Author Archives: Elliott Prasse-Freeman

I am a political anthropologist studying social movements, violence, and symbolic culture in Burma. As part of a related ongoing project on the Rohingya genocide, I am exploring novel forms of personhood and conceptions of the political as they are mediated by and generated through new technologies such as blockchain, biometric scanners, and AI.
Man explaining blockchain on computer monitor

Blockchain Reactions: The peril and promise of techno-governance for stateless Rohingya

While Myanmar’s recent ethnic cleansing of its Rohingya minority, which saw 800,000 people driven into Bangladesh, has brought the community’s oppression to the world’s attention, it has also masked a longer term project of exclusion in which the state has been denying the Rohingya their ethnic name and forcing them from their homes since the 1970s. Not only are there now more Rohingya living outside Myanmar than within, but entire generations are being brought up in exile. Critically, many host communities institute ambiguous regimes of il/legality, defined by intertwining inclusions and prohibitions, which keep Rohingya in perpetual limbo, caught between integration and expulsion. (read more...)