chapter  2
37 Pages

Literary Fiction as an Alternative to a Human Rights Report

The Case of Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator
WithRakhshan Rizwan

This chapter contrasts forms of storytelling within Mirza Waheed’s fictional novel The Collaborator and conventional human rights reports published by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International People’s Tribunal of Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir. This chapter identifies the emergence of ‘pleasurecentric advocacy’ in Waheed’s literary fiction and the Kashmiri Bicycle Movement and examines two feminist South Asian rights movements, in Pakistan and India, to further adumbrate the features of this mode of activism. The Collaborator’s deployment of a ‘pleasurecentric temporality,’ which functions by organizing temporal flow through a focalization on recurring lived experiences of pleasure, rather than only depictions of physical pain, torture, and victimization, is expanded upon to reveal innovative strategies for writing rights and representing atrocity. This chapter posits that human rights workers can appropriate the rhetorical strategies of literary fiction and expand the repertoire of stories and testimonies that are told and published in the context of human rights reports, many of which concern themselves with constructing a fictionalized narrative of the human rights crime by using corpora deliciti.