Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Making Peace with an Abandoned “Field”
This chapter discusses the manner in which the author's own gendered, racialized, and communally marked body was read by different Tanzanian Asian communities in various social sites in the city of Dar es Salaam, and how these encounters shaped the knowledge she was able to produce about Asian communal politics in that city in the early 1990s. The second part of the chapter turns to questions of reciprocity, power, trust, and ethical engagement in research relationships by focusing on examples of two life historians who participated in her study. The first was Frances, a Goan taxi driver with strong views about gender and race; the second was Nargis, a divorced Shiite feminist professional who returned to Dar es Salaam from London to fight a property case on behalf of her father. To offer an example of the kind of feminist “ethno-geography” that this self-reflexive methodological exploration helped the author create, the chapter ends with a sidebar drawn from excerpts from an unpublished chapter of her dissertation that focused on the politics of languages and mother tongues in Dar es Salaam.
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