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Fakir Diaries – Entanglements of Place and Authority in Sehwan Sharīf


Join The Second Floor (T2F) for a talk by anthroplogist and artist, Omar Kasmani, as he explores questions of gender, space and embodiment among the fakirs of Sehwan Sharīf.

Fakir Diaries - Entanglements of Place and Authority in Sehwan Sharīf

Best described as a ‘religious crossing space’, Sehwan Sharīf, in Sindh, Pakistan reveals an aggregation of historical claims and imaginations. Its present day character draws from its patron saint, the thirteenth century mystic and wanderer Lāl Shahbāz Qalandar (d. 1274). However, the making of a saint is not independent of the making of saintly places. An ‘architecture of sainthood’ enshrines the holy through creating new linkages between the image of the Sufi, the body of the saint, and especially the persons and sites where it can be accessed.

Drawing from one year of field research among fakirs, this talk by Omar Kasmani situates a similar conversation between bodies and places. Fakir ideas of place and authority surface in the overlay of self-representations and bodily difference, in engagements of material space with dialogical dream-space, suggesting in the person of the fakir crossings of space, body and spiritual authority.

About the Speaker

Anthropologist and artist, Omar Kasmani is a doctoral candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Freie Universität, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. His work, both artistic and academic, lies at the intersection of gender, body, and queer subjectivities. His research project explores questions of gender, space and embodiment with regard to self-representations among female, male and khadŗā (also hijra; transgender) fakirs in Sehwan Sharīf, Sindh, Pakistan. Kasmani is also associated with Mission Interdisciplinaire Francaise du Sindh (MIFS).

Date: Thursday, 12th December, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Suggested Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | The Second Floor (T2F), 10-C, Sunset Lane 5, Phase 2 Extension, DHA, Karachi

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