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Facing FearThe History of an Emotion in Global Perspective$
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Michael Laffan and Max Weiss

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153599

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153599.001.0001

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Danger, Media, and the Urban Experience in Delhi

Danger, Media, and the Urban Experience in Delhi

(p.162) Chapter 8 Danger, Media, and the Urban Experience in Delhi
Facing Fear

Ravi Sundaram

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines some of the new media technologies of fear that emerged in urban Delhi during the postcolonial period, using the events of the Monkeyman panic as a point of departure. In 2001, Delhi was deluged by stories of a monkey-like creature that attacked people at night. These accounts, which combined both terror and the carnivalesque, originated almost exclusively from the proletarian and lower-middle-class neighborhoods of East Delhi and the nearby suburbs of Ghaziabad and Noida. Almost immediately a frenzy of media effects began with regular television and news reports, daily sightings, and television interviews given by victims of the so-called “Monkeyman.” The chapter explores how new technologies of fear, which intervene through media effects, and cultures of viral media proliferation combined to create productive situations of danger and an urban crisis that constantly exposed the fragility of institutions of power in Delhi in the 1990s.

Keywords:   media, fear, Delhi, Monkeyman panic, terror, fear, viral media, danger, urban crisis

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