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Defying Genocide in Myanmar: Everyday Resistance Narratives of Rohingyas

Martuscelli, Patrícia Nabuco; Ahmed, Bayes; Sammonds, Peter; (2022) Defying Genocide in Myanmar: Everyday Resistance Narratives of Rohingyas. Journal of Genocide Research pp. 1-23. 10.1080/14623528.2022.2078074. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Rohingyas are the most persecuted minority in the world. They have been facing systematic discrimination and serious human rights violations since the 1970s when they stopped being recognized as citizens by the Burmese government. Acts committed against this predominantly Muslim minority in the Rakhine State can be classified as ethnic cleansing with the intent of genocide. Myanmar is also facing a case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) due to violations of the Convention Against Genocide (1948). This paper employs the framework of everyday resistance to highlight Rohingyas’ acts and practices to resist genocidal acts in Myanmar. We analyzed 62, 56, and 145 micronarratives of forcibly displaced adult Rohingyas currently living in India, Malaysia, and Bangladesh, collected between March 2019 and April 2020. We conclude that the Rohingyas adopted various everyday resistance practices involving non-compliance, such as refusing to follow orders, giving money or going to forced labour; and avoiding staying at home and secrecy, including praying, using mobile phones, moving to other areas, studying, and marrying secretly. In addition, everyday resistance strategies connected to gender-focused protection against sexual violence were linked to staying at home, hiding girls and maintaining women pregnant. Finally, Rohingyas adopted resistance strategies to survive the 2017 attacks, including fleeing to Bangladesh in groups and supporting each other. This discussion dialogues with previous work on genocide studies that highlight the agency and resistance of Holocaust and other genocide survivors. It contributes to understanding the everyday resistance of a stateless minority, recognizing its agency against its genocidal state.

Type: Article
Title: Defying Genocide in Myanmar: Everyday Resistance Narratives of Rohingyas
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14623528.2022.2078074
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14623528.2022.2078074
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Keywords: Rohingya; everyday resistance; Myanmar; genocide; Bangladesh; Malaysia‌
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149872
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