Politics of waiting on hope: exploring embodied experiences of Tibetans living in India as guests and citizins

PhD Thesis

Garbovan, L. 2020. Politics of waiting on hope: exploring embodied experiences of Tibetans living in India as guests and citizins. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
AuthorsGarbovan, L.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

This PhD Thesis explores a critical understanding of the embodied experiences of Tibetans living in exile in India, between guests, migrants, and temporary residents with quests for Indian citizenship. The aim of this PhD research is to explore the meanings and experiences associated with being a Tibetan in India in contemporary times. The research questions interrogate how Tibetans make sense of their current political status and identities in India in current times, the practices and possibilities of Indian citizenship for Tibetans, and the localised and individualised narratives of Tibetans living in India.

In this PhD Thesis I borrow methods, strategies, and techniques transdisciplinary and I use them creatively, applying ethnographic and theatre approaches, self-reflexivity, and embodied and collaborative methods. I employ disruptions and the blurring of boundaries between traditional categories of literature, methods, data, theory, and dissemination.

The key findings of this PhD research show how Tibetans in India share similar experiences of waiting for better governance with groups such as Indian youth. This PhD Thesis demonstrates that the Identity Paperwork for Tibetans constitutes an act of citizenship and a common experience with populations in India, such as internal migrants, and other people who hold documents and those who do not. The PhD Thesis shows that, by using theatre approaches and collaborative enactments of performances, new possibilities for hope and transformation emerge, where Hope means a plethora of intersecting assertions about identity, agency, impermanence, empathy, solidarity and kindness and the symbolism of a suitcase.

This PhD Thesis contributes to contemporary stories with, about, and by Tibetans, collaborative and participative stories enacted as performances, in which Tibetans became political subjects and coauthors of the stories. This study makes a unique contribution to the power of writing against narratives of exclusion, silencing, and othering and advocates for collaborative stories about hope.

KeywordsTibetans ; Embodied experiences; India; Exile
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Publication process dates
Deposited21 Jun 2021
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