Activism

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. 

Glimpses of a Muslim Childhood

Sajda

On the morning of my sixth or seventh Eid,
My mother dressed me in white Pakistani robes,

Holding my hand gently
As we walked through the bright wooden gates
Of the Islamic Community Center by our house.
I had not yet learned how to pray.

But my mother taught me how to bow in sajda,
The devotion of pressing one’s forehead
To the ground to feel smaller than God
has made you,
to feel as grounded
as feet.

As I lifted my forehead
from the carpeted floor of the mosque,

Special Issue: The 2014 Indian elections

In response to the recent swearing in of Narenda Modi as India’s 15th prime minister, SAMAR releases this special issue which takes a deeper look at the differences between rhetoric and reality, and the connections between communalism and neoliberalism.


Why We’re Not Losing: Decoding Indian Sexuality Politics in an Election Year

 Svati Shah provides a historical sketch of the recent 377 judgement, and frames 377 against the broader backdrop of both the vital LGBTQI movements protesting this law and Narendra Modi's ongoing campaign to be India's next prime minister.

United States of Dissent: Converging Political Imaginaries of the Ghadarites and Black Panthers

Simmy Makhijani explores the personal and political intersections between the Ghadaries and the Black Panthers in the Bay Area. She invites us to ask how we might carve out political space as South Asians in relation to our shared and divergent radical pasts, through the lens of a 'polycultural' tradition.

Lean Left: Young Radical Voices

Flash back to the first time you met another Desi lefty. Can you remember the quickening of your heart? Your excitement at finding someone who cared about the same issues and communities? For most of us, the moment we realized we weren’t alone in the world, struggling against the conservative expectations of our parents, aunties and uncles - when we realized that we had sisters and brothers in the cause who understand where we come from and where we wanted this world to go - was life-changing. 

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.

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