To strike is to challenge and block the forms of producing and reproducing life in homes, in neighborhoods, in workplaces. It is to connect violence against women with the specific political nature of the current forms of exploitation of the production and reproduction of life. The strike was the key that enabled us to unite those two things.
Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui is an Aymara activist, sociologist, and oral historian who has worked with indigenous movements in Bolivia over the last four decades. Her work provides a valuable critique of certain forms of indigenous identity politics, and a balance sheet of anticolonial struggles in the country more broadly.
In the discourse of “slavery,” the textile workshops and their thousands of migrant workers are a sort of black hole where another type of humanity is concentrated, one that is never fully recognized as such, other than under the idea of complete foreignness.
The activities associated with “reproduction” continue to be a terrain of fundamental struggle for women, as they were for the feminist movement of the ‘70s, and a link to the history of witches.