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Cadavers, Transactions and Birth of Knowledge: Scanning Disposable Bodies in Padmanabhan's Harvest and the Visible Human Project

Asijit Datta

This paper attempts to read Manjula Padmanabhan’s play Harvest under the humanist scanner of the
Visible Human Project (VHP). The VHP not only dilutes the distinction between living and non-living
bodies, the project in turn metamorphoses human substance into bio-graphics. Appropriating the bodies
of the not-fully-humans and converting them into medical offerings and sacrificial objects are aspects
visible both in the field of VHP and the ever-expanding arena of organ ‘donation’. However,
Padmanabhan’s text destroys the myth of the renouncing, surrendering woman submitting her (dead)
body for the greater good of society through the libidinal, uncontrollable, interrogating body of Jaya.

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