Negotiation, Resistance and Confrontation - Karththiha Suvendranathan & Kiran Grewal on the 'The Challenges of Inter-Ethnic Women’s Activism in Eastern Sri Lank'
On Easter Sunday 2019 Sri Lanka was rocked by a series of bombings across the island, later claimed to be the work of an Islamic Extremist organization, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath. This unleashed a wave of anti-Muslim retaliatory attacks and has left the Island scarred by further inter-communal tension and division. One of the places particularly badly affected was the multi-ethnic, multi-religious town of Batticaloa in Eastern Sri Lanka.
In this presentation and conversation Karththiha Suvendranathan will reflect on her own experience as a women’s rights activist in Batticaloa. Using Nira Yuval-Davis’ concept of ‘transversal politics’, Karththiha will explore the ways that she and other women’s rights activists from different ethnic and religious backgrounds are trying to come together in the face of extreme ethnic polarization, nationalism and fundamentalism. In particular, Karththiha will focus on the ways in which activists negotiate their identities in their interactions with the community and amongst themselves.
Karththiha Suvendranathan is a feminist activist and researcher from Batticaloa district, Eastern Sri Lanka. From 2004 to 2016 Karththiha worked for Home for Human Rights (HHR). Since resigning from her job at HHR Karththiha has been working as a freelance trainer and researcher on Women’s Rights. She is also a committed and passionate activist. She is a founding member of the Samathai (Equality) Feminist Collective and a member of the Women’s Coalition for Disaster Management.
Kiran is a Reader in Human Rights in the Department of Sociology. Kiran’s research is particularly concerned with the interactions between legal frameworks and social justice struggles of marginalized and/or subaltern groups. Kiran is currently working on a project entitled, ‘The Everyday Life of Human Rights’ focused on subaltern engagements with the language and institutions of human rights in post-war Sri Lanka.
Feminist Conversations is a series of events curated by the Centre for Feminist Research that makes space for collaborative, creative, and engaged discussions between feminist scholars, writers, thinkers, artists, activists, students, and teachers. The series centres feminists who are Black, Indigenous, and Women of Colour, Queer, Trans, Gender Non-Binary and Non-Conforming, Working Class, Dalit/Bahujan, Precarious, Disabled, and Doctoral Students.
The venue (RHB 142) is located on the ground floor and is step-free and wheelchair accessible. The room will be scent-free and various lighting and seating options are available. There are gender neutral bathrooms on the same floor near Curzon Cinema. If there is anything we can do to make the room accessible or comfortable for you, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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