We Call Her Sensei.

From the mountains of Cisarua, Indonesia, Meena Asadi uses karate to combat the indefinite wait for resettlement. As a young Hazara woman, Meena’s path to becoming a karate champion was fraught with obstacles. When the Taliban forced Meena to flee Afghanistan she remained devoted to her sport. With no means of working or studying in Indonesia, Meena founded the Cisarua Refugee Shotokan Karate Club (CRSKC). Since 2016, her club has helped refugees to alleviate their anxiety and hone their skills whilst they search for a place to call home. Drawing on one month of fieldwork in Cisarua, We Call Her Sensei explores the emotive, embodied, and sensory worlds of Hazara refugees. It traces the precarious coupling of hope and doubt in their everyday activities from karate classes to birthday parties. In doing so, We Call Her Sensei reveals how Hazara refugees negotiate, mediate, and adapt to a life in limbo.

  • Lauren Howie
  • 2022