(2011). ”Johnny Gurkha loves a party”: the colonial film archive and the racial imaginary of the worker-warrior.
In: Grieveson, Lee and MacCabe, Colin eds.
Film and the End of Empire.
London: British Film Institute/Palgrave, pp. 119–134.
The representation of the Gurkhas as a military force belongs within UK colonial film archive for several compelling reasons. It offers a chance to re-examine the precepts and conditions of military service under the different stages of imperial rule, seen from both British and South Asian perspectives. The British military system in India had a profound impact not just on the administration of the Raj but also Britain’s capability as a European power throughout the twentieth century. The representation of Gurkhas as an exceptional group of soldiers, who to this day are strategically deployed in a global counter-insurgency on Britain’s behalf, reveals the durability of colonial constructs of ethnic difference derived from the history of military orientalism. Their place within the colonial film archive provides another opportunity to dissect and dissemble the racial imaginary as part of a wider project to address the aftermath of European colonial rule.
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