Arts and Culture
The outburst of works on borderlands, contact zones, migrations, transculturation and flows, and the resulting hybridity, mestizaje, and créolité has "activated" the term border far beyond its original formulation. Interactions between space and time, identity and difference, global and local, transnational and national, conjuncturalism and politics, become important in the study of borders. Contested imperial, national, or tribal claims to territorial control were one of the common causes of borderlands conditions.
During the Portuguese colonial presence in India, Kathiawar became a border for some reasons as encroaching Portuguese, English and Dutch imperial powers clashed with Indian society, resulting in hybrid and exceptional cultures as well as uncommon power structures. Diu is a former Portuguese colonial city for centuries tributary and first of the Mughals and later of the Portuguese, peripheral to Kathiawar of present-day Gujarat (sub-region of India bordered by the gulfs of Cambay and Kutch, salt flats and the Indus Delta). Diu was an exception in all European colonial settlements in Asia due to its border “status.”
Such conditions provided ‘‘borderlands people’’ and groups, people of ethnic/racial minorities or of different social standing, with increased agency which they used to enhance their political, economic, and military standing. In light of these multiple and contradictory border legacies, how might be written the history of Diu and the history of European colonial cities in India shaped through fragments and moulded through narratives that selectively appropriated European colonial definitions and categories is the answer we will try to give.