Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring 2016
Mothering from the Margins: Critical Conversations
Amrita Banerjee, Karilemla
Arju as “Caring Space, In-Between”
Philosophical Reflections on “Care” from Ao Naga, India
Through a philosophical engagement with “Arju” (communal dormitories for children/adolescents among the Ao tribe, India), we develop a distinct conceptualization of it as “caring space, in-between”. In its various ontological, epistemological, and ethical dimensions, Arju becomes a space for mothering of Ao children and of caring for the tribe at large. It provides a basis for developing a notion of “caring space” within a philosophy of care. Finally, while theorizing its “in-between” character, we argue that Arju resists mapping onto dominant Western spatial binaries such as private/public, home/world, etc. This essay is not only an articulation of a non-dominant group’s philosophy of “mothering” and “care”, but also aims to create an alternative theoretical space from which to engage with the dominantly Western feminist philosophies of care.