Hana Shams Ahmed
I am a first year PhD student of social anthropology at York University. 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 use a feminist political ecology framework to understand the relationship between the developmental state and ongoing slow violence and its impact on indigenous people’s access to land and natural resources in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. I will use a historical perspective to locate the resistance movement of the indigenous people in the context of British colonial politics of resource extraction and revenue collection. My research examines violence anthropologically, mapping its multiple and complex manifestations, and through a feminist political ecology perspective it analyzes ecological violence that is experienced at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality and livelihood. Over the last 10 years, I have conducted field-based work in CHT and have also been actively involved in following the regional politics. I will draw on my existing academic and activist networks as well as activist experience to explore the politics of land and land tenure and how the violence in the CHT can be traced to the social relations of property, law, and gendered and capital-driven development.
In Bangladesh I have worked as the coordinator of the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission (CHTC) since 2009. I have 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 also a contributing editor for Himal Southasian magazine.
Keywords: Bangladesh; Chittagong Hill Tracts; violence; indigenous people; feminist political ecology; postcolonial capitalism