Mir Fatimah Kanth

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, San Diego, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10317

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Kanth, Mir Fatimah (California, San Diego, U. of) "Charm Offensive: Counterinsurgency, Everyday Life and Youth in Kashmir"

Anthropological studies of counterinsurgency and militarism show how liberal states often disguise war-making through apolitical projects of humanitarianism, aid, and development to win the hearts and minds of civilian populations. In Indian occupied Kashmir, a range of new militarized projects characterized as “perception management” and “de-radicalization” strategies specifically target youth populations affectively, socially, and behaviorally, deterring their participation in the movement for self-determination by transforming them into loyal and grateful Indian nationals. Through a multi-sited ethnography across three districts of Kashmir–Srinagar, Baramulla, and Budgam–my project examines how Kashmiri youth experience and engage in these programs of militarized recreation, which includes sports training, and skills development programs. This project examines militarized recreation as a subject-making apparatus, shows how spaces of leisure are newly militarized through covert forms of state violence and traces how youth themselves navigate these spaces to cultivate bodily practices and desires. In so doing, this project contributes to ongoing anthropological conversations on the militarization of everyday life, while also offering an account of new modalities of youth subjectivity and being that go beyond often-attributed positions as passive victims or angry protestors.