Issue 6: Mobs and Movements

Mar 2014

“The only way we understand things is by constructing narratives, and so there is a tension that exists between the fragment and the larger whole.” says Bilal Tanweer, author of the novel The Scatter Here Is Too Great who sat down with Erum Haider to discuss his debut novel. In this issue, we explore such tensions between the fragment and the whole: the mobs, the movements and the great teeming multitude.

In his review of The Corpse Washer, Rohit Chopra unpacks the beauty of this novel by Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon who refuses the erasure of Iraqi suffering in American narratives about the US occupation of Iraq.

Junaid Rana re-writes the struggles of migrant workers in the Gulf from one of misery and labor exploitation to one in which the workers themselves are also a savvy, critical mass that engage in strategies, tactics, and assessments, that is, politics.

The Man Who Could provides a look at Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary’s mixed legacy– the man who raised the troubles of ordinary lives to matters worthy of his court as well as the man seen as responsible for attempting to bring down Pakistan’s democratically-elected government.

Noaman G. Ali takes aim at the liberal narratives about “mob violence” in Pakistan along with Umair Javed who queries the “irrationality” of the “mob.” Evelyn P maps the history of Golden Dawn, Greece’s emerging neo-Nazi party. Drawing on his political ethnography of the local, everyday workings of the state, Ward Berenschot asks us to think about riot violence in South Asia outside narratives of primordial hatreds. Zehra Hashmi reviews Imran Qureshi’s exploration of Pakistan’s bloody present.

Slideshow photo credit: Asadullah Tahir

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