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Journal Article

Citation

Dasgupta S. Anti-Traffick. Rev. 2019; 12: 127-139.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW))

DOI

10.14197/atr.201219128

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic work with Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), a grassroots sex worker organisation in Sonagachi, the iconic red-light district in Kolkata, India, this paper explores the politics of the detritus generated by raids as a form of state violence. While the current literature mainly focuses on its institutional ramifications, this article explores the significance of the raid in its immediate relation to the brothel as a home and a space to collectivise for labour rights. Drawing on atyachar (oppression), the Bengali word sex workers use to depict the violence of raids, I argue that they experience the raid not as a spectacle, but as an ordinary form of violence in contrast to their extraordinary experience of return to rebuild their lives. Return signals both a reclamation of the detritus as well as subversion of the state's attempt to undermine DMSC's labour movement.


Language: en

Keywords

India; labour; law; police violence; raids; sex work

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