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Accepted Paper:

Juergen Schaflechner (Freie University Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shows how religious minorities in Pakistan strategically make their grievances visible for the sake of producing broader networks of solidarity, using, what I will call, "affectivism"

Paper long abstract:

When studying the social movements of non-Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today, the concept of solidarity plays a key role. Until only a couple of decades ago, state-sponsored media widely ignored the country’s religious minorities, and public knowledge about their day-to-day lives was scarce. The liberalization of media and, most importantly, the increasing ubiquity of social networking sites has helped Pakistani Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Sikhs to have more visibility in Pakistan’s public spheres. For many members of these communities, the digital mediation of their grievances plays an essential role in their pursuit to produce broader solidarities, recognition, and accountability. I explore the digital practices of leading activists through an analysis of their online activities and their interviews from the field. This shows how people wittingly crowdsource their demands to gain broader solidarity through what I will call affectivism: strategic use of rhythm, entertainment, and affectively charged (audio-)visual material. In their attempt to produce wider networks of solidarity in the time of digital capitalism, religious minorities need to a.) be aware of the logic of platform algorithms, b.) vastly reduce the complexity of their intersectional grievances, c.) package and commodify their suffering to a national and international audience with an increasingly limited attention span.

Panel P121a
(Re) Thinking Transformations through Solidarity: Limits & Potentials
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -