Chair: JISHA MENON, Stanford University
ANANYA JAHANARA KABIR, University of Leeds
"The Entire Map of the Lost will be Candled: Archives and Counter- Archives for Kashmir"
The link between the archive, colonialism, and melancholia, now well established in scholarship, has its inevitable repercussions on the postcolonial nation as inheritor of colonial archiving practices. The postcolonial archive is fraught with contradictions that become most visible at the sutures of the metropolitan and the marginal. Is a form of postcolonial, counter-archival vigilance possible that reroutes the power of the archive in favour of the marginalized and oppressed citizen, or is such an attempt doomed by the archive’s inherent and persistent contradictions? What might such counter-archives look like, even in provisional form? My contribution to the Grounding Kashmir symposium will pose and probe such questions by focusing on the possibility of counter-archives for Kashmir.
NOSHEEN ALI, Stanford University
"Vexed Emotions: Of Desire, Suspicion, and Sacrifice in Gilgit-Baltistan"
“Pakistan nay humaray ahsaasat key saath khela hai” “Pakistan has manipulated/abused our emotions”
This is a refrain that is often chanted in Gilgit-Baltistani protests against the Pakistan state, and came up repeatedly during my own interviews and field research in the region. People in Gilgit-Baltistan attribute their political predicament not just to a lack of rights as a result of being imbricated in the Kashmir dispute, but fundamentally to the lack of “trust” (bharosa/aitmad) in the region by the Pakistani state authorities, which signifies a “betrayal” (be-wafai/dhoka) of the region’s own “love” (muhabbat) and “loyalty” (wafadari) to Pakistan. “Pakistan is not sincere with us” – as one interviewee commented to me. In this paper, I argue that we need to take these sentiments of emotional insincerity and ill will seriously, in order to attend to the affective experience of dispossession and (non)- citizenship as well as to gain a grounded understanding of the Kashmir conflict. Simultaneously, we need to grasp how emotion is also a key site for the normalizing processes of state-making in Kashmir, forming the very substance of governing projects instead of its embellishment (Stoler 2004).
MONA BHAN, Depauw University
"Nature, Water and Bioscripts: Public Interest Litigations and the Cultural Politics of Environmentalism in Kashmir, India"