it must preach the need for alienation from worldly wealth. The production of spectacle through themed landscapes provides resolution to these contradictions. Capital produces Vedic boat rides, mystique India dioramas, and laser show that allow accumulation, and, at the same time, these spaces are programmed to teach alienation from capital accumulation. In ‘acting out’ this consumptive ideology, we may one day develop disalienation producing alternative maps and, hence, alternative globalization.

Keywords:   cognitive map, spectacle, fantasy, theme-park, alienation, disalienation, ideology, capital, accumulation, postmodern, semiotic production, representational dialectic, stupefaction, Jameson. Harvey, Baudrillard

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