The Spectral Wound- Sexual Violence, Public Memories and the Bangladesh War of 1971
Dr Nayanika Mookherjee’s Ph D thesis, published-recently by Duke University Press, The Spectral Wound- Sexual Violence, Public Memories and the Bangladesh War of 1971, is to be launched at Drik on Sunday January 3, 2016.
At Drik’s Book Launch, titled “Imaging the Birangona,” Dr Mookherjee will present photographs of birangonas, and reflect on dominant representations of women subjected to war rape in 1971. (Two other Book Launches of The Spectral Wound will be held: at JU Anthropology Department, and at Brac University).
Following the 1971 Bangladesh War, the Bangladesh government publicly designated the thousands of women raped by the Pakistani military and their local collaborators as birangonas, (“brave women”). Nayanika Mookherjee demonstrates that while this celebration of birangonas as heroes keeps them in the public memory, they exist in the public consciousness as what Mookherjee calls a spectral wound. Dominant representations of birangonas as dehumanized victims with disheveled hair, a vacant look, and rejected by their communities create this wound, the effects of which flatten the diversity of their experiences through which birangonas have lived with the violence of wartime rape. In critically examining the pervasiveness of the birangona construction, Mookherjee opens the possibility for a more politico-economic, ethical, and nuanced inquiry into the sexuality of war.
Award-winning photographer Taslima Akhter, who teaches at Pathshala, will be a discussant. The programme will be chaired by photographer and curator Dr. Shahidul Alam.
Time 5 pm Sunday January 3, 2016
Venue Drik Gallery, Rooftop, 2nd floor
Road 26, Dhanmondi, Dhaka
Photography Exhibtion at Drik Gallery