Giving voice to Kashmiri women, children trapped in a cycle of violence

Freny Manecksha’s book Behold, I Shine, moves the spotlight from a masculine narrative of the Kashmir conflict to one that focuses on how women and children live in a militarized zone. She says in a recent interview with Kashmir Observer:

 

 

 

 

My inability to comprehend Kashmiri also made me more aware about things like gestures and how gestures also needed translation. For example, I met a woman whose husband was coaxing her to speak of how she was once sexually violated by security forces. This had happened 11 years ago, so she was struggling to address the issue. She spoke to me about everything else like daily life, abuse and harassment by security personnel’s but just refused to talk about that particular night. Finally, when everyone left the room, just as I too was leaving, she pulled my hand and slipped her pheran off her shoulder. This was how she showed me what had happened to her.

 

The “transvestite narrative” lens to conflict aftermath

Professor Explores Gender Identity in Post-Conflict SocietiesErika Almenara is assistant professor of Latin American Literature and Culture for the World Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. A report on her work on gender identity in post-conflict societies.

Almenara studies the aftermath of human rights abuses in Peru and in Chile, particularly as they affect gender identity. She spent four weeks in Latin America in May and June, conducting research in Lima and Santiago de Chile.

“I think that in order to talk about these periods of violence, you cannot tell the stories from only the singular self,” she said. “These languages need to be both individual and common, distinctly individual yet somehow representative of many.

“By acting in a transvestite way, these narratives destroy the notion of the self. That’s a powerful and innovative way to talk about suffering, to talk about memory, to talk about violence.”

More on her work here.

Poetry for peace in Pakistan’s KP province

Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been ravaged by war for a decade now. Poets from the region have joined forces to spread the dsc04774message of peace. More than 300 books have been written on the subject of “peace” over the last decade.

 

Read more about the peace poetry movement in Asia Times.