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, Tibet and Bangladesh to the contested territory of Kashmir, the Borderlands Project brings studied intelligence in conflict and political anthropology as well as an emotional sensitivity to the tremors on human lives and human events caused by borders.
The Project began in 2012 when Suchitra was a graduate student at Yale, where she spent two years researching and documenting stories along the contentious Durand Line. She was embedded with the US Military – 172 infantry brigade, in Paktika Province, Afghanistan conducting research on key kinetic terrains in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Since graduating from Yale, she has been travelling, researching and writing her book Borderlands : A journey through India’s Borders. The work is both ethnographic and analytical, requiring a patient immersion into the lives and lived realities of those confronting the political realities of the border and a framework of inquiry that can interrogate the anecdotes.
The project research is done through in-depth field interviews, set against over four years of research in political history, constitutional and legal history of the subcontinent. Suchitra has already travelled over 6000 miles; this includes the border with Bangladesh, Tawang region that borders China and parts of Nagaland that border Burma in 2013. She conducted fieldwork in Kashmir region, and along the Line of Control in 2014 and 2015. She is currently finishing her final leg of travel and research.
For more information about the book / media queries, please contact: email@example.com.
Photo-essays, cartographic study and essays have already appeared in The Hindu, Foreign Policy, GQ, and Warscapes where a diverse, domestic and international audience has already engaged with the ideas.
Public engagement, it an essential part of the project and it has been featured in BBC / PRI Radio podcast; Public talks at The Indian Consulate, New York, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, Warscapes magazine’s Public Lecture series, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, Huffington Post Magazine, and Asia Society to name a few.
You can see her talks and interviews about the book here:
What it’s like on a 9,000-mile journey along India’s borders – Interview with The PRI World/ BBC.
WARSCAPES PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES
Fieldnotes from Kashmir; Repression and Resistance
Militarization in India & Beyond: Suchitra Vijayan & the Borderlands Project , Carnegie Council, New York