The Volatile Possibilities and Empty Gestures of Care Under Military Occupation


  • Tankut Atuk University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


The Occupied Clinic could hardly be any timelier. Kashmir has been under siege by the Indian national government for thirty years, and its residents disenfranchised. In 2019, in part to suppress the region’s independence movement, Narendra Modi and his BJP made international headlines when they stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy. In a land that lives under continuous military occupation and has witnessed countless curfews, Saiba Varma asks, ‘what kind of care leaves people in pieces?’. The Occupied Clinic is the result of arduous fieldwork conducted under occupation in the Kashmir Valley, during the period 2009-2016. In this eloquent ethnography of clinic and its militarization under siege, Varma raises critically, ‘what is possible—clinically, ethically, socially, and politically—under occupation? What forms of care?’ .

Author Biography

Tankut Atuk, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Tankut is a PhD candidate in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies & Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He holds two master’s degrees in Gender Studies and Sociology/Cultural Studies. His current project looks at the socio-political dimensions of the world’s fastest growing HIV epidemic in Turkey. He specifically asks, 'How do regimes of HIV care negotiate the double meaning of HIV as a moral and as a public health problem? And, how do queer activists imagine and enact community-based HIV care?' He seeks to understand and redress the ways in which the Turkish State violates access to health(care) and fails in responding to the HIV epidemic. His previous works have been published in Frontiers, Journal of Men & Masculinities, Sexualities, and International Journal of Qualitative Research. His current essays are accepted by Journal of Gender, Place, and Culture, as well as Journal of Urban Studies.