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Open Access Local Flows: The Pleasure-centric Turn in Human Rights Advocacy in South Asia

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Local Flows: The Pleasure-centric Turn in Human Rights Advocacy in South Asia

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This paper examines localized activism conducted through Anglophone Kashmiri literary fiction and by South Asian feminist social justice movements such as Girls at Dhabas and Why Loiter, in order to analyze the emergence of a pleasure-centric model of human rights advocacy in the South Asian region. Life narratives and testimonies foregrounding bodily pain, torture and victimization are ubiquitous within international human rights advocacy campaigns. South Asian activist movements have, however, suggested an alternative to this suffering-centered mode of advocacy; they foreground the effectiveness and emotional resonance of narratives of pleasure instead. This paper builds on existing scholarship focusing on the way in which insights from human rights activism conducted in local cultural contexts can be translated back to the global and how they can in turn potentially transform international practices of human rights advocacy, rather than always the other way around.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Utrecht University, R.Rizwan@uu.nl

10.1163/22112596-02201003
/content/journals/10.1163/22112596-02201003
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This paper examines localized activism conducted through Anglophone Kashmiri literary fiction and by South Asian feminist social justice movements such as Girls at Dhabas and Why Loiter, in order to analyze the emergence of a pleasure-centric model of human rights advocacy in the South Asian region. Life narratives and testimonies foregrounding bodily pain, torture and victimization are ubiquitous within international human rights advocacy campaigns. South Asian activist movements have, however, suggested an alternative to this suffering-centered mode of advocacy; they foreground the effectiveness and emotional resonance of narratives of pleasure instead. This paper builds on existing scholarship focusing on the way in which insights from human rights activism conducted in local cultural contexts can be translated back to the global and how they can in turn potentially transform international practices of human rights advocacy, rather than always the other way around.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22112596-02201003
2017-10-05
2018-10-16

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