ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

30- Creative and social engagement with conflict: a perspective from the South Asian Diaspora

A 2020 Carnegie report on South Asia states that “the first decade of the twenty-first century saw areas of intense violence across the region” and it lists political conflicts in Kashmir, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Convenors

Dr Deimantas Valanciunas - Vilnius University
Dr Clelia Clini - Loughborough University London

Long Abstract

A 2020 Carnegie report on South Asia states that “the first decade of the twenty-first century saw areas of intense violence across the region” and it lists political conflicts in Kashmir, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Even though conflict, ranging from the farmers’ protest in India, to the political turmoil of Sri Lanka, and increasing communal violence etc., is often framed within the domain of politics, these are never isolated cases, often manifesting in the cultural and social life of the subcontinent. Episodes of violence and conflict in the region are the consequence of unresolved tensions and traumatic historical legacies often dating back to colonial times, which also often involve the state as a violent actor. These conflicts, however, are never contained within South Asia, but often spill over in the diaspora, influencing not only migration flows, but also the diverse ways the diaspora deals with and rethinks them. This panel will thus open up a space of reflection on diasporic engagements with conflict. A diasporic perspective is here intended as that point of view that emerges at the intersection of “narratives from annals of collective memory and -re-memory” (Brah 1996, 196) and which, therefore, encompasses tensions emerging from narratives from the homeland, past and present, and experiences of life outside of the diaspora. As this perspective might be innovative and hybrid in nature, and it might fuel a “diasporic imaginary” (Mishra 2017), the panel will showcase the creative engagement with the conflict in the diasporic space through different media: literature, film, music, performative arts, social networks and activism.