4.20.2009

Bamboo Shoots Back from India Tour - Airport Security Blues

I was just browsing Bamboo Shoots' blog to follow their India tour. The tour is over. Ahmed, Ankur, and Avir flew back together. On the blog, Avir posted about their experience of being the subjects of a "random" search at the U.S. customs. I can't help but think: Is this a toned down version of racial profiling? It sounds like Avir (and maybe the rest of the guys in the band) experiences this regularly. Anyway, here's the story directly from Avir.

I thought that I have it bad traveling with my guitar effects and electronics across the Pacific or up and down the east coast. At least with me, I feel as if it is my gear -- and not my body -- that is under scrutiny. The dehumanizing treatment by airport security, I believe, is an example of what Foucault says about the state's disciplining of the body, although not quite as severe incarceration. Individuals are stripped of (their rights to have) garment, possessions, and privacy. My father, who travels between Virginia and Taiwan regularly, has a mildly subversive tactic dealing with airport security. With pride and a friendly smile, he always wears his khaki color baseball cap with the U.S. flag stitched in every time he makes an international trip. He told me that wearing this hat lessens his chance of being searched.

After a quick search for TSA culture jamming, I found a video/performance activist project by Evan Roth. The aim of the project is to produce "ongoing research, activism, and performance that aims to give citizens an active voice in the theater of security":

1 comment:

Mike said...
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