BORDERLANDS PROJECT

Lawyer,theorist, writer, and photographer  Suchitra Vijayan is working on a 9,000-mile journey through the borders of South Asia. From Afghanistan and Pakistan to India’s borders with Burma, China, and Bangladesh to the occupied territory of Kashmir, the Borderlands Project brings studied intelligence in conflict and political anthropology as well as an emotional sensitivity to the tremors…

The State as Executioner

First published on Warscapes  “The [Bahraini] Khalifa family are oppressors and Sunnis are not responsible for their actions. They are not Sunnis, they are tyrants. The Assad family in Syria are oppressors and Shias are not responsible for their actions. Never defend an oppressor. It is never justified for someone who is oppressed to defend…

Suchitra Vijayan on the Politics and Rhetoric of the Refugee Crisis

The co-founder of the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo during the Iraq War, Suchitra Vijayan discusses the refugee crisis from a legal, political, and humanitarian point of view. She details the remarkable empathy needed to work in the field and why the United States and Europe have an ethical responsibility to respond to the situation.

Obama’s drone wars

First published in The Hindu on Oct 26, 2015 “I no longer like blue skies. In fact, I prefer gray skies. When the sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear.” In October 2013, Rafiq ur Rehman, a Pakistani primary school teacher appeared on Capitol Hill with his children, Zubair, 13, and Nabila, 9,…

A Metaphor for Brutality

The essay was originally published in the Hindu Sunday Magazine Nelson Mandela was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award by the government of India in 1980.  The then ANC President Oliver Tambo accepted the award on behalf of Mandela, who was still a political prisoner on Robben Island in South Africa. Accepting the award, Tambo remarked,…

Haiti : Disaster Ruins everythings

This was first published in Warscapes and a short version appeared in the Hindu Sunday Magazine. “The disaster ruins everything, all the while leaving everything intact. …Remembrance of the disaster which could be the gentlest want of foresight.” – Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of Disaster It had been a few weeks since the earthquake. The…

The Fallacy of Failed States

“There is no steady unretracing progress in this life; we do not advance through fixed gradations, and at the last one pause…” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick The annual Failed (Fragile) States Index, includes over 100 sub-indicators of state failure grouped into twelve primary social, economic and political indicators. The “top 10” states on the…

The State and the Selfie: India and Slacktivism

The Monograph was originally published in Warscapes Magazine Our thoughts, feelings, desires and actions are being robotized; ‘life’ is coming to mean feeding apparatuses and being fed by them. In short: Everything is becoming absurd. So where is there room for human freedom?”                        …