Global Asia in a Multipolar World 

Becoming Visible: Recognition, Framing, and Surveillance of Pakistan's "Non-Muslims"

by Jürgen Schaflechner, Research Group Leader, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Freie University Berlin)

Date & Time: Friday, February 11, 2022 at 10:00 am

Location: Zoom


PDF icon global_asia_jurgen_schaflechner.pdf


Setting out from the assumption that any political community has its politics of visibility, I ask which frames of visibility are productive of and produced by religious minorities in the Islamic Republic today. These politics of visibility (what I call becoming visible) have been complexified due to the coming of social media, where different rules of engagement with an unknown public have made new representations possible. I show how minorities skillfully navigate their national and international outreach between state (read: military) surveillance and Islamic groups' pressure for religious uniformity. I show how actors navigate between their visibility and invisibility in their day-to-day life; how they strategically utilize the cognitive economies of social media through different forms of affectively-charged visibilities (what I call "affectivism"), and, crucially, how they keep specific grievances invisible that a.) would lead to dangerous repercussions, or b.) that are too complex to be "packaged and commodified" for a human rights market.