South Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Virtual Lands: Emerging Political Narratives from Balochistan

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Marigold, New Building

Displaced or persecuted people have often built online communities of common political affect whereby feelings of loss, struggle, and heroism serve to reframe geographies of protest and reconceptualize political borders. Balochistan, in present-day Pakistan, is a contested geographical and political entity that constitutes the country’s largest ‘suba’ or state. Balochistan has seen a violent movement for secession from the Pakistani state, which has led to a migration of ethnically Baloch people to Europe and the United States. Some leaders of the Baloch secessionist movement also live outside the political territory of Pakistan. Social media has not only connected Balochis in the diaspora but has also been instrumental in generating affective political narratives of a lost homeland, persecution, struggle for freedom, victimhood, and heroism. Balochistan is reimagined through these shared affective registers, thus creating a sense of Balochistan outside the geographical boundaries of Pakistan. While Baloch dissidents have built affective political narratives through social media, the Pakistani state has created its own affective narratives by stoking emotions of patriotism, love of land, piety and religious fervor, and victimhood. These forms of political affect serve to re-entrench the geography of Balochistan as an essential part of Pakistan. This paper will examine how the proliferation of social media has altered geographies by transcending physical borders and giving birth to virtual geographical identities. It focuses on how has the dissemination of political affect through social media has forced states, elected and sitting governments, and their agencies to alter their strategies and actions.

Annie Zaman

Independent researcher/Global Voices, Pakistan


Send Email for Annie Zaman


2 - Virtual Lands: Emerging Political Narratives from Balochistan

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Virtual Lands: Emerging Political Narratives from Balochistan