Is a Trafficked Woman a Citizen? Survival and Citizenship in Performance
Since the millennium, there has been a growing global awareness about the business of human trafficking and how it has expanded exponentially in relation to the neoliberal economic climate, the vast displacement of people through wars and conflict, and the growth of tourism and e-commerce. The connection between mobility, migration, and trafficking constitutes a transnational phenomenon and complicates efforts to combat and contain it through national channels of policing, border enforcement, and the courts. It also blocks attempts to support trafficking survivors because this aspect of mobility leaves many victims without recourse to rights of citizenship such as national identity, protection under the law, labour relations protections, and access to services and benefits, thus jeopardizing prospects for recovery. The question of citizenship plays out through related networks of state and non-state organisations that work with trafficking survivors. This essay looks at the characteristics of gendered citizenship (since most survivors of human trafficking are women and children), and analyzes the ways these attributes exclude or complicate the lives of survivors. It identifies a number of ‘dramaturgies’ with narratives, characters, and plot devices that serve to mythologize the reality of the trafficking situation for the purposes of conforming to demands of state agencies while limiting and excluding the victims’ access to aid. It will also discuss a number of theatrical representations of trafficking to ask how artists manoeuvre through this contested terrain to intervene in public discourse and policy making on behalf of the survivors. Sites of analysis will include the US, UK, India, and Australia.
- Bissett, Cora, and Stef Smith. 2011. Roadkill. London: Oberon Books Ltd.Google Scholar
- Balibar, Etienne. 2014. Equaliberty: Political Essays. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Californians Against Slavery. http://californiaagainstslavery.org/ [accessed 14 August 2016].
- Costa, Maddy. 2012. Three Kingdoms: the shape of theatre to come? Guardian 16 May. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2012/may/16/three-kingdoms-shape-british-theatre-or-flopm [accessed 16 August 2016].
- Exeunt Magazine. 2012. ‘Hardcore Critical Girl-on-Girl Action’. 21 May. http://exeuntmagazine.com/features/critical-girl-on-girl-action/ [accessed 14 August 2016].
- Finnegan, William. 2008. The Countertraffickers; Rescuing the victims of the global sex trade. In The New Yorker 5 May. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/05/05/the-countertraffickers [accessed 14 August 2016].
- Kara, Siddharth. 2009. Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.Google Scholar
- Kempadoo, Kamala, Jyoti Sanghera, and Bandana Pattanaik (eds.). 2012. Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
- Love, Catherine. 2012. Three Kingdoms: New Ways of Seeing, Experiencing, Expressing. 12 May. https://catherinelove.co.uk/2012/05/12/three-kingdoms-new-ways-of-seeing-experiencing-expressing/ [accessed 14 August 2016].
- Love, Catherine. 2012a. Revisiting Three Kingdoms. 21 May 2012. https://catherinelove.co.uk/2012/05/21/revisiting-three-kingdoms/. Accessed 14 August 2016.
- McElroy, Stephen. 2013. Taking Audiences on an Unsettling Ride. In New York Times 7 June. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/09/theater/cora-bissetts-roadkill-presented-by-st-anns-warehouse.html?smid=tw-nytimesTheater&seid=auto&_r=1 [accessed 15 August 2016].
- Nicola, Di, Andrea Cauduro Andrea, Lombardi Marco, and Ruspini Paolo (eds.). 2009. Prostitution and Human Trafficking: Focus on Clients. New York: Springer Science + Business Media.Google Scholar
- Reinelt, Janelle. 2015. Performance at the Crossroads of Citizenshp. In The Grammar of Politics and Performance, ed. Shirin M. Rai, and Janelle Reinelt, 34–50. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Reinelt, Janelle. 2016. Coerced Performances? Trafficking, Sex Work, and Consent. Lateral 5 (2). http://csalateral.org/issue/5-2/coerced-performances-trafficking-sex-work-consent-reinelt/. Accessed 23 July 2017.
- Rodriguez, Gena Castro Rodrigues. 2015. Human Trafficking, Keynote. Out of the Darkness: Awareness, Protection and Services for Victims of Human Trafficking, a conference sponsored by the San Francisco Mental Health Education Funds (SFHEF). 29 January 2015.Google Scholar
- Schechner, Richard. 1985. Restoration of Behavior. In Between Theatre and Anthropology, 35–116. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 2003. Shame, Theatricality, and Queer Performativity: Henry James’s The Art of the Novel. In Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, 35–66. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press.Google Scholar
- Sheffer, Erika. 2012. Russian Transport. New York: Dramatists Play Service Inc.Google Scholar
- Stephens, Simon. 2015. Plays: 4. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.Google Scholar
- Szymkowicz, Adam. 2012. ‘I Interview Playwrights Part 420: Erika Sheffer.’ http://aszym.blogspot.com/2012/01/i-interview-playwrights-part-420-erika.html [accessed 15 August 2016].
- UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). 2012. Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/Trafficking_in_Persons_2012_web.pdf [Accessed 14 August 2016].
- Zhang, Sheldon. 2010. Sex Trafficking in a Border Community: A Field Study of Sex Trafficking in Tijuana, Mexico. NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center). https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/234472.pdf [accessed 14 August 2016].