Translating the colonial: The South Asian American identity of Annu Palakunnathu Matthew
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Transnational citizens find roots in multiple countries, and thus convolute the simple notions of nationalism and authenticity. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is one of many artists whose cultural background is related to the United States and the South Asian region. Her photographic series, An Indian from India (2001) delves into the placement of her individual and the larger South Asian American identity in this country. It is not a simple transition in which both cultures, South Asian and American, are at ease with each other, but constantly fluctuating. In addition, I believe her goal in this series is to enlighten viewers about the position of minorities and immigrants in American culture as marked by marginalization and racism. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew's works often fall into the realm of postcolonialism. However, my intention here is to show that her works are more representative of the ever-growing force of neocolonialism.