Subcultures to SabCulture: A Public Adda on Newness in Contemporary India

Our First Public Adda

Subcultures to SabCulture: A Public Adda on Newness in Contemporary India

11 November 2016 05:00PM

Words like ‘trending’, ‘cutting edge’, and ‘en vogue’ index the ways in which newness captivates the popular imagination. New things, be they mobile apps, art forms, ideas, or ways of doing old things, excite us in part because they agitate what exists, what is mundane, what is normal. Subcultures, from music to food to politics to fashion, act similarly, disrupting our senses, challenging what we think we know and how the world is ordered. 

Subcultures have also become the basis for multibillion-dollar industries, expansive legal and political reforms, and the latest in pop culture trends. But when do subcultures become ordered, Sab-cultures (mainstream)? And does mainstreaming disrupt the essence of being new, on the verge, edgy? 

Subcultures to Sab-culture: A Public Adda on Newness in Contemporary India curated by our scholar in residence from Brown University Brian A. Horton, brought together speakers from fields such as music, academia, dance, politics, and business to explore how subcultures initiate innovation in India as well as disquiet (and even challenge) everything from the goods we consume to our deepest beliefs.  

We presented the evening in the form of a public adda which featured Inclov founder Kalyani Khona, IIM Kozhikode Associate Professor in Humanities and Liberal Studies A.F. Mathew, house music scene pioneer Pearl, venture capitalist Sandeep Murthy and dance sensation and former Dance India Dance judge Terence Lewis.

We explored new ideas and celebrated one of India’s favorite pastimes: argumentation. 

Brian takes us through his curation process in a blogpost he specially wrote for the Lab. Read the piece here.