It wasn't until photographer Surendra Lawoti moved to Canada from the U.S. that he realized he was a transnational -- someone whose sense of identity is tied to more than one country.
"I love Canada, but Nepal is also a strong part of who I am," asserts Lawoti.
Born in Nepal, Lawoti has spent almost half his life in North America, arriving in the U.S. in 1994 at age 21 to pursue a degree in photography at Columbia College in Chicago and then an MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. The artist moved to Canada in 2008 and is now a permanent resident.
"In the U.S. I wasn't allowed to fly back and forth to Nepal because of visa restrictions," explains the Toronto-based artist. "When I moved here, I had the freedom to come and go."
Related rabble.ca story:
Thank you so much to everybody who helped make yesterday’s Defend our Climate, Defend our Communities National Day of Action a huge success!
Every time you organize a protest or petition you always hold out a faint hope for some kind of big change that happens right away. Yet change doesn’t seem to usually happen that way. With the exception of the few moments when the whole world seems to be transformed in a day, change is usually slow and incremental.
Many of the people who organized the action shared one goal going in -- to connect people who are concerned by the threats of pipelines and dirty energy projects all across the country.
There is a significant and to my mind problematic limitation that is increasingly being placed on Indigenous efforts to defend our rights and our lands. This constraint involves the type of tactics that are being represented as morally legitimate in our efforts to defend our land and rights as Indigenous peoples on the one hand, and those which are viewed at as morally illegitimate because of their disruptive and extra-legal character on the other.
There is the sound of champagne corks being popped and cheers in the streets. Everyone smiles at each other and winks, knowing that soon it will all be over. The hated burgermeister is falling and no one, except perhaps his family, will be sad to see him go. And he has been felled by none other than that champion of democracy, Toronto Police Chief William Blair.