South Asia

Organized Panel Session

Land Relations: Towards Alternative Ecologies of Land, Law and Property in the Postcolony

Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Kadamba, Lower Ground Floor

Land is today at the heart of many critical, global struggles for justice and equity. Relations between humans and land are fraught and fought over competing visions of property rights, land management, extractive industries, indigenous title, food, and fuel. This panel aims to bring out the complexity and diversity of people’s relationships with land, informed by history, culture, politics and lived experience. At stake is a division or fault line between a narrowly market-oriented conception of land and struggles around state-led appropriation and a more expanded and expansive sense of land relations. How, for instance, did certain conceptions of land, property, and ecology, historically render other relationships to land unintelligible or unsustainable? How do the contradictions between bringing land into the market and envisaging it as sacred and inalienable, play out in contemporary land movements? How has the imagination of colony as land left traces on postcolonial institutions? How might we map land as a trace or line through judicial records, kin disputes, genealogy or ancestry? How do the geophysical features of land shape the selfhoods and political futures of those who inhabit these lands? Can the thematic of property be expanded to wastes, wastelands, dumpsites, and trash as materially and politically vital and productive sites of engagement and encounter?


In this panel, we seek to both acknowledge the struggles of those whose futures are tied with the land as a material, finite resource, and ask how this materiality and finiteness can be questioned in politically and conceptually relevant ways. 

Maya Ratnam

Ashoka University, India

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Maya Ratnam

Ashoka University, India

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Send Email for Budhaditya Das

Shaina Sehgal

Ambedkar University Delhi, India

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Ishani Saraf

University of California, Davis, United States

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Sruti Chaganti

Johns Hopkins University, India

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Rita Brara

University of Delhi, India

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Kaveri Gill

Shiv Nadar University, India

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