Upcoming Events

Beyond the Crisis Narrative

Beyond the Crisis Narrative

  9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  10 (ISAS Conf. Room) Stephens Hall

Samira Siddique
Sanchita B. Saxena
Rohini J. Haar
Ruhul Abid
Christopher LeBoa
Steve Ross
Lawrence Cohen
Shireen Huq
Rahima Begum
Prashanta Tripura
Yasmin Ullah
Khatharya Um
Ashley Toombs
Sharif Mukul
Mabrur Ahmed
Isha Ray
Hannah Beech
Dina Siddiqi
Ali Riaz
Richard Spees
Patrick DeSutter
Navine Murshid

Military operations launched by Myanmar’s armed forces on August 25, 2017 initiated the desperate flight of over 700,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh. The August incident represented a condensed and especially violent manifestation of a much longer history, of a sustained and highly systematic campaign of persecution not just by the army, but by other state and non-state actors as well. The genocidal violence and savagery, along with the sheer scale of displacement forced global attention to the Myanmar state’s long-term efforts to excise the Rohingya from the body politic. Notably, over 200,000 Rohingya had already sought shelter in Bangladesh long before the 2017 event.

What does the current impasse mean for those trapped indefinitely inside the camps? What kinds of opportunities, including emergent forms of criminality and illegality, are opened up by the emergence of camps? What are the environmental costs and who bears them? How do the nation’s already precarious ethnic and religious minorities contend with the new reality? AIBS’s traveling conference will address these and other critical questions.

We will use this opportunity to:
1) disentangle the various myths and narratives around Rohingya identity and claims to Myanmar citizenship, especially in relation to Bengali/Bangladeshi identity;
2) analyze the multilayered and often contradictory implications -- for the Bangladeshi state, transnational actors, and various communities within its borders -- of living in/hosting what is now apparently the world’s largest refugee camp; and
3) possibilities for moving forward, including Bangladeshi efforts to take the issue to the ICC.

Join us on Friday, February 7, 2020 for a one day conference titled Beyond the Crisis Narrative: Rohingya Statelessness and its implications for Bangladesh, and hear from scholars, activists, and members of the community as they grapple with these issues.


9:00-9:20: Event opening
• Sanchita Saxena, Executive Director, Institute for South Asia Studies and the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, UC Berkeley)
• Rick Spees, Executive Director, CAORC

9:30-11:00: Statelessness & the Politics of the Nation
• Navine Murshid, Associate Professor of Political Science, Colgate University
• Steve Ross, Senior Advisor and Program Director, Richardson Center for Global Engagement
• Ali Riaz, Professor Political Science, Illinois State University
• Patrick DeSutter, Anthropology PhD student, UC Berkeley
• Moderator: Dina Siddiqi, Clinical Associate Professor, Liberal Studies, NYU

11:15-12:45: Violence and Identity
• Shireen Huq, Founder, Narippokho
• Rahima Begum, Co-Director, Restless Beings
• Prashanta Tripura, Project Director, Aparajita
• Yasmin Ullah, President, Rohingya Human Rights Network
• Moderator: Khatharya Um, Professor, South and Southeast Asian Studies and Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

1:30-3:00: Physical and Mental Health in the Rohingya Camps
• Rohini Haar, Lecturer, Epidemiology & Research Fellow, Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley
• Ruhul Abid, Associate Professor, Brown University Medical School
• Christopher LeBoa, Researcher, Department of Epidemiology, Stanford University
• Moderator: Lawrence Cohen, Professor, Medical Anthropology, UC Berkeley

3:15-4:45: Development Interventions
• Ashley Toombs, Director of External Affairs, BRAC USA
• Samira Siddique, PhD Student, Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley
• Sharif Mukul, Research Fellow, Tropical Forests and People Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
• Mabrur Ahmed, Director, Restless Beings
• Moderator: Isha Ray, Professor, Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley

• Hannah Beech, Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, The New York Times

6:00-6:30: Reception

Event is FREE and OPEN to the public.

Established in 2013 with a generous gift from the Subir & Malini Chowdhury Foundation, The Subir & Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies at UC Berkeley champions the study of Bangladesh’s cultures, peoples and history. The first of its kind in the US, the Center’s mission is to create an innovative model combining research, scholarships, the promotion of art and culture, and the building of ties between institutions in Bangladesh and the University of California.

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Please note that parking in not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.

We are located at 10 Stephens Hall on UC Berkeley's campus. Please click this Google Maps Link and enter your point of departure.