YES YES YES
[Image: Photographic recreation of Rosie the Riveter featuring a femme-presenting person from India. Speech bubble above reads “we can do it!” in Hindi.]
INDIAN VERSION OF “ROSIE THE RIVETER”
I have seen various photographic recreations of Rosie the Riveter - all modeled by white women. Yet I’d never seen an Indian version. And I thought to myself, “I’m gonna make one!” One of my family members, who lives in India, helped me with the translation of “We Can Do It!” in Hindi. The model is me, the photographer is me, and I wore a traditional polyester saree with a cotton choli (blouse). I modeled my look after my aunts and other working class Indian women in the home state where both my parents come from - I greatly admire them and their work ethics. I hope you guys enjoy my Indian version of Rosie the Riveter!
Please follow me on Twitter and Tumblr! Don’t forget to subscribe to The American Dream is Dead and my youtube channel!
Awesome! After I posted that embroidered image of Rosie the Riveter earlier, I was thinking about how all redesigned images using Rosie are always always white. This is so great!
Thanks to a tip from WalkOutOfHerMind, Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora has jumped to the top of my reading list.
Duke University Press’s description of the book:
Terrifying Muslims highlights how transnational working classes from Pakistan are produced, constructed, and represented in the context of American empire and the recent global War on Terror. Drawing on ethnographic research that compares Pakistan, the Middle East, and the United States before and after 9/11, Junaid Rana combines cultural and material analyses to chronicle the worldviews of Pakistani labor migrants as they become part of a larger global racial system. At the same time, he explains how these migrants’ mobility and opportunities are limited by colonial, postcolonial, and new imperial structures of control and domination. He argues that the contemporary South Asian labor diaspora builds on and replicates the global racial system consolidated during the period of colonial indenture. Rana maintains that a negative moral judgment attaches to migrants who enter the global labor pool through the informal economy. This taint of the illicit intensifies the post-9/11 Islamophobia that collapses varied religions, nationalities, and ethnicities into the threatening racial figure of “the Muslim.” It is in this context that the racialized Muslim is controlled by a process that beckons workers to enter the global economy, and stipulates when, where, and how laborers can migrate. The demonization of Muslim migrants in times of crisis, such as the War on Terror, is then used to justify arbitrary policing, deportation, and criminalization.
I’m sure this will be of huge interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the racial politics of Islamophobia, race, diaspora, and the War on Terror.
Breaking down inequality in Canada’s colour-coded labour markets →
via the Wellesley Institute newsletter:
Wellesley Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s Canada’s Colour-Coded Labour Market shows that racialized men are more likely to be unemployed than non-racialized men – and the situation is worse for racialized women. For those who are working, there is a major pay gap: Racialized Canadians earn 81.4 cents for every dollar earned by non-racialized Canadians.
The work that racialized workers are able to attain is much more likely to be insecure, temporary and low paying. For example, racialized Canadians are over-represented in a range of traditionally low-paid business services ranging from call centres to security services, while non-racialized Canadians are not.
My mother was a janitor, my father drove a trash truck and my stepfather still works at the post office. So I grew up with a family determined to make something out of nothing by working very hard,” says Monáe. “They inspired me to follow my dreams, to create music for the working men and women who are coming up against life’s obstacles and need to be uplifted. Music found me – this was my purpose. So when I was 11 years old, I sat my parents down and told them what I wanted to do and that they must all get on board.” […]
Heavily inspired by Fritz Lang’s 1927 German expressionist film Metropolis, which used an urban dystopia to berate capitalism, she too has invented a not-too-distant future in order to comment on the confines within she is expected to perform and present herself as a black female artist. “As an African-American woman, as an immigrant, wherever I am, I’m always the minority,” she explains. “So I came up with the concept of the android as the ‘other’ in society. I’ve been studying the theory of technological singularity, which predicts that as advances in technology become faster, there will come a point when robots will be able to map out the brainpower of humans and recreate our emotions. I’m posing the question – how are we going to live with the ‘other’? Are we going to treat them inhumanely, teach our children to fear them?
Although workers failed to achieve their demand, the strike helped highlight the oppression of migrant women workers. Defiant to the end, Jayaben told the final meeting of the strikers that they could be proud. “We have shown,” she said, “that workers like us, new to these shores, will never accept being treated without dignity or respect. We have shown that white workers will support us.”
In what The Guardian said was her last known public statement, Ms Desai told the newspaper: “I am proud of what I did. They wanted to break us down, but we did not break.”
The Grunwick strike and the shameless exploitation of a largely female and Asian workforce by exploitative management backed up by the Tory Party and racist fellow travellers still resonates today pace the baying calls from the Tory Hyenas for more restrictions on the rights of trade Unions and attacks on workers’ rights hard won by the actions of Jayaben Desai in opposing obvious injustice and exploitation. Over 550 workers and supporters were arrested in the course of the Grunwick Strike and all the workers were sacked, but the insight their struggle provided into the heart of darkness changed British Society and employment relations in the years afterwards.
read the whole article here
Jayaben Desai – A Lioness is gone
Desai…came to be known as a “lioness” for her role in leading the two-year long strike at the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories, north London, in the 1970s to demand union recognition for its largely Asian and female workforce.
She famously told a manager: “What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. In a zoo, there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips; others are lions who can bite your head off. We are those lions, Mr Manager.’’
Wish I had known about Jaybean Desai sooner, she sounded amazing. Desi women in the labour movement…anyone else have any tips? names? thoughts?
This image comes from a reader, Hiren Naik. The image is of his grandfather protesting against discrimination in Zambia in the 1950s.
So my grandfather moved from Gujarat to Zambia when he was about 20 (economic migrant). Zambia was still part of the British Empire when he arrived, and until 1964. He found a lot of discrimination, and I remember my father told me about the day all that ended (I imagine at independence) - my father along with his brothers rode their bikes to the local whites only pool and all jumped in for the first time. My grandfather was murdered by his servant, and my father and his family fled to England as people told them the political climate was deteriorating in Zambia (i don’t think turned out to be entirely true, but my father and his brothers were being variously educated in England anyway).
As an aside, my father moved to England when he was about 15 (i think), and i moved from England to the US for lawschool at 23. When people ask me why i moved, i guess i always answer that it’s in my blood.
If you have images you’d like to submit -please do! Bonus points if you have political posters from before the 1980s, particularly from Ghadar Party era.