Essay

Reflections from the Camps: ECSS

“We have such high hopes and expectations for these radical desi spaces.”

 

Stop Urban Shield, Stop Violence Against Our Communities

If there is anything that Urban Shield and the racist history of policing in the U.S. teaches us, it is that the police and military are two faces of the same system of global repression and racism. 

Memory as Guide: Iam.lk and personal narratives of Sri Lanka

Ahalya Satkunaratnam reflects on how the stories of elders in the website, Iam.lk assist in complicating identity in Sri Lanka and how this site provides a discussion of national history and personal belonging that circumvents hostility that often accompanies web-based discussions of identity, the nation and the war.

Drifting Across Desi Youth: Youth Activists Reflect on Social Justice, Resistance and Solidarity

Over one weekend in August 2015, three South Asian American youth camps took place across the US: Bay Area Solidarity Summer (BASS) in Oakland, CA, Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) in Chicago, IL and East Coast Solidarity Summer (ECSS) in New York City, NY. In an effort to collaborate long-distance, camp organizers asked the youth participants to collectively define three key concepts at the beginning and end of their camp expereinces. Below is a summary along with reflections on the camp experience.

Reflections from the Camps: CYDR

One of my favorite parts of CDYR was the workshop on South Asian history with professors Shefali Chandra and Junaid Rana. We discussed everything from Partition and Hindu nationalism to settler-colonialism and ISIS. These were topics that I was somewhat familiar with, but I had never explored them with a South Asian lens. Especially during the timing of the retreat when the Israeli war on Gaza was occurring, it was fascinating to learn about how the partition of South Asia was engineered by the same white imperialists who created the state of Israel.

To the Hindu middle-class: Why “wait and see” won’t cut it

In 2006 and 2007, I spent several months in Ahmedabad while on a fellowship from my university in the US. During my time in Ahmedabad, I interacted with the mostly-Hindu NGO staff where I was based, residents of the largely Hindu shantytown where the NGO was working, and professors at Gujarat University. Less than five years had passed since the city had gone through its nightmare: vicious riots involving saffron-clad men entering urban neighborhoods and brutalizing, gang-raping, and burning other human beings. Some 1,500 Muslims were killed.

Inquilab Zindabad

Choreographer Joti Singh reflects on her own familial connections to Ghadar history,  staged recently in her production "Red, Saffron, and Green."

The Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour: Building Our Movement, One Story At A Time

Anirvan Chatterjee takes us on a tour of Berkeley’s radical South Asian American history, and argues that historical memory is one of the key inspirations for contemporary political movements

The Power of Complicated Stories

Nahar Alam and Chitra Aiyar discuss the varied, subtle, and often unknown narratives that arise both in the not-for-profit economy and the lives of the members of Andolan-a among the members of Andolan – Organizing South Asian Workers, a Queens-based workers’ center that seeks to empower low-wage immigrant workers (primarily female domestic workers) through popular education, collective organizing, and litigation. 

Bushra Rehman / Corona / It Sucks When The Whole Of Your Relationship Fits Into One T-Mobile Bill

This was my world, where the city met the pulse of irrepressible wildlife, where my parents and their friends created a Muslim community from scratch. It is this world and the leaving of it I recreate in my writing.

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