The Polis Project launches our online conversation series — Dispatches, Conversations during a lockdown. We will be live streaming these conversations, on our Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook pages.

With communities around the world currently living under various degrees of quarantine,  lockdowns and even curfews, these conversations are a way to centre and amplify the diverse voices, concerns and struggles. We are living through a unique historical moment, that requires solidarity, empathy and more importantly ways to reaffirm our shared humanity. The coming weeks and months will be chaotic, along with an unprecedented expansion of executive power that will encroach civil liberties, further expand surveillance architectures, and entrench already existing inequalities. The borders will be sealed, the communities already struggling under state violence, and living through conflict will become invisible and erased from news cycles.

While there is much to despair, these moments are also moments to think about radically remaking our world, and about new possibilities. To continue to engage, even if it is only online for now.

If you have a suggestion of whom we could invite, please contact:

Vaishali Patra or Anica Singh

To keep up to date, subscribe to our newsletter

15 January, 2021

Ep 30: Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Ravinder Kaur and Omair Ahmad

Suchitra Vijayan reviews the year 2020 with guests Ravinder Kaur and Omair Ahmad. Kaur is a historian of contemporary India and Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen. Ahmad is an author and the South Asia editor of The Third Pole, a multilingual platform dedicated to promoting information and discussion about the Himalayan watershed and the rivers that originate there. The full episode is available on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

17 December, 2020

Ep 29: Francesca Recchia in conversation with Sharjeel Usmani, Ladeeda Farzana, and Aysha Renna

For this episode, Francesca Recchia talks about ‘AMU and Jamia – one year on’ with Sharjeel Usmani, student leader and independent researcher; Ladeeda Farzana, student activist from Jamia Milia; and Aysha Renna, a Muslim student activist. This conversation is available on our YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter platforms.

4 December, 2020

Ep 28: Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Ameya Bokil, Srujana Bej, and Nikita Sonavane

For this episode, Suchitra Vijayan talks to the guests about ‘Law and Impunity: Policing During the Lockdown.’
Ameya Bokil and Nikita Sonavane are the co-founders of Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPA Project), a Bhopal based litigation and research intervention focused on building accountability against criminalization of marginalized communities by the Police and the criminal justice system and press for decarceration. They both have previously worked with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Ahmedabad.
Srujana Bej is a research associate at the CPA Project. She graduated from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad in 2019. Her fieldwork on the impact of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication on the right to food in Telangana has been cited in the Indian Parliament and by the Supreme Court of India.
The full episode is available on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

20 November, 2020

Ep 27: Francesca Recchia in conversation with Asim Qureshi

For this episode, The Polis Project’s Francesca Rechhia talks to Asim Qureshi, Research Director at CAGE UK and author of I Refuse to Condemn (Manchester University Press, 2020) about the normalization of racism and Islamophobia. The full conversation is available on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

13 November, 2020

Ep 26: Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Ravi Ragbir and Tanvi Misra

The topic for this episode is ‘What the Biden Presidency Means for Immigration Policy.’ Ravi Ragbir is an NYC immigrant rights activist and Executive Director of New Sanctuary Coalition of New York. Tanvi Misra covers immigration policy for Congressional Quaterly/Roll Call in Washington D.C. Her writing and radio work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Bloomberg CityLab, National Public Radio, and BBC.
This episode is available on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

6 November, 2020

Ep 25: Nida Kirmani in conversation with Dr. Ayra Indrias Patras and Prof. Amen Jaffer

This episode is guest hosted by Nida Kirmani, associate professor of sociology at
Lahore University of Management Sciences. She talks to Dr. Ayra Indrias Patras and Prof. Amen Jaffer about the relevance of caste in Pakistan.
Dr. Ayra Indrias Patras is a researcher, writer, and member of the National Lobbying Delegation on Minority Rights.
Dr. Amen Jaffer is an assistant professor in the faculty of humanities and social sciences at International Technology University, Lahore.
This episode can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

30 October, 2020

Ep 24: Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Ajaypal Singh Brar and Navyug Gill

This episode revolves around the farmers’ protests in Punjab and the political economy of resistance. Ajaypal Singh Brar is one of the five-member committees of farmers protests being held at Shambu in Punjab. He is a political activist, author, and commentator. A graduate engineer who attended business school and has worked at the management level in the industry he pursues farming as a profession on his ancestral land. Navyug Gill is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at William Paterson University. He received a PhD from Emory University, and a BA from the University of Toronto. His research lies at the intersection of agrarian political economy, labor history, postcolonial critique and comparative histories of global capital.

The full conversation is available on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

23 October, 2020

Ep 23: Francesca Recchia in conversation with Marvi Sirmed and Ayesha Siddiqa

The Polis Project’s Francesca Recchia in conversation with Marvi Sirmed, journalist, human rights defender, and senior correspondent at The Daily Times, and Ayesha Siddiqa, Pakistani political scientist and a research associate at the SOAS Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy. They will be discussing the ongoing mass protests in Pakistan and what comes next.

The conversation is available on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

9 October, 2020

Ep 22: Cynthia Stephen in conversation with Kunal Ambasta and N. Jayaram

This episode is guest hosted by Cynthia Stephen, a scholar, independent researcher, activist, and journalist. She discusses ‘Death Penalty: Caste and the access to justice in India’ with Kunal Ambasta, Assistant Professor of Law at NLSIU, Bangalore and N. Jayaram, an independent journalist.

You can find the conversation on YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter.

2 October, 2020

Ep 21: Conversation with Alison Killing and Aydin Anwar

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Alison Killing, an architect and open source investigator, with a focus on geospatial analysis. Her most recent work is on Xinjiang, to find and analyse the network of prison camps there. Aydin Anwar is a young Uighur-American activist who has been working to spread awareness about the detention camps in China and the problems faced by her community.

Link to the conversation here. You can also watch it on Facebook and Twitter.

25 September, 2020

Ep 20: Conversation with Prof. Romila Thapar

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Professor Romila Thapar about her latest book ‘Voices of Dissent’ and the history of dissent in India.

Link here. You can also find the video on Facebook and Twitter. We also have a podcast of this conversation on SoundCloud.

18 September, 2020

Ep 19: Conversation with Prabhjit Singh and Arshu John 

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Prabhjit Singh and Arshu John about The Caravan Magazine’s report, ‘Crime and Prejudice: The BJP and Delhi Police’s hand in the Delhi violence

Watch the conversation here.

28 August, 2020

Ep 18: Conversation with Radhika Jhalani and Misbah Reshi

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Radhika Jhalani and Misbah Reshi about making of the digital apartheid in Kashmir. Watch the full conversation here.

20 August, 2020

Ep 17: Conversation with Nayantara Ranganathan and Karishma Mehrotra

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Nayantara Ranganathan and Karishma Mehrotra about Facebook, Hate Speech and The Future of Public Sphere.

Link here.

14 August, 2020

Ep 16: Conversation with Dr Harjit Bhatti and Mehnaz Najmi

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Dr Harjit Bhatti and Mehnaz Najmi about criminalisation of dissent and the continued incarceration of Dr. Kafeel Khan and Gulfisha Fatima. Link here

7 August, 2020

Ep 15: Conversation with Prof. Ather Zia and Prof. Mona Bhan 

Suchitra Vijayan will be in conversation with Political Anthropologist, writer and poet, Ather Zia, and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Mona Bhan about Kashmir: A Year of Siege. Link here

24 July, 2020

Ep 14: Conversation with S Godson and Akila R.S

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with journalist, S Godson and lawyer, Akila R. S about police violence, custodial and impunity in Tamil Nadu.

Link here

25 June, 2020

Ep 13 (Part B): Conversation with Dr Avinash Kumar 

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Avinash Kumar, Executive Director, Amnesty India. The conversation will focus on #BK11: UAPA and the state of rights and resistance in India.

Link here

19 June, 2020

Ep 13 (Part A): Conversation with Etienne Maynier

Join Suchitra Vijayan conversation with Etienne Maynier, a Technologist from Amnesty Tech. The conversation will focus on how Indian human rights defenders are being targeted by a coordinated spyware operation.

Link here

12 June, 2020

Ep 10: Conversation with Bhanupriya Rao and Sunil Tamminaina

Join Suchitra Vijayan conversation with Bhanupriya Rao is the founder of Behanbox, a web platform for gender data and stories..She was written in women in politics, agrarian distress and migration. She has previously worked with Actionaid and Worldwide Web Foundation on governance, open data and transparent. Sunil Tamminaina, is an activist. He is associated with Migrant Workers Solidarity Network, India, and Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Link here

29 May, 2020

Ep 9: Conversation with Aman and Rachel

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Journalist Rachel Chitra, and Lawyer Aman about the ongoing migrant crisis in India, the challenges of documenting the crisis, and why this is essential. Aman is a lawyer by training and is currently teaching at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana. He is also associated with the Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, Srinagar. Rachel Chitra currently works as a journalist for the Times of India in Bangalore. She tracks finance, rural distress and labor issues

Link here 

22 May, 2020

Ep 8: Conversation with Aakash Hassan

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Kashmiri journalist Aakash Hasaan. Aakash is a freelance journalist and frequently writes for CNNnews18,  trtworld, The Caravan India, Asia Times, and other platforms.

Link here 

15 May, 2020

Ep 7: Conversation with Cynthia Stephen 

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Cynthia Stephen, an independent social policy researcher, and analyst and independent journalist. She represents three marginalized communities, being a woman, a religious minority (in India), and also being identified with the Dalit community. She is President of the Training, Editorial and Development Services Trust, (TEDS Trust), and is based in Bangalore, India.

Link here

7 May, 2020

Ep 6: Conversation with Preethi Nallu

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with writer, researcher, and visual storyteller, Preethi Nallu to discuss what it means to think about “work” in the aftermath of COVID, vulnerabilities single
working people living on their own away from home encounter, new ways and approaches to journalism, and the situation of migrant workers across the globe – particularly in India and Lebanon where Preeti reports from.

Preethi Nallu has reported on global migration issues for news media, UN agencies, think tanks, and advocacy groups. Preethi is the founding editor of Refugees Deeply and part of the editorial team at Stories Asia. She also works for Copenhagen based International Media Support.

Watch the full conversation here.

21 April, 2020

Ep 5: Conversation with Zafar Ashfaq

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with journalist Zafar Ashfaq, a freelance journalist based in New Delhi on how the Rohingya Refugee community in India is surviving the lockdown.

Link here

6 April, 2020

Ep 4: Conversation with Ritesh Uttamchandani

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Photographer Ritesh Uttamchandai, about living in the era of disinformation and hate, the precarity and unpreparedness that Indian photographers face while documenting COVID-19, and the failure of existing media houses to nurture, protect and care for reporters, whom he calls “frontline histories.”

Ritesh Uttamchandani is a multi-award-winning freelance photographer based in India, and the author of the critically acclaimed and much-loved photo book – The Red Cat and Other Stories. @photowallah

Link here

April 2, 2020

Ep 3: Conversation with Danish Husain

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with actor, poet, storyteller, and theatre director Danish Husain. Danish Husain is an actor, poet, Dastango, and a theatre director. He was instrumental in reviving the art form of Dastangoi for which he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s (Indian Academy of Music, Dance, &Theatre) Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar in 2010. He subsequently returned the award in 2015 in the intolerance debate that raged across India. He later in 2016 started a multi-lingual brand of storytelling Qissebaazi. He also contributed an essay to a highly acclaimed collection Strongmen, edited by Vijay Prashad & published by Leftward Books, where five artists, including Eve Ensler, from five different countries, write about authoritarian leaders in their countries.

Link here

25 March, 2020

Ep 2: Conversation with Sohini Chattopadhyay

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with journalist Sohini Chattopadhyay to discuss what happens to chronic patients during the lockdown in India. Chattopadhyay is an award-winning long-form journalist who has written for publications all over the world. She writes on health, politics, and popular culture.

 Link here

19 March, 2020

Ep 1: Conversation with Dr. Thusiyan Nandakumar

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Dr. Thusiyan Nandakumar, on the ground realities faced by Tamil as COVID-19 cases grow in Sri Lanka and the military, sets up quarantine camps in the North-East.

Dr Thusiyan Nandakumar is the editor-in-chief of the Tamil Guardian, an English-language news website that covers Tamil affairs on the island and around the world, as well as global political affairs. He works as a GP in London and is a regular guest lecturer in the Masters of Public Health at Imperial College, London.

Link here

The Polis Project will continue to serve as a hub of reportage and analysis of pressing global concerns, including the impacts of Coronavirus, and as a platform for community conversation and online engagement.

We have a lot of exciting programming in the works. Please continue to check back with us for more information on our upcoming podcastsvirtual community seminars, and other events in the coming weeks.

You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for more information, and subscribe to our regular newsletter. Do consider supporting the work we do on patreon by becoming a member or making a direct donation.

But above all, please stay safe and healthy.

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