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Re/Assembling the Imaginary: Counter-Narratives of Haiti’s Transnational Textile Industry

Since the 1970s, Haiti’s zòn franch (dislocated sites where garments are assembled and processed for export to the North), have reconstructed bonds of coloniality through structural violence. Despite over two hundred years of Haitian independence from French colonial rule, and over 80 years since the US occupation of Haiti, these “ports,” exempt from tax and duties, are often viewed locally as self-contained non-independent islands that reproduce a colonial logic of transnational wealth extraction. Mixing voices from ethnographic fieldwork and literature, this article examines the creative resistance of Black women garment workers in Northern Haiti. It sees their opposition to a precarious local textiles industry, to substandard labor conditions in the zòn franch and to increased climate vulnerability as a legacy of Black Haitian women’s continuous resistance to plantation slavery. I conceptualize the combination of informal livelihood strategies the women deploy as a form of what Haitian anthropologist and artist Gina Athena Ulysse calls rasanblaj (2015), or the re/assembly or regrouping of ideas, things, people. For Black women workers viewed as disposable by outsiders and a wealthy elite, self-organized textile-based initiatives not only tackle ecological issues such as waste management, but also extend social and educational benefits to the local community.

Phad: The Scoping Review of Ritualistic, Performative Audio-Visual Folk Tradition of Rajasthan

Phad Tradition as a part of visual culture is a performative, ritualistic, audio-visual folk craft of Rajasthan, India. Its cult following is based on its regional Gods, such as Papuji and Devnarayan Ji. Phad Tradition can be broadly divided into three aspects as narratives (tales, myths), paintings (visual), and performance (audio). Phad Paintings has a unique visual language that is painted on muslin fabric (sacred textile) by the Chippa community from Bhilwara, Rajasthan, and are recited by priest singers locally known as Bhopa and Bhopi in form of elaborated performances. The lesser-known Phad Tradition is a part of Indian cultural heritage, yet many communities engaged in this craft-making are perhaps struggling socially and economically. The aim of the current review is to bring different literature resources and discourses on the subject matter and provide a comprehensive knowledge of the traditions with future scope of research. With this reference, the scoping review was conducted by deploying electronic (Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar) and non-electronic (library resources) searching. A total of 70 papers were included to achieve the intended goal. These 70 papers were further divided into three categories based on the relativity of the subject matter. The review established that there are different paradigms where the subject has not been explored extensively. Hence, the review might encourage researchers and designers to engage with the subject from different perspectives to build further knowledge.