Accepted paper:

The development arena: an ethnography of conflicts and negotiations in a development project in Pakistan

Author:

Ilaria Elisea Scerrato (University of Rome La Sapienza)

Paper short abstract:

This paper proposes a reflection on social change in a context of planned development in North-West of Pakistan. From this point of view the development is considered as an object of study that allow to understand social phenomena and practices.

Paper long abstract:

Considering that anthropology of development is anthropology of contemporaneity, this paper proposes a reflection on social change in a context of planned development in North-West of Pakistan. From this point of view the development is considered as an object of study, because it is a set of actions of various types, that allow to understand social phenomena and practices (Olivier De Sardan 2005).

Based on an actor-oriented approach, the ethnographic research was carried out in the Swat Valley which has heavily affected by the damages of the conflict with the terrorism in 2007-2009 and then by the terrible flood in 2010; now many projects are being carried out in support of the local communities displaced from Swat in the nearby areas in 2009 - Internally Displaced People Phenomenon- which produced a serious humanitarian crisis in northwestern Pakistan.

The analysis is based on data collected during an ethnographic research focused on the actions of a development project that sees the valorization and conservation of cultural heritage, and the community involvement as key factors for the economic recovery of the region. The observation of negotiations of meanings and identities, exchanges and contrasts among the social actors involved in the project reveals the processes of translation of cultures and different worlds and the continuous reconfiguration of the relationships between strategic groups.

panel IP06
Collaboration, (in)determinacy and the work of translation in development encounters