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      Politicizing Disability/Disablement: A Case of Hunger-Strike/Death-Fast by a Kurdish Political Prisoner in Turkey



            Over the past several years, we have been engaged in human-rights/disability-rights activism and organizing with disabled and/or traumatized survivors who have been victims of the state violence (e.g., war, incarceration, forced migration). As we interviewed them, documented their narratives, and/or read their prison memoirs, we re-lived our own past experiences with state violence as two racialized Middle Eastern women who have experienced incarceration in Turkey and Iran. Given our experiences, and being Disability Studies (DS) scholars and feminists, we have developed a new model to approach disability and disablement in the global southern/“third world” contexts. Herein, we narrate a real-life story of incarceration, torture, and hunger strike that has resulted in permanent disability. Following that we introduce our Transnational Disability theory to set the foundation for a historical and dialectical materialist understanding (DHM) of disablement. Finally, we apply the new model to our interviewee's narrative and analyze it through a DS lens. We end the paper by offering future directions for DS and Ethnic Studies scholars, prison abolitionists, and/or disability-rights activists who are enthusiastic about using the transnational disability approach in theory and political praxis.


            Author and article information

            Zanj: The Journal of Critical Global South Studies
            Pluto Journals
            1 July 2018
            : 2
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/zanjglobsoutstud.2.issue-1 )
            : 22-42
            University of Toronto
            University of Toronto
            © 2018 Global South Research Consortium

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata

            Political science,Political & Social philosophy,Movements,Epistemology,Cultural studies,Philosophy of culture
            torture,transnational disability model,hunger strike,Kurdish political prisoners,Turkification


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