This essay explores the making of a radical cultural politics amid the global crisis of the 1930s and 1940s through a study of the life and work of dancer Si-lan Chen. Born in Trinidad to Afro-Caribbean and Chinese parents, trained as a ballerina in Moscow, and an active supporter of Chinese and other anti-imperialist movements, Chen toured the global South, worked in the United States, and returned to the West Indies during the early 1940s to play an integral role in the making of a transnational Caribbean cultural politics. Sine's research traces how Chen continually defied the racial, gender, national, and aesthetic boundaries she encountered in her life as she advanced a radical political vision that was global in its scope as well as its aspirations. Sine highlights how Chen challenged the rationalist premises governing modern, Western thought and stressed the interconnectivity of global popular emancipatory movements.
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Elizabeth E. Sine; The Radical Vision of Si-lan Chen: The Politics of Dance in an Age of Global Crisis. Small Axe 1 July 2016; 20 (2 (50)): 28–43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3626740
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