We imagine the Southern Collective to be a growing and inclusive civil society space that brings together environmental researchers, development practitioners, artists, journalists, educational institutions, coastal community leaders and a range of ‘organic intellectuals’ to achieve the aim of re-centering maritime community-based knowledge around transboundary marine resources and migration.
The members and the partners will work across the Indian Ocean on common themes and projects of mutual interest.
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Aaron Savio Lobo is a marine conservation scientist & a member of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Committee. He has worked on understanding the impacts of tropical fisheries on ecosystems & livelihoods, setting up participatory models for management of Marine Protected Areas with extensive experience in mangrove areas, setting up small-scale fisheries monitoring programmes & advising seafood sustainability programmes.
Aarthi Sridhar is a founder trustee of Dakshin Foundation and heads its Communities and Resource Governance Programme. Her research interests cover a range of historical and contemporary socio-legal studies, with a focus on regulating resource use, environmental justice and democratic practices. She is one of the co-PIs of the core team.
Ahilan Kadirgamar is Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He is a member of the Collective for Economic Democratisation. He served on the Central Bank of Sri Lanka appointed committee to draft the Economic Development Framework for a Northern Province Master Plan.
Annu Jalais is an environmental anthropologist. She is Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore’s South Asian Studies and Comparative Asian Studies Departments. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests are on human-nonhuman interactions, environment and climate change, religious identity and migration, caste and social justice. She is the PI of the core team.
Alin Kadfak is a researcher at the Department of Rural and Urban Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Alin’s current research explores labour rights in sustainable fishing policy as a global environmental governance mechanism, using Thailand and Myanmar as case studies. She is one of the co-PIs of the core team.
Avilash Roul is guest professor and principal scientist at the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, IIT-Madras. He has been involved in development and environmental discourse in Asia for years now. He is an activist as much as he is an academic, having had a wealth of experience in working with communities and grassroots organisations across the nation.
Azhar is the founder and President of the Rural Economic Community and Development Organization (RECDO). As part of RECDO, he has been working with war-affected children, faith-based community leaders, displaced communities, female-headed households, law enforcement authorities, and civil service officials. RECDO has won awards such as the Mahatma Gandhi Award and the NaroUdeshi Award. Azhar is also a teacher of political science and is presently a Deputy Principal of curricula & co-curriculum development at Aysha Girls Maha Vidyalaya, Kantale in Trincomalee. In addition to this, he is also a leadership trainer and is a field technical research consultant of Pepper Cube Research Company.
Carola’s scholarship is driven by an interest in social justice, epistemic disobedience, gender studies & decolonization of knowledge. She is interested in oral traditions & popular religious movements, borderlands and travelling archives, particularly in eastern India, Bangladesh & the Andaman Islands. She works with communities of "low caste" singers, preachers and performers, in a multi-sited and trans-regional ethnography, complemented by the study of literary sources in modern & premodern South Asian languages. Her current book project is on the soundscapes of religion & displacement. She focuses on a numerous, yet understudied community of “untouchable” religious practitioners called Matua, their circulation of performers, religious items & ideas across the borderlands and ‘borderseas’ of the Bay of Bengal.
Zahir Hussein is a senior reef ecologist at Marine Research Centre, Maldives, which does research on living marine resources and to provide scientific advice on marine resource management and on the state of the marine environment.
Lakshmi Pradeep is a Graduate Student at South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore with training in Anthropology. Her research interests include anthropology of corals and coastal communities, island studies and science studies. Her research focus is on human and non-human relations in the Arabian Sea. She leads the Sea Lexicon project of the Southern Collective.
Madhurima is one of the associates of the project and currently based out of Kolkata India. She has over five years of experience working on migration, gender, and labour related issues. She works on themes of distress migration.
Khushi Kabir is a Bangladeshi social activist, feminist, and environmentalist. She is the Coordinator of Nijera Kori, a civil society and feminist leader in Bangladesh and South Asia, and the One Billion Rising Bangladesh Coordinator.
Marianne is the Assistant Director at Dakshin Foundation. Apart from the administrative tasks of Dakshin, her research and interventions focus on issues around coastal governance and fishworker networks. She works closely with other environmental organisations and fishworker unions to carry out training and workshops on coastal laws and governance mechanisms.
Moyukh Mahtab is an independent researcher from Bangladesh, currently working with Nijera Kori. His research interests span across social, environmental and political history. His research focuses on collective movements against shrimp aquaculture in coastal Bangladesh. He previously was a journalist with The Daily Star, in charge of 'In Focus', a weekly history-focussed supplement of the newspaper.
Manish Chandi is a social scientist and story teller par excellence with expertise on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. His doctoral thesis explored the impact of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami on community sharing mechanisms in the Nicobar Islands. He is currently associated with the Andaman and Nicobar Environment Team and lives in Goa.
Naveen Namboothri is a founder trustee of Dakshin Foundation and currently serves as its Director. Trained as marine biologist, he works across diverse coastal, marine and island systems in India. His interests and expertise are on coral reef ecology, fisheries co-management arrangements and citizen science.
Nukhbah Taj Langah is Associate Professor of English at Forman Christian College University, Lahore, Pakistan. She has also served as Head of English and Dean of Humanities at the University. Her research interests include South Asian identities, resistance literature, peripheral literary voices from Pakistan, South Asian cinema, post-911 literature. She is also a freelance translator, activist and a feminist. She is author of Poetry as Resistance: Islam and Ethnicity in Postcolonial Pakistan (Routledge, 2011) and a number of research papers based on Siraiki identity, marginalization of women, poetic resistance.
Scientist, Bangladesh Agricultural University
Pradeep A. Singh is a research associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (Potsdam, Germany) and doctoral candidate at the University of Bremen (Bremen, Germany).
Rapti Siriwardhane is a marine anthropologist and a cultural geographer. Rapti’s current interests broadly lie at the intersection of political ecology, critical ocean and urban studies and through the work, strives to integrate crosscurrents in the environmental humanities and the interpretive social sciences in the practice. Her research work is inspired by diverse histories, ecologies, and cultural politics of seacoasts.
Sujatha Byravan has several years of experience in the broad area of sustainable development, which is bolstered by her technical background and education in biological sciences. Over the past several years she has been involved with research, analysis and evaluation of climate change policy including adaptation.
Than Pale is a professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Yangon. She is currently doing joint research with DIIS (Danish Institute of International Studies), the topic of “everyday justice project” in Myanmar especially in Yangon and Karen state from 2015 to 2019.
Sridhar is a social scientist with experience in the field of water governance. His research interests include environmental and water governance, common pool resources and people's movements. He is an associate on the project team and works on developing ICT to strengthen the democratization of knowledge across the Southern Collective's projects.
Pankaj is currently serving as an Associate Professor at IIT Bombay. His research interests include Science and Technology Studies, S&T visioning and policy making, Technology, Society and Development, Environment and development, Citizen Science, Wildlife conservation, Island studies, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Media studies
Vani Sreekanta is an anthropologist with an interest in conservation and environmental education. She has worked with multiple collaborative projects and is an associate on the core team of the Collective. She facilitates the team in the collaborative aspects of the Southern Collective.