The Polis Project launches our online conversation series — Dispatches, Conversations during a lockdown. We will be live streaming these conversations, on our Patreon Page. 

With communities around the world currently living under various degrees of quarantine,  lockdowns and even curfews, these conversations are a way to centre and amplify the diverse voices, concerns and struggles. We are living through a unique historical moment, that requires solidarity, empathy and more importantly ways to reaffirm our shared humanity. The coming weeks and months will be chaotic, along with an unprecedented expansion of executive power that will encroach civil liberties, further expand surveillance architectures, and entrench already existing inequalities. The borders will be sealed, the communities already struggling under state violence, and living through conflict will become invisible and erased from news cycles.

While there is much to despair, these moments are also moments to think about radically remaking our world, and about new possibilities. To continue to engage, even if it is only online for now.

If you have a suggestion of who we could invite, please contact:

vaishali at thepolisproject.com (or) anica at thepolisproject.com

To keep up to date, subscribe to our newsletter

October 9, 2020

Ep 22: Cynthia Stephen in conversation with Kunal Ambasta and N. Jayaram

This episode is guest hosted by Cynthia Stephen, a scholar, independent researcher, activist, and journalist. She discusses ‘Death Penalty: Caste and the access to justice in India’ with Kunal Ambasta, Assistant Professor of Law at NLSIU, Bangalore and N. Jayaram, an independent journalist.

You can find the conversation on YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter.

October 2, 2020

Ep 21: Conversation with Alison Killing and Aydin Anwar

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Alison Killing, an architect and open source investigator, with a focus on geospatial analysis. Her most recent work is on Xinjiang, to find and analyse the network of prison camps there. Aydin Anwar is a young Uighur-American activist who has been working to spread awareness about the detention camps in China and the problems faced by her community.

Link to the conversation here. You can also watch it on Facebook and Twitter.

September 25, 2020

Ep 20: Conversation with Prof. Romila Thapar

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Professor Romila Thapar about her latest book ‘Voices of Dissent’ and the history of dissent in India.

Link here. You can also find the video on Facebook and Twitter. We also have a podcast of this conversation on SoundCloud.

September 18, 2020

Ep 19: Conversation with Prabhjit Singh and Arshu John 

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Prabhjit Singh and Arshu John about The Caravan Magazine’s report, ‘Crime and Prejudice
The BJP and Delhi Police’s hand in the Delhi violence’

August 28, 2020

Ep 18: Conversation with Radhika Jhalani and Misbah Reshi

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Radhika Jhalani and Misbah Reshi about making of the digital apartheid in Kashmir.

August 20, 2020

Ep 17: Conversation with Nayantara Ranganathan and Karishma Mehrotra

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Nayantara Ranganathan and Karishma Mehrotra about Facebook, Hate Speech and The Future of Public Sphere.

Link here

August 14, 2020

Ep 16: Conversation with Dr Harjit Bhatti and Mehnaz Najmi

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Dr Harjit Bhatti and Mehnaz Najmi about criminalisation of dissent and the continued incarceration of Dr. Kafeel Khan and Gulfisha Fatima. Link here

August 7, 2020

Ep 15: Conversation with Prof. Ather Zia and Prof. Mona Bhan 

Suchitra Vijayan will be in conversation with Political Anthropologist, writer and poet, Ather Zia, and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Mona Bhan about Kashmir: A Year of Siege. Link here

July 24, 2020

Ep 14: Conversation with S Godson and Akila R.S

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with journalist, S Godson and lawyer, Akila R. S about police violence, custodial and impunity in Tamil Nadu.

Link here

June 25, 2020

Ep 13 (Part B): Conversation with Dr Avinash Kumar 

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Avinash Kumar, Executive Director, Amnesty India. The conversation will focus on #BK11: UAPA and the state of rights and resistance in India.

Link here

June 19, 2020

Ep 13 (Part A): Conversation with Etienne Maynier

Join Suchitra Vijayan conversation with Etienne Maynier, a Technologist from Amnesty Tech. The conversation will focus on how Indian human rights defenders are being targeted by a coordinated spyware operation.

Link here

June 12, 2020

Ep 10: Conversation with Bhanupriya Rao and Sunil Tamminaina

Join Suchitra Vijayan conversation with Bhanupriya Rao is the founder of Behanbox, a web platform for gender data and stories..She was written in women in politics, agrarian distress and migration. She has previously worked with Actionaid and Worldwide Web Foundation on governance, open data and transparent. Sunil Tamminaina, is an activist. He is associated with Migrant Workers Solidarity Network, India, and Research Scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

Link here

May 29th, 2020

Ep 10: Conversation with Aman and Rachel

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Journalist Rachel Chitra, and Lawyer Aman about the ongoing migrant crisis in India, the challenges of documenting the crisis, and why this is essential. Aman is a lawyer by training and is currently teaching at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, Haryana. He is also associated with the Jammu & Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, Srinagar. Rachel Chitra currently works as a journalist for the Times of India in Bangalore. She tracks finance, rural distress and labor issues

Link here 

May 22nd, 2020

Ep 9: Conversation with Aakash Hassan

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Kashmiri journalist Aakash Hasaan. Aakash is a freelance journalist and frequently writes for CNNnews18,  trtworld, The Caravan India, Asia Times, and other platforms.

Link here 

May 7th, 2020

Ep6: Conversation with Preethi Nallu

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with writer, researcher, and visual storyteller, Preethi Nallu to discuss what it means to think about “work” in the aftermath of COIVD,  vulnerabilities single
working people living on their own away from home encounter, new ways and approaches to journalism, and the situation of migrant workers across the globe – particularly in India and Lebanon where Preeti reports from.

Preethi Nallu is a writer, researcher, and visual storyteller, Preethi Nallu has reported on global migration issues for news media, UN agencies, think tanks and advocacy groups. Preethi is the founding editor of Refugees Deeply and part of the editorial team at Stories Asia. She also works for Copenhagen based International Media Support.


May 15th, 2020

Ep7: Conversation with Cynthia Stephen 

Join Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Cynthia Stephen, an independent social policy researcher, and analyst and independent journalist. She represents three of the marginalized communities, being a woman, a religious minority (in India), and also being identified with the Dalit community. She is President of the Training, Editorial and Development Services Trust, (TEDS Trust), and is based in Bangalore, India.


April 21

Ep5: Conversation with Zafar Ashfaq

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with journalist Zafar Ashfaq, a freelance journalist based in New Delhi on how the Rohingya Refugee community in India is surviving the lockdown.


April 6

Ep4: Conversation with Ritesh Uttamchandani

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Photographer Ritesh Uttamchandai, about living in the era of disinformation and hate, the precarity and unpreparedness that Indian photographers face while documenting COVID19, and the failure of existing media houses to nurture, protect and care for reporters, whom he calls, ” frontline histories”.

Ritesh Uttamchandani is a multi-award-winning freelance photographer based in India, and the author of the critically acclaimed and much-loved photo book – The Red Cat and Other Stories. @photowallah


April 2, 10.00 AM EST / 2.00 PM GMT 

Ep3: Conversation with Danish Husain

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with actor, poet, storyteller, and theatre director Danish Husain. Danish Husain is an actor, poet, Dastango, and a theatre director. He was instrumental in reviving the art form of Dastangoi for which he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s (Indian Academy of Music, Dance, &Theatre) Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar in 2010. He subsequently returned the award in 2015 in the intolerance debate that raged across India. He later in 2016 started a multi-lingual brand of storytelling Qissebaazi. He also contributed an essay to a highly acclaimed collection Strongmen, edited by Vijay Prashad & published by Leftward Books, where five artists, including Eve Ensler, from five different countries, write about authoritarian leaders in their countries.


March 25, 10.00 AM EST / 2.00 PM GMT 

Ep2: Conversation with Sohini Chattopadhyay

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with journalist Sohini Chattopadhyay to discuss what happens to chronic patients during #lockdownindia.  Chattopadhyay is an award-winning long-form journalist who has written for publications all over the world. She writes on health, politics, and popular culture.


March 19, 10.00 AM EST / 2.00 PM GMT 

Ep1: Conversation with Dr. Thusiyan Nandakumar

Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with Dr. Thusiyan Nandakumar, on the ground realities faced by Tamil as  #COVID19 cases grow in Sri Lanka and the military, sets up quarantine camps in the North-East.

Dr Thusiyan Nandakumar is the editor-in-chief of the Tamil Guardian, an English-language news website that covers Tamil affairs on the island and around the world, as well as global political affairs. He works as a GP in London and is a regular guest lecturer in the Masters of Public Health at Imperial College, London.


The Polis Project will continue to serve as a hub of reportage and analysis of pressing global concerns, including the impacts of Coronavirus, and as a platform for community conversation and online engagement.

We have a lot of exciting programming in the works. Please continue to check back with us for more information on our upcoming podcastsvirtual community seminars, and other events in the coming weeks.

You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for more information, and subscribe to our regular newsletter. Do consider supporting the work we do on patreon by becoming a member or making a direct donation.

But above all, please safe and healthy.

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