Bénarès  in the Indian Ocean:  circulating, connecting and creolizing island stories

As a place that is believed in Hindu mythology to be both at the centre of the earth and sitting above the Earth; as a crossing place between worlds; and as a place of creation, Benares, the city, can be read as the symbolic locus of transoceanic connections and circulations at the core of thousands of stories that make  up the Indian Ocean.  In this paper I will unravel some of the circulating, connecting  and creolizing tales of Bénarès to elucidate the dynamic, multilayered and polyphonic nature of Indian Ocean island cultures. The paper is based on an inter-textual reading of the fictional worlds of  Francophone Mauritian writer and filmmaker Barlen Pyamotoo.

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