18 Dec 2017

Artefacts of trade: Exchange, itinerancy and sovereignty in Kashmir

Talk at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, LMU, Oettingenstr. 67, Munich, room L-155, 18:00-20:00

Aditi Saraf

Abstract

My talk examines how legacies of regional trade generate claims and attachments that contest frameworks through which the Kashmir dispute is generally understood – that of competing nationalism or communal tension. Particularly, I focus on the artefact of non-formal credit in a wholesale market in Indian controlled Kashmir. Such credit relations persist despite being curtailed by military occupation, political violence and the breakdown of regulatory structures. These systems of promissory payments are also criminalized outside their networks of circulation, particularly by the state. Notions of trust as residing in legal and financial transparency do not apply here, nor those attributed to communal solidarities. Instead, I show how trust persists by taking on a contingent and experimental form, seeking antecedents in past networks of frontier trade rather than uncertain futures, and in credit forming the basis for trust rather than the other way round.

Contact:
Highland Asia Research Group
LMU, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oettingenstr. 67
80538 Munich, Germany

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