Representations of heterotopic spaces in Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s plays Behsharam and Khandan

Öztop, Abdülhüda
Heterotopia has always caused controversy among the critics ever since Foucault’s use. However, it has also been adopted to theatre and applied in exploring theatre’s spatiality. This thesis aims at bringing up to the surface the spatiality of two plays Behsharam (2001) and Khandan (2014) by a contemporary British Sikh playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti because heterotopic spaces in the plays enable the British audience to think about an alternate ordering of the society. The spatial dimension of these two plays provides with two distinct poles contrasting each other and contesting contemporary issues. Between the opposing poles heterotopias emerge leading to a re-thinking of the immigrants and their experiences in Britain. While in the first play heterotopias are generated around the members of an almost disentangled Sikh family, the latter grants such spaces around a Sikh family as a whole providing a comparison to a white family. Even though the heterotopias generated through the plays have common characteristics with Foucault’s heterotopia, they have more in common with the later critics’ concerns. Scholars such as Lefebvre, Harvey and most contemporarily Joanne Tompkins, who adjusted the term for use in theatre studies blend the term with social and cultural politics. Therefore, it is inevitable to establish a connection between heterotopias in the plays and the social politics regarding the immigrant communities, particularly the British Sikh community. This thesis, consequently, aims to put forth the heterotopias emerging in Bhatti’s recent plays shedding light onto the social and cultural politics concerning the Sikh community.