The Polis Project, Inc is a hybrid research and journalism organization producing knowledge about some of the most important issues affecting us, by amplifying diverse perspectives from those indigenous to the conflicts and crisis affecting our world today.
UK’s racialized immigration policies: Francesca Recchia in conversation with Helidah Ogude Chambert
In this podcast, Francesca Recchia sits down with Helidah Ogude Chambert to discuss the racism and xenophobia inherent in the United Kingdom’s immigration policies, where it stems from and which communities are particularly vulnerable to it and why.
The Genocidal Gaze: A conversation with Elizabeth Baer
Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Elizabeth Baer about her book "The Genocidal Gaze."
The first genocide of the twentieth century, though not well known, was committed by Germans between 1904–1907 in the country we know today as Namibia, where they exterminated hundreds of Herero and Nama people and subjected the surviving indigenous men, women, and children to forced labor. The perception of Africans as subhuman—lacking any kind of civilization, history, or meaningful religion—and the resulting justification for the violence against them is what author Elizabeth R. Baer refers to as the “genocidal gaze,” an attitude that was later perpetuated by the Nazis. In The Genocidal Gaze: From German Southwest Africa to the Third Reich, Baer uses the metaphor of the gaze to trace linkages between the genocide of the Herero and Nama and that of the victims of the Holocaust. Significantly, Baer also considers the African gaze of resistance returned by the indigenous people and their leaders upon the German imperialists.
Terror Capitalism - A conversation with Darren Byler
Suchitra Vijayan speaks to Darren Byler about his book Terror Capitalism: Uyghur Dispossession and Masculinity in a Chinese City.
In Terror Capitalism anthropologist Darren Byler theorizes the contemporary Chinese colonization of the Uyghur Muslim minority group in the northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang. He shows that the mass detention of over one million Uyghurs in “reeducation camps” is part of processes of resource extraction in Uyghur lands that have led to what he calls terror capitalism—a configuration of ethnoracialization, surveillance, and mass detention that in this case promotes settler colonialism. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the regional capital Ürümchi, Byler shows how media infrastructures, the state’s enforcement of “Chinese” cultural values, and the influx of Han Chinese settlers contribute to Uyghur dispossession and their expulsion from the city. He particularly attends to the experiences of young Uyghur men—who are the primary target of state violence—and how they develop masculinities and homosocial friendships to protect themselves against gendered, ethnoracial, and economic violence. By tracing the political and economic stakes of Uyghur colonization, Byler demonstrates that state-directed capitalist dispossession is coconstructed with a colonial relation of domination.
How home disappeared: Twenty years after the Gujarat pogrom
Twenty years after the Gujarat pogrom, Suchitra Vijayan speaks to Zahir Janmohamed about the moment, his experience on the ground and his work since. The conversation delves into the deep seated anti-Muslim sentiment in India and looks for ways to heal.
The conversation was originally held as a Twitter Space session.
Reproductive Politics and the Making of Modern India: A conversation with Mytheli Sreenivas
In this conversation, Urvi Khaitan sits down with Mytheli Sreenivas to discuss her book, "Reproductive Politics and the Making of Modern India'. The book explores colonial administrators, postcolonial development experts, nationalists, eugenicists, feminists, and family planners all aimed to reform reproduction to transform both individual bodies and the body politic.
India's Undeclared Emergency: Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Arvind Narrain
In this conversation, Suchitra Vijayan speaks to Arvind Narrain about his book India's Undeclared Emergency: Constitutionalism and the Politics of Resistance. They touch upon the provisions in the constitution that have been interpreted to shove India into an unofficial emergency situation, reflect on how this compares to India's emergency of the 1970s and imagine what the way forward can look like.