Event — IIAS Lunch Lecture

The Karma Revolution. In resistance against caste-discrimination culture, identity and power in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

IIAS Lunch Lecture by Jolanda Brunnekreef. We will broadcast this lecture live via our YouTube channel

IIAS Lunch Lecture by Jolanda Brunnekreef

Lunch is provided. Registration is required.

We will broadcast this lecture live via YouTube. Please subscribe to the IIAS YouTube channel to enjoy this and future video streams.

The lecture

Human rights violations based on caste are a hugely underestimated issue in western mainstream reporting on South Asia. Even in the academic world, the implications of the dimension of caste seem to be not fully understood. The writer of this book researches the reality of ‘Dalits’ suffering from caste-discrimination in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and explores the framework of culture, identity and power concerning this issue.

The book Karma Revolution was written by anthropologist Jolanda Brunnekreef, who has been actively involved in the Dalit emancipation movement since the past 12 years and who has a personal background in South Asia.

The idea for this book arose from the astonishment about the dynamics that make this enormous human rights issue so invisible and hidden, in our part of the world, but even within South Asia itself.

The writer investigates the possibility to draw meta lessons from the situation in South Asia, concerning the correlating themes of culture, identity and power. This brings her also to the diaspora of South Asians in f.e. the UK and US. And to Roma in Eastern - Hongary who identify with the Dalits in India. In all this there is a special focus on the plight and resistance of dalit women.

The writer also investigates what is going on at the level of solidarity from the west with the dalit emancipation movement, debates that are taking place in that context and what lessons should be learned. In this regard the writer also questions her own role as anthropologist/activist, connecting with the ongoing discussions among antropologists in that sense. 

The speaker

Jolanda Brunnekreef graduated in Cultural Anthropology in 1993 and did Phd research on labour migration of Sri Lankan women to the Middle East. During these years she got married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Sri Lanka, partially during the civil war.

She worked for several organisations such as the India Committee Netherlands and PAX in the capacity of advisor on human rights issues and with specialisation gender & diversity. And worked in conflict areas worldwide such as South-Sudan, Congo drc, Irak, Syria and Kashmir.

Besides writing and publishing articles – for a big part under pseudonym in order to avoid being banned from India – she got involved in writing more broadly after winning several writing prices. The Karma Revolution is her first book, published by Uitgeverij Van Brug in The Hague.  


Registration (required)

If you would like to attend this lecture, please register via our web form below (by Monday, 10 June if you would IIAS to cater for your lunch).

About IIAS Lunch Lectures

Every month, one of the IIAS affiliated fellows gives an informal presentation about his/her work-in-progress. IIAS organises these lectures to provide the research community with an opportunity to freely discuss ongoing research and exchange thoughts and ideas. Anyone with an interest in the topic is welcome to attend and join the discussion.