Military operations launched by Myanmars 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 states 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 nations already precarious ethnic and religious minorities contend with the new reality? AIBSs 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 worlds 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
5:00-6:00: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Hannah Beech, Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, The New York Times
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 Bangladeshs cultures, peoples and history. The first of its kind in the US, the Centers 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.