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Desi DivasPolitical Activism in South Asian American Cultural Performances$
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Christine L. Garlough

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617037320

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617037320.001.0001

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A Future in Relation to the Other

A Future in Relation to the Other

(p.103) Chapter Four A Future in Relation to the Other
Desi Divas

Christine L. Garlough

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses the various hate crimes, and other forms of discrimination, that have emerged post-9/11. Among these hate crimes, a number of South Asian Americans have unfortunately also become targets for verbal insults and physical threats from both strangers and neighbors — sometimes even despite lifetimes spent participating in civic activities, building local relationships, or creating community connections. As a result, many South Asian Americans have taken to the streets, protesting through mass demonstrations that demand media attention. Others, however, have engaged in another form of political protest: performance art. This chapter thus considers this particular mode of protest, providing an ethnographic analysis of a semiautobiographical performance called Rise, performed by one Shyamala Moorty to address issues of racial profiling, xenophobic rhetoric, and hate crimes post-9/11.

Keywords:   hate crimes, discrimination, South Asian Americans, political protest, performance art, ethnographic analysis, Rise, Shyamala Moorty, racial profiling, xenophobic rhetoric

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