The role of communitas among prisoners in Myanmar and beyond
Asian Studies Research Seminar introducing the research by Liv S. Gaborit on experiences of imprisonment in Myanmar.
The research presentation draws on long term ethnographic fieldwork in Myanmar – inside as well as outside prisons. Through the case of prisoners hearing voices while meditating or in solitary confinement the importance of social relations when understood through theories on liminality, social resilience or critical phenomenology will be discussed. The discussion will show how experiences of prisoners in Myanmar challenges western theoretical concepts and ontological perspectives.
Liv S. Gaborit (cand.psych., Ph.D.) is a prison researcher specialised in ethnographic research on prisons in the Global South. Previously she has worked on topics such as prison reform, the use of ethnographic methods in prison monitoring and imprisonment as liminal experiences, in contexts such as Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Lebanon and Myanmar. Currently she is a Postdoc in Social Anthropology at Lund University working on a study of social resilience as arising through friendships in Myanmar prisons. This research is connected to a group of researchers from across the Faculty of Social Sciences working on social resilience through different projects.