“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends,” said MLK Jr.
For 18 years racial and social equity has been central to Tasveer’s work.
We condemn the ongoing racist and white supremacist acts across our country and in our own region. We are not silent friends. We stand in solidarity with Black communities in fighting against racism and systemic injustice. We demand justice for Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, Sean Reed and countless others who have lost their lives at the hand of racist police brutality.
We particularly acknowledge the dual burden of COVID-19 and anti-Black Racism that have disproportionately impacted African-American people, resulting in death by COVID, unemployment, homelessness, and the resultant taken for grantedness of their lives.
We were heartbroken and devastated to witness the consequences of this pandemic within a pandemic, as we watched with horror the day-light murder of George Floyd while his was life being snuffed out mercilessly.
We share the rage and grief of all at the reality of racial injustice. As South Asians, we are determined to try to see ways to bring about change. Tasveer works towards envisioning an informed and just society through centering the lived experience of people in the community. As an arts organization it is our work to distill chaos of the society and present the information in more creative ways. Our goal is to empower, transform, inspire, and heal members of our community as we face systemic discrimination due to the intersection of our social and political identities of race, class, gender, sexuality, political beliefs, and immigration status.
Keeping in mind our mission to inspire social change in the changing times, and aware that this uphill work will evolve and continue year-round in many forms, right now we can offer one thing: the use of our “megaphone,” our platform. What action, opportunity, news or stories can we amplify through our Tasveer family on social media? How can we shine a light on that which would be useful for #Blacklivesmatter work in dismantling racism and white supremacist behaviors?
We will use our Megaphone to work on:
Ending anti-Black bias by challenging existing power structures within the South Asian diaspora communities and critically reflecting on the ways in which the root of anti-blackness is deeply tied to the culture of casteism, colorism, and classism present in South Asian spaces.
Creating an inclusive culture that recognizes that an attack on any one community is an attack on the very idea of democracy based on the values of pluralism, diversity, and equal rights for all.
Using the medium of art to engage the community in helping change narratives based on an understanding that white supremacy targets us all, that structural racism is not just limited to one community or one country, and that the oppressed can also be the oppressors.
Putting in place a constructive dialogue around issues of race, gender, class, caste, religion, and sexuality with a sense of humility and understanding that the Black liberation struggle has inspired the liberation for many other marginalized communities
Surfacing the shared history of solidarity between South Asian and Black communities. Think Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalit Black Panther Party, “Coloureds” South Asians support of South Africa’s liberation, and Black Bengalis of Harlem in late 1800.
Because of all of the above, in contemporary times, the South Asians for Black Lives movement has been active in various parts of the United States since Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. We need to remember that we are “not free as long as one person of color remains chained.” (Audre Lorde)