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Highlighter: The Intersectional Manifesto

A 100+ page thesis, or Intersectional manifesto, investigating the key forms of socio-economic and cultural discrimination.

Laiqa Miriam writes, designs and produces a 100+ page thesis, or Intersectional Manifesto, in collaboration with more than ten other Intersectional artists and changemakers across Paris and London. 116 pages, just under 35,000 words, and 277 footnotes. A labour of love, blood, sweet and happy years. The Intersectional Manifesto investigating the key forms of socio-economic and cultural discrimination faced by Intersectional women, to legitimise the barriers they experience in the UK’s creative economy.

Although we have reached the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act in the UK, there are still strives to be made to assure complete equality for all women. In our current digital era; where globalisation has transformed international borders, we need to ask why does a white-oriented perspective still dictate the narrative of contemporary Feminism?

Opening extract from the Intersectional Manifesto:

"Intersectionality, is a term pioneered by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, in critical theory to articulate the process by which systemic oppressions, such as racism, sexism or homophobia interconnect with one another. Only 30 years ago, had academics considered the Intersectional, or “double discrimination” that minority women experience, as a valid sub-genre of research in Identity Politics. Nonetheless, Intersectionality is still a peripheral perspective in mainstream Feminism and little has changed within these systematic inequalities. Furthermore, these biases are even more disproportionate in the creative arts; an industry so dominated by the white male voice, that in art market auctions, women make 47.6% less than their male peers, this disparity is even wider for Intersectional women who face additional forms of discrimination.

The purpose of this project, therefore, is to provide a solution to mitigate the long standing discrimination Intersectional women face in the creative arts. As a Women of Colour, with experience in Fine Art, Architecture, Design and Fashion, I understand these biases on a first hand basis. I intend to investigate the intersecting biases WoC and other minority women face through analysis of Identity Politics; starting from the systematic oppression they experience, to the mis- and under-representation of themselves in mainstream media. Particularly as work created by Intersectional women was and still is so often marginalised by not only the mainstream Art Industry but also by all eras of Feminism which have been historically white, heteronormative and cis-gender dominant."


Kimberlé Crenshaw. "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Anti discrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” (University of Chicago Legal Forum. Issue 1, Article 8. 1989.) 149.

Renee B. Adams. and Kräussl, Roman and Navone, Marco A. and Verwijmeren, Patrick, “Is Gender in the Eye of the Beholder? Identifying Cultural Attitudes with Art Auction Prices.” (December 6, 2017.) 13.

“In the UK, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women have the largest gender pay gap of all. Their aggregate (full and part-time) gender pay gap with White British men today stands at 26.2%. The disparity is comparatively less for White women, at 14%.” Yaojun Li, and Anthony Breach,“Gender Pay Gap by Ethnicity in Britain.” (Briefing, Fawcett Society. 2017) 1-3.

Collaborative credit:

Photography: Irene Antonia Diane Renne.

Garments and Styling: Aishwary Bundela.

Modelling: Fatima Salajee.

Artist: Janaki Mistry.

Interviewees: Heather Iqbal, Juliana Yazbeck, Nandita Shah, Simran Bhalla and Vyabeny Sathiyalingam.

Visual Portfolio

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