A Tropical Flâneuse in Ahmedabad: Flânerie as a Decolonial Act





decolonial flâneuse, tropical flânerie, global consumerism, neoliberal capitalism, neocolonial, postcolonial Indian city, domestic interior


This paper reads Esther David’s book Ahmedabad: City with a Past as a tropical flâneuse’s exploration of the city of Ahmadabad. To this end, the article draws from Baudelaire and Benjamin’s idea of the flâneur, and re-articulates this masculine and temperate character. Esther David, the decolonial tropical flâneuse, critiques neocolonialism, manifested through the nexus of capitalist globalization, rapid urbanization and consumerism that has drastically altered the face of the city. This is done mostly by bringing out Ahmedabad’s hybrid identity of an old heritage city and a modern metropolis. The paper further analyzes the flâneuse’s connection with the postcolonial identity of the city and her endeavour to extend flânerie to domestic interiors exploring their relationship vis-à-vis the city.

Author Biographies

Sayani Konar, Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, India

Sayani Konar is a PhD Scholar in the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Management at Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, India. Coming from a country where a significant portion of the population engages in daily pedestrian movement, she was disheartened to discover the lack of substantial research on flanerie in Indian cities, except in the former colonial metropolises such as Calcutta and Mumbai. She hails from a city called Bardhhaman (formerly Burdwan under British rule), which retains memories of the colonial era. A significant remnant of that time is the Curzon gate, a historical landmark situated in the heart of the city, constructed to welcome Lord Curzon. As an individual with a postcolonial perspective, she writes with an awareness of the underrepresentation of towns and cities, beyond the imperial urban centres, in India's postcolonial urban discourse.

Punyashree Panda, Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, India

Punyashree Panda (PhD) is an Associate Professor of English at Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, India. She has widely published in the fields of Postcolonial World Literature, Indigenous Literature, Ecocriticism, Memory studies, Indian Writing in English, Cross Cultural Communication, and English Language Teaching including in Journal of American Studies, Journal of American Studies Turkey, UNITAS, IUP Journal of English Studies, Transnational Literature (CRENLE), Studies in American Humor, eTropic etc. Her works reflect a deep engagement with themes related to colonial legacies, decolonization, identity, memory, the environment, and the experiences of indigenous communities in a postcolonial context. Her book length study on Native North American Fiction titled Contemporary Native Fiction of the U.S. and Canada: A Postcolonial Study appeared with Bäuu Press, Colorado in 2011. She has also published a book titled The Local and the Global in Postcolonial Literature with AuthorsPress, New Delhi in 2014. Her book chapters have appeared in Palgrave MacMillan, Mythopoeic Press, Peter Lang, Atlantic Publishers, among others. Her edited book titled Mapping Memory in the Era of the Posthuman: India, Canada and the World will be shortly published by Bloomsbury India


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How to Cite

Konar, S., & Panda, P. (2023). A Tropical Flâneuse in Ahmedabad: Flânerie as a Decolonial Act. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 22(2), 170–192. https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.22.2.2023.3982