(Bengali) A word or words spoken, [a] saying, an utterance, a statement, a mode of speaking, talk
(Sanskrit) the above, and story, fable.
Quite frankly, I talk a lot.
Intended as a place where I might put together my arguments, observations, or complicated (and uncomplicated) musings, which I have a terrible habit of playing out over coffee with my friends, I am at present not quite sure what this blog is intended to be or what it will become. That, however, is in itself part of the project. It is also, I feel, just one example of an acknowledgement that reveals how there will always be the need for talk.
Through talk we learn about ourselves, and about the world around us. We channel our perceptions and make sense of ourselves and what we experience, what we see around us, through the medium of talk. Talk is not to be used lightly. Sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes we say things we don’t mean and are obliged to deal with the way our talk has taken a meaning of its own, to confront what we hear come out of our mouths. Other times we say things we mean and mean things we say without ever realising we have said such a thing at all. Talk is also always subjective, so that even when we feel we have framed our meanings well and fairly the interpretation of others colours the talk in an entirely different way. What I think I say may very well never be what you hear, and moreover neither of us might ever know of the transformation the talk has undergone as it passes between us. To that end I hope that you can be patient with what I might happen to say.
You may expect a number of articles, blog-posts and perhaps publication-style pieces with a strong leaning towards issues such as queer and gender theory, politics, and life in the world. Oh, and occasionally, something about my other love – music. As for the rest, make yourself a coffee, and lets see what comes out.
Anita Datta is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Durham. She studied Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, and went on to receive a Masters of Research at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. Originally from Hull in East Yorkshire, daughter of an Indian father and a White British mother, her culturally eclectic upbringing has contributed to a lasting inquisitiveness into sociality, identity and the day-to-day lives of human beings. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Kolkata with the NGO Sappho for Equality (www.sapphokolkata.org) and is currently engaged in producing material based on this work.
Anita is also the Director of Music at St. Mary’s Church, South Woodford. Formerly Organ Scholar of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, Anita sustains a lively freelance career as a performer and teacher that feeds her deep love of Early Music and Renaissance polyphony. She writes about music, and is currently pursuing projects at the intersection of ethnography and musicology. When she isn’t talking about her work you can find her at the console of the beautiful Grant, Degens and Bradbeer Organ at St. Mary’s, so she’s always making noise in one way or another when you come to think of it…