I am a political anthropologist (PhD) with an interest in visual anthropology and political ecology. My research interests include the study of subaltern resistance, revolutionary subjectivity and contemporary peasant movements at the fringes of capitalism. By joining three related fields, namely anthropological political economy, anthropology of peasant movements and social movement theory, my work looks at today’s ‘people without history’ and their responses to the dynamics of capitalist development.
My research is based on a 3-year long anthropological fieldwork in Mid-Western Nepal, and focuses on the history of peasant uprisings that led to the Maoist revolution (1996 – 2006) – the last peasant revolution of the twentieth century. My ethnographic research investigates the history of the movement’s revolutionary praxis, as well as post-revolutionary politics and restructuring of livelihoods around the struggle for the commons. These ethnographic narratives are then brought into the context of an uneven process of capital accumulation that is rapidly changing the landscape of the Himalayas; at the center of this process, in West Nepal, is a lucrative commodity chain that reaches to the high mountainous pastures in remote parts of the country. Through written and audio-visual work, I have explored how the economy of mushroom picking (yarsagumba) is increasing inequalities and transforming power relations in rural Nepal.
During my doctoral research, I produced four ethnographic films that have been screened at international ethnographic and documentary film festivals: ‘Takasera’ (2016), ‘Disenchanted Cinema’ (2017), ‘Taking on the Storm’ (2021) and ‘Mushroom at the Top of the World’ (2021). I collaborate with the German International Ethnographic Film Festival (GIEFF) and I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich.