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Join Ather Zia in conversation with with Amir Kaur Aujula-Jones and Trang Dang, as part of the When I Dare to be Powerful conference at Bonington Gallery.

Amir Kaur Aujla-Jones and Trang Dang are in conversation with Ather Zia about writing as a powerful tool to amplify the voices of women active in the Kashmir conflict. Their voices are often ignored in a dominant narrative that fails to give them agency and instead writes them as victims of the conflict.

This event is part of online talks series leading to the in-person conference When I Dare to be Powerful, on 21 June at Bonington Gallery. The international conference will bring filmmakers, artists, writers and activists, together with conceptual thinkers and cultural theorists in order to answer pressing questions relating to voice as an agent of change.


Ather Zia, Ph.D., is a political anthropologist, poet, short fiction writer, and columnist. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Gender Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado Greeley. Ather is the author of Resisting Disappearances: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism in Kashmir (June 2019) which won the 2020 Gloria Anzaldua Honorable Mention award, 2021 Public Anthropologist Award, and Advocate of the Year Award 2021. She has been featured in the Femilist 2021, a list of 100 women from the Global South working on critical issues. She is the co-editor of Can You Hear Kashmiri Women Speak (Women Unlimited 2020), Resisting Occupation in Kashmir (Upenn 2018) and A Desolation called Peace (Harper Collins, May 2019). She has published a poetry collection “The Frame” and another collection is forthcoming. Ather’s ethnographic poetry on Kashmir has won an award from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology. She is the founder-editor of Kashmir Lit and is the co-founder of Critical Kashmir Studies Collective, an interdisciplinary network of scholars working on the Kashmir region. Ather is also a co-editor of Cultural Anthropology.

Amir Kaur Aujla-Jones (she/her) has a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Sussex, a MA in Education from the University of Nottingham and a PhD in Sociology from Nottingham Trent University. Dr Aujla-Jones’s research has focused on race and gender equality using an intersectional lens. Her PhD thesis examined the lived experience of Black, Asian, and Mixed-race girls in predominantly white English secondary schools. Dr Aujla-Jones is part of Conscience Collective, an international network based in the UK aiming to extend understanding of climate and social  justice. 

Trang Dang (she/her) is a PhD researcher in literary studies at Nottingham Trent University, funded by NTU Studentship Scheme, and previously graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA and an MA in English Literature. Her PhD project focuses on Jeff VanderMeer’s weird fiction, exploring narratives of co-existence between humans and nonhumans and the role of new weird novels in portraying the current climate crisis. Her main research interests are contemporary literature, cli/sci-fi, critical theory, and continental philosophy. She has published on the topics of animal studies, American culture and politics, and the Anthropocene.