Society for Psychological Anthropology

Mir Fatimah Kanth, UC San Diego

Charm Offensive: Counterinsurgencey, Youth and Everyday Life in Kashmir

Anthropological studies of counterinsurgency and militarism show how liberal states often disguise war-making through apolitical projects of humanitarianism, aid, and development to win the hearts and minds of civilian populations. In Indian administered Kashmir, a range of new militarized projects characterized as “perception management” and “de-radicalization” strategies specifically target youth populations affectively, socially, and behaviorally. Through a multi-sited ethnography across three districts of Kashmir, my project examines how Kashmiri youth experience and engage in these programs of militarized recreation, which includes sports training, and skills development programs. This project examines militarized recreation as a subject-making apparatus, shows how spaces of leisure are newly militarized through covert forms of state violence and traces how youth themselves navigate these spaces to cultivate bodily practices and desires.