Nisha Ramayya

Cross-Referencing the Goddess
Methodology and Post-performance Critique
11th December @ 5.00pm


In this presentation I will revisit a work I performed in October: a 15-minute video and reading entitled ‘Cross-Referencing the Goddess’. This work was made in response to two Goddess events that I attended over Summer: Bonalu, a South-Indian harvest festival, and the Glastonbury Goddess Conference. The piece combines poetic methodology and ritual framework, shaking between two vastly different sites, spaces, celebrations, with only an abstract object in common. As I worked on the piece I thought it might raise some interesting questions; as I performed it before an audience, I was struck by how problematic it really is. In my discussion, I will be thinking about appropriation, cultural comparison, the use (and abuse?) of essentialism, shock tactics and the performance persona.

Brief bio
Nisha Ramayya is in the third year of a practice-based PhD in experimental feminist poetics. Her thesis considers certain aspects of feminist poetics – acknowledgement of a female literary lineage; the strategy of revisionist mythmaking; experimentation with authoritative texts (specifically dictionaries); and the female body in ritual performance – which are correlated with Hindu-Tantric traditions. She makes page-based and video works, and does occasional readings. Nisha recently contributed to Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words, Chapter 1 (


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