Week 7 MacDonald article notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Girish Daswani

Week 7 MacDonald Memories of Tibet: Transnationalism, Transculturation and the Production of Cultural identity in Northern Pakistan Introduction Localized cultural identity movements emerging in much of the world are often described as a retreat into roots and represented as a response to the threat of some vague set of processes known as globalization. But such representations obscure the role of multiple transnational pathways in supporting localized movements that claim to act in defense of particular models of place and culture. 191 Formerly part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Baltistan is now a region of the Federally Administered Northern Areas of Pakistan (FANA) Over the past ten years, an incipient movement, centered on a concern with the erosion of cultural identity, has grown in the urban centers of Baltistan This movement, like many others, is very much grounded in what are represented as essential qualities of people and place. In this case, cultural activists rely rhetorically on a golden age associated with a historical Tibetan presence in the region to assert an essential identity of culture and place that confers qualities of serenity, justice and hospitality, among others.5 But this assertion disguises what is in practice an attempt to reshape identity. 192 the cultural activism that is emerging in Baltistan is facilitated by transnational exchanges of people and information This case is unique in at least 3 respects: 1.) the production and dissemination of information occurs largely in the absence of internet technology and widespread migration 2.) Second, it occurs in the context of a predominantly conservative Shia population 3.) And third, through a kind of auto-orientalism, it is appropriating and reproducing stereotypic representations of Tibetan-ness in an effort to construct an authentic cultural identity that can be deployed to distinguish Baltistan from dominant negative Western representations of Pakistan. It also, to some extent, seeks to graft the stereotypic qualities of Buddhism onto Islam as it is practiced in the area as the potential for contact between Baltis on both sides of the line of control (LOC) has heightened in the wake of the Kargil crisis, incipient transborder identity formations are beginning to emerge. www.notesolution.com
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