Added: December 3, 2016 – Last updated: December 3, 2016


Author: Azra Rashid

Title: Naristhan/Ladyland

Subtitle: Gender, Nationalism and Genocide in Bangladesh. A Research-Creation Project

Thesis: Ph.D. Thesis, Concordia University

Advisor: Monica Gagnon

Year: September 2016

Pages: ix + 216pp.

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Asian History: Bangladeshi History, Pakistani History | Types: Genocidal Rape / Bangladesh Genocide; Types: Wartime Rape / Bangladesh Liberation War


Link: Spectrum Research Repository: Digital Repository of Concordia University (Free Access)


Author: Azra Rashid, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Concordia University

Abstract: »Naristhan/Ladyland is a research-creation project that challenges the selective remembering, silencing and appropriating of women’s experiences in the widely circulated images of the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh. As a video, the project juxtaposes the testimonies of survivors and national memory of the war and creates a shift of perspective that demands a breaking of silence. Employing research-creation as methodology, the video and written component engage with the existing feminist scholarship on gender, nationalism and genocide and the archive of the Liberation War Museum in Bangladesh to investigate the dominant representations of gender in the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh. The archive of the war museum in Bangladesh is viewed as a site of institutionalized dialogue between the 1971 genocide and the national memory of that event. An examination of the archive allows us an opening point into the ideologies that have sanctioned a particular authoring of history, which is written from a patriarchal perspective. The photographs on display at the Liberation War Museum offer a crystallizing moment in the national memory; they invoke the resilience and survival of the nation in a war that was largely fought by the men of the country on behalf of the nation. It omits the victimization of women, which did not end with the war in 1971. To question the archive is to question the authority and power that is inscribed in the archive itself and that is the function performed by testimonies in this research. Testimonies are offered from four unique vantage points – rape survivor, freedom fighter, religious and ethnic minorities – to question the appropriation and omission of women’s stories. Furthermore, the emphasis on the multiplicity of women’s experiences in war seeks to highlight the counter-narrative that is created by acknowledging the differences in women’s experiences in war instead of transcending those differences.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. iii)
  Acknowledgments (p. v)
  List of Figures (p. ix)
  Chapter 1: Introduction (p. 1)
  Chapter 2: Historical Background (p. 15)
  Chapter 3: Literature Review (p. 22)
    Nation, Nationalism and the Imagination (p. 24)
    Gender and Nationalism (p. 28)
    Gendered Violence of Nationalism and Genocide (p. 32)
    History is the Perpetrator (p. 42)
  Chapter 4: Archives, Museums and the Politics of Representation (p. 45)
    Visual Culture and Representation (p. 53)
    Representations of Genocide (p. 57)
    Challenges to Representation of Gendered Experiences of Genocide (p. 59)
  Chapter 5: Representation and Documentary Film (p. 63)
    The Observational Mode (p. 67)
    The Reflexive Mode (p. 70)
    The Essay Film (p. 73)
    Trauma Cinema (p. 82)
  Chapter 6: Research-Creation (p. 88)
    The Essayistic Subject (p. 93)
    Making Naristhan/Ladyland (2016) (p. 102)
    The Status of Voiceover (p. 109)
  Chapter 7: Stories of Resistance. Aroma Dutta, Pratiti Devi Ghatak, Saira Bano, Ferdousi Priyubhashini, and Sultana Kamal (p. 112)
    Pratiti Devi Ghatak and Aroma Dutta (p 114)
      Images (p. 114)
      The Daughters of the Soil (p. 115)
    Saira Bano (p. 126)
      Image (p. 126)
      The Unnamed and Uncounted Refugee (p. 127)
    Ferdousi Priyubhashini (p. 136)
      Image (p. 136)
      The Birangona (p. 137)
    Sultana Kamal (p. 150)
      Image (p. 150)
      The Female Freedom Fighter (p. 151)
  Chapter 8: Conclusion (p. 166)
  Bibliography (p. 179)
  Filmography (p. 190)
  Appendix 1A: Ethics & Summary Protocol Form (p. 191)
  Appendix 1B: Consent Form (p. 203)
  Appendix 1C: Sample Questionnaire (p. 205)
  Appendix 2A: Interview Excerpts: Pratiti Devi & Aroma Dutta (p. 207)
  Appendix 2B: Interview Excerpts: Saira Bano (p. 209)
  Appendix 2C: Ferdousi Priyubhashini (p. 211)
  Appendix 2D: Interview Excerpts: Sultana Kamal (p. 213)
  Appendix 3A: Eyeless in the Urn (p. 215)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Bangladesh, History of Pakistan | Genocide: 1971 Bangladesh genocide | Types of rape: Genocidal rape, Wartime sexual violence | War: Bangladesh Liberation War / Rape during the Bangladesh Liberation War