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Negotiating diasporic culture: festival collaborations and production networks

Alison Booth (Department of Tourism and Events, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand )

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 6 June 2016




Within New Zealand, cultural festivals play a vital role in the local representation of diasporic cultures. By analysing the production design of festivals, in Auckland, New Zealand representing Indian culture between 1995 and 2015, the purpose of this paper is to create a deeper understanding of collaborative networks and power relationships. Using Richard’s pulsar/iterative network theory and Booth’s notion of cultural production networks, a new theoretical model is proposed to visually track the collaborative networks that sustain and bridge cultures, empower communities and fulfil political agendas.


This ethnographic research draws upon event management studies, industry practice, ethnomusicology and sociology to take a multi-disciplinary approach to an applied research project. Using Richards’ pulsar and iterative event framework Castells’ network theory, combined with qualitative data, this research considers critical collaborative relationships clusters and how they might impact on the temporal nature of festivals.


The 1997 Festival of Asia and the subsequent Lantern Festival in 2000 and Diwali: Festival of Lights in 2002 were pulsar events that played a significant role in collaborative networks that expand across cultures, countries and traditions. The subsequent iterative events have played a vital role in the representation of Asian cultural identity in general and, more specifically, representing of the city’s growing – in both size and cultural diversity – Indian diaspora.


This research proposes a new conceptual model on festival management and diasporic communities in the Asia-Pacific region. Richards’ and Booth’s conceptual models are used, as a starting point, to offer a new way of considering the importance of looking at collaborative relationships through historical perspectives. The framework explored contributes a new approach to cultural festival network theory and a means to understand the complexity of networks required that engage actors from inside and outside both local and global communities.



Booth, A. (2016), "Negotiating diasporic culture: festival collaborations and production networks", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 100-116.



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