Monica Narula on Thu, 7 Apr 2005 14:13:19 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Sarai Reader 05: Bare Acts

Dear All,

We are happy to announce the print and web publication of Sarai Reader 05 
: 'Bare Acts'. Please find more details about the book below.

We would welcome responses, reviews and critiques of the publication, and 
discussions based on its contents. If you would like to write a review of 
the book, and wish to obtain a review copy, do write to, mentioning details of the publication where the 
review will appear, and when it is likely to be published. The contents of 
the book may also be translated into other languages, and published 
elsewhere. We, and the authors, would like to be informed.

Looking forward to your responses

The Editorial Collective, Sarai Reader Series

Editors: Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Jeebesh Bagchi + Geert 
Lovink Guest Editor: Lawrence Liang

Sarai Reader Series Editorial Collective: Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata 
Sengupta, Ravi Sundaram, Ravi S. Vasudevan, Awadhendra Sharan, Jeebesh 
Bagchi + Geert Lovink

Published by the Sarai Programme, Centre for the Study of Developing
Societies, Delhi, 2005 [cc]
Produced and Designed at the Sarai Media Lab, Delhi

ISBN 81-901429-5-X
584 pages, 14.5cm X 21cm
Paperback: Rs. 350, US$ 20, Euro 20

Bare Acts

This year, the Sarai Reader looks at 'Acts' as instruments of legislation, 
at things within and outside the law, and at 'acts' as different ways of 
'doing' things in society and culture. Several texts and image-essays echo 
and complement themes that have emerged in earlier readers. Piracy, 
borders, surveillance, claims to authority and entitlement, the language 
of expertise, the legal regulation of sexual behaviour and trespasses of 
various kinds have featured prominently in previous Readers. This 
collection foregrounds these issues in a way that hopes to continue to 
provoke rigorous engagement and reflection.

The 'Bare Act' is an expression used to specify the content of law, bereft 
of any interpretative gloss. In legal libraries in India and many parts of 
the English-speaking world, a Bare Act is a document that simply codifies 
a law without annotation or commentary. The 'Bare Act' is legality pared 
down to its textual essence. It expresses only what the law does, and what 
it can do.

The enactment of law, however, is less a matter of reading the letter of 
the law, and more a matter of augmenting or eroding the textual foundation 
through the acts of interpretation, negotiation, disputation and 
witnessing. The law and practices within and outside stand in relation to 
a meta legal domain that can be said to embrace acts and actions in all 
their depth, intensity and substantive generality. This too is a stage set 
for the performance of 'bare acts', of what we might call 'naked deeds' - 
actions shorn of everything other than what is contained in a verb.

The 'Bare Act' that encrypts the letter of the law, the wire frame 
structure that demands the fleshing out of interpretation, and the 'bare 
act' that expresses and contains the stripped down kernel of an act, of 
something that is done, are both expressions that face each other in a 
relationship of tense reflection and intimate alterity. Bare Acts generate 
bare acts, and vice versa. 'Bare Acts', the fifth Sarai Reader, proposes 
to be a considered examination of this troubled mirror image.


See below for the complete table of contents. The complete text of 'Bare 
Acts', like the entire contents of previous readers, is available for free 
browsing and download as pdf files at

For Purchase, Distribution and Other Enquiries, mail to -

or, contact -
Sarai, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
29, Rajpur Road, Delhi 110054, India
Tel : (+91) 11 2396 0040
E mail :

Distributors: Seagull Books, Delhi & Kolkata (in
India) and Autonomedia, New York (USA)



Invitation - Sarai Reader Editorial Collective - 2
Porous Legalities and Avenues of Participation - Lawrence Liang - 6
"=8ABolti Band (SILENCED)!" - Clifton D' Rozario - 18
Lepers, Witches and Infidels & It's a Bug's Life - Francesca da Rimini - 26
Rested - Colette Mazabrard - 39

Of Butchers and Policemen: Law, Justice and Economies of Anxiety -
Gunalan Nadarajan - 46
Down by Law: A Critique for the 21st Century - Alexander Karschnia - 57
'New' Delhi: Fashioning an Urban Environment through Science and Law -
Awadhendra Sharan - 69 An Improbable Monument to
Witnessing and the Ethics of Trespass -
Sharon Daniel - 78

The Discovery of the Fifth World: Stealth Countries and Logo Nations -
Daniel van der Velden, Tina Clausmeyer, Vinca Kruk, Adriaan Mellegers
(Meta Haven Project) - 96
Transcoding Sovereignty: Naked Bandit/Here, Not
Here/White Sovereign - KR + CF - 111
SMS to Passport - Vishwajyoti Ghosh - 115
The Strange Case of Qays Al Kareem - Tripta Wahi - 123
Marginalia - Kai Friese - 129
On Smugglers, Pirates and Aroma Makers - Ursula Biemann - 145
Sponge Borders - Guido Cimadomo + Pilar Mart=EDnez Ponce - 150
Notes on the Disappeared: Towards a Visual Language of Resistance -
Chitra Ganesh + Mariam Ghani - 154
Dreams and Disguises, As Usual - Raqs Media Collective - 162

HACKS - 176
Trespasses of the State: Ministering to
Theological Dilemmas through the
Copyright/Trademark - Naveeda Khan - 178
Harmony or Discord? TRIPS, China, and Overlapping
Sovereignties - Shujen Wang - 189
Innovating Piracy: The Bare Act of Stealing, and
Shaping the Future - Menso Heus - 202
Is Hacking Illegal? - Yuwei Lin + David Beer - 205
Three Proposals for a Real Democracy: Information-Sharing to a Different Tu=
ne -
Brian Holmes - 215
Roots Culture: Free Software Vibrations "inna Babylon" - Armin Medosch - 222

Touts, Pirates and Ghosts - Solomon Benjamin - 242
Daily Journey - Satyajit Pande - 255
Complicating the City: Media Itineraries - Media Researchers @ Sarai - 258
Begum Samru and the Security Guard - Anand Vivek Taneja - 287
My Driving Master: A Story of Everyday Trespasses - Zainab Bawa - 297
Naye Qanoon (New Laws) - 301

Vis-=E0-Visage - I. Helen Jilavu - 306
Cybermohalla Logs/Acts/Texts - CM Labs @ LNJP-DP-NM - 308

The Act of Leisure - Iram Ghufran + Taha Mehmood - 325
Surveillance, Performance, Self-Surveillance: Interview with Jill Magid -
Geert Lovink - 339
Living Between Laws - Ninad Pandit - 348
Negotiating Territory - Ateya Khorakiwala - 354

Tis Hazari Diaries - Chander Nigam - 360
Bare Acts and Collective Explorations: The MKSS
Experience with the Right to Information - Preeti
Sampat + Nikhil Dey - 385

TRIALS - 397
Zimbabwe's 'New Clothes': Identity and Power
Among Displaced Farm Workers - Amy R. West +
Blair Rutherford - 398
Standardised, Packaged, Ready for Consumption - Ravi Agarwal - 412
The Act of Instruction - Jan Ritsema - 420

Womanhood Laid Bare: How Katherine Mayo and
Manoda Devi Challenged Indian Public Morality -
Alice Albinia - 428
Literature and the Limits of Law: Crime, Guilt
and Agency in Premchand's Ghaban -
Ulka S. Anjaria - 437
The Honourable Murder: The Trial of Kawas
Maneckshaw Nanavati - Aarti Sethi - 444
Judicial Extract - 454
Representing a Woman's Story: Explicit Film and
the Efficacy of Censorship in Japan - Hikari Hori
- 457
The Queer Case of Section 377 - Siddharth Narrain - 466

"For God's Sake, Be Objective!" - Somnath Batabyal - 472
Another 9/11, Another Act of Terror: The 'Embedded Disorder' of the AFSPA -
A. Bimol Akoijam - 481
Warporn Warpunk! Autonomous Videopoesis in Wartime - Matteo Pasquinelli - 4=
'First, Do No Harm...': Ensuring Humanitarian Military Interventions -
Bikram Jeet Batra - 500
War Cake - Linda F. Beekman - 511

The Law of the Mother: Soldiers' Mothers and the Post-Soviet Army -
Irina Aristarkhova - 516
Naked Protest and the Politics of Personalism - Isaac Souweine - 526
Analytical World Statistics Wall Chart, 2003 - Louise Kolff - 537
A Comparative Anatomy of Post-Mortem Acts - Smriti Vohra - 540

The Accidental Activist - Fredrik Svensk + Kristoffer Gansing - 552
'Our'chitecture - Jayson Claude - 559
Sex Workers' Manifesto - Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, Kolkata - 564
Bare Wiring - Sophea Lerner - 572

Notes on Contributors - 574
Image and Photo Credits - 581

Monica Narula [Raqs Media Collective]
29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110 054

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