Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Middle East Section
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Violence
Secondary Theme: Resistance
In the recent years, Kurdistan has faced excessive eruptions of violence that have transformed social life in all the four parts. Ethnographers working on different manifestations of violence remind us that what is at stake is never “simply destruction but also reconstruction, not just death but also survival” (Nordstrom, Robben, 1995). At the intersection of war, occupation and ongoing violence in the region, ethnography enables us to capture intimate sentiments of the everyday. It documents lived experiences, people’s creative responses to the “absurdity of war”, “everydayness and incomprehensibility of violence”, and its “contradictory realities” (ibid.)
This panel aims to bring interdisciplinary researchers together to discuss everyday encounters of violence, resistance, and resilience in Kurdistan. It provides a space to track the contemporary ethnographies of Kurdistan by looking at a range of sites such as the bodybuilding gyms, Islamist circles and Civil Society Organisations, and the mundane space-making practices under fire. The panel also examines the broader issues of localization of capitalism, alternative justice systems and the question of indigenousness regarding Kurdish ethnic identity. In so doing, we hope to map the possible changes in the anthropological imagination of the Kurdish studies whilst examining issues around resistance, resilience, and adaptation in everyday life in Kurdistan.
Some of the questions we would like to tackle in this panel are:
1. What are the new forms of resistance and resilience, and creative ways of resisting oppression in the Kurdish regions?
2. How do the recent political developments in the region affect organization of space and social life?
3. What are the potential limitations and obstacles in conducting ethnographies of Kurdistan?
4. In what ways could contemporary ethnographies of violence and resistance on Kurdistan could inform and challenge the anthropological imagination of Kurdish studies?