Hana Shams Ahmed
I am a PhD student of social anthropology at York University, Canada and a Graduate Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). I have an MA in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada and an MA in development studies from BRAC University, Bangladesh. In my MA research I looked at Tourism and state violence in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.
My PhD research will look at Bangladeshi indigenous activists’ international political activity as well as their national activities seeking constitutional legal recognition in Bangladesh. Appreciating that ethnic minority groups in post-colonial nation-states in South Asia are going through a process of decolonization and that national identity formation is a process of decolonization politics, I seek to ascertain how indigenous activists collectively mobilize on national, international and transnational political scales to express dissent and seek social justice. I ask how indigenous groups use national and international laws in their social struggles and efforts to obtain greater political autonomy and land, language, resource and cultural rights.
In Bangladesh I worked as the coordinator of the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) for six years from 2009-2015. I have also previously worked as the Assistant Editor of the Forum magazine, a monthly news magazine of The Daily Star and as a Feature Writer for The Star magazine, a weekly magazine of The Daily Star. I am a member of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional adviser for Bangladesh at the Urgent Action Fund for Women Human Rights (UAF), and a member of Moulik Odhikar Shurokkha Committee (Committee for the Protection of Fundamental Rights).
Keywords: Social justice, Indigenous people, human rights, transnational social movements, postcolonial states, nationalism