Indigenism in Mikyo
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This public article was written by StrawberryMilk, and last updated on 22 Apr 2020, 19:37.
14. Marie Kang
15. Mikyoan English
18. Mikyoan Spanish
21. Women in Mikyo
23. YongnagumeiIndigenism in Mikyo refers specifically to the various movements and ideologies surrounding the liberation and equality of the Indigenous Yaeyama1 people in Mikyo. Indigenism is referred to as 先住主義 (싱주초께이, shingjuchongei) in Mikyoan, and encompasses a wide variety of schools of thought which seek to define, establish, promote, and defend the social, political, and economic rights of Indigenous Yaeyama people. While Indigenous political action in Mikyo has a history which can be traced back to the 16th century, Indigenism as a social and political philosophy has its roots in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Both modern and historical Indigenism movements and philosophies in Mikyo are closely related to feminist and anti-capitalist movements.
While early Indigenism movements focused on securing the legal rights of the Indigenous Yaeyama, movements in the Post-Yobosu Era, began to focus specifically on the treatment of Indigenous Yaeyama in society and in politics. Today, the Indigenism political movement's main focuses are in promoting equality and respect in the perception and portrayal of Indigenous Yaeyamas in society through media and education, as well as maintaining Indigenous Yaeyama language, culture, and traditions as distinct but equal to those of the greater Mikyoan society.
Influential Indigenist philosophers and activists throughout Mikyoan history include Kiankong Amgbay, Bigaw Pangsi, Ehua Gim (金曀花, 김에화, gim ehua), and Gyangsang Lyong (龍強山, 룡걍상, lyong gyangsang).
Early Indigenous Yaeyama Activism
Early Indigenous Yaeyama Activism against the colonization and occupation of the Yaeyama Islands by Japonic peoples dates back to the initial arrival of Japonic people to the islands. The establishment of Mikyo necessarily demanded that Indigenous Yaeyamas either assimilate or be exterminated, and thus early conflicts between the two groups continued until Japonic settlers gained the upper hand.
Some groups attempted to fully integrate and assimilate into Mikyoan society and culture, whereas others attempted to resist the Mikyoan influence entirely. Early Mikyoan records note various attempted uprisings and attacks on Mikyoan fortresses and cities lead by Indigenous people.
Indigenism as a philosophy and political movement traces its origins to the 19th century. In 1852, with the establishment of the Women's Liberation Society, Feminism and Indigenism became intertwined as political movements in Mikyo, however, Indigenism itself is considered to have been established as a philosophy a decade earlier in 1841, with the publishing of The Indigenous Struggle: Freedom and Liberation for Those Who Were Here First, a work by Indigenous Yaeyama philosopher Kiankong Amgbay, in which he responded to the political and philosophical theorists at the time who believed the Indigenous Yaeyama to be less than human and/or of less ability.
Early Indigenist political action was largely ineffective in undoing the colonization of the Yaeyama islands or eradicating discrimination against Indigenous Yaeayamas, however, it was able to call into question the view in Mikyoan society that Indigenous Yaeyama's were inherently unintelligent and less than Mikyoans. Early Indigenist political action and philosophy were also able to gain allyship from Feminists due to the two groups agreeing that freedom and equality for one required freedom and equality for the other.
Imperial Japanese Rule
Under the Imperial Japanese Rule, Indigenous Yaeyama language, culture, and religion, similar to those of the wider Mikyoan society, were suppressed and discouraged in favor of Japanese language and culture. During this time, many Indigenous Yaeyamas were forced to take Japanese names or changed to Japanese names in order to assimilate. This has over time created a situation in which Indigenous Yaeyamas are one of the few remaining groups in Mikyo which are not ethnically Japanese, but frequently have Japanese names and speak Japanese with some fluency.
Members of the Indigenous Yaeayama community during the Imperial Japanese Rule were also forced to work in Japanese factories, for Japanese landowners, and many women were forced to work as sex slaves for the Japanese Imperial Army, commonly referred to today as comfort women, and referred to in Mikyoan as 慰安婦 (위앙뷰, wiangbyu). As a result, a feeling of alienation from one's own labor became especially prevalent within Indigenous Yaeyama communities and resulted in the Indigenism philosophy and movements becoming intertwined with anti-capitalist movements (such as communism and anarchism) as well as with women's rights movements like Feminism.
During this period, Indigenism developed as an ideology and philosophy from focusing exclusively on the rights of Indigenous Yaeyamas to focusing on opposing colonization of the Yaeyama Islands as a whole, as many Indigenists during this period saw it as necessary to establish a nation separate from Mikyo or to rise up against the structures of Mikyoan and Japanese society and rule that they viewed as oppressive. Other Indigenists, notably Haruka Amgbay-Yamamoto (遥아멍바이山本, haruka ameongbai-yamamoto), who established the idea of State Indigenism, sought to reclaim the Yaeyama islands, rather than to create a separate nation entirely and ensure a government which viewed Indigenous Yaeyamas as citizens alongside other ethnicities. She argued that rather than create a new nation on islands which had not been as fully colonized as the major Yaeyama islands, it was necessary to completely dismantle the Mikyoan and Japanese presence in the archipelago entirely, as she viewed it as impossible for an Indigenous State and a Mikyoan or Japanese State to coexist in the Yaeyama Islands.
With the rise of anti-capitalist ideals among Indigenous people during this period, various philosophers sought to apply Indigenism as a framework to anarchism, communism, and socialism specifically. During this period, Indigenous Anarchism, Marxist Indigenism, and Socialist Indigenism became subsets of Indigenist philosophy as a whole, focused on freeing the Indigenous Yaeyama from structures they viewed as oppressive, such as the state, capitalism, and imperialism.
The Yobosu Era was a particularly oppressive period for Indigenous Yaeyama people, as they were not granted citizenship unless they were fully assimilated, and even with citizenship Indigenous Yaeyamas faced discrimination and treatment in Mikyoan society which placed them as permanently below Asian Mikyoans. As Pan-Asianism and Nationalism became increasingly popular ideologies due to propaganda and endorsement of it from the Yobosu Regime, the place of the Indigenous Yaeyamas in society was perpetually one that was second to Asian Mikyoans.
Indigenists during this period were opposed to the Yobosu Regime not only due to its oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas but also because they viewed the Yobosu Regime as the culmination of all that was fundamentally wrong with Mikyoan society. Indigenist and Anarcha-Feminist Gyangsang Lyong (龍強山, 룡걍상, lyong gyangsang) proposed that the Yobosu Regime was just one result of what they claimed was the 'Mikyoan System' (a term which has become prevalent in Indigenist Theory, also referred to as 'Mikyoanism'), and that simply overthrowing the Yobosu Regime would not be sufficient in protecting the rights of Indigenous Yaeyamas and the Mikyoan people as a whole. In their essay 'The Mikyoan System', Lyong wrote:
The Yobosu is not the entirety nor the final stage of the Mikyoan System. The Mikyoan System encompasses all of what is fundamentally unjust with our society, it includes the discrimination and dehumanization of the Indigenous People, it includes the sexism, racism, and contempt for homosexuals that runs rampant in society both before and during the Yobosu Regime. It is hence not enough to simply overthrow the Yobosu, the Mikyoan System itself must be upended entirely so that the people who live under its rule can be truly liberated. The root of the Yobosu, that which has allowed it to come to power in the first place, is the Mikyoan system - built on the backs of the Indigenous through colonization, the backs of women through sexism, the backs of non-Mikyoans through racism and xenophobia. It's all connected, and at the heart of it all is the Mikyoan System. The Yobosu Regime is thus only a result, not the forebearer, of these oppressions.
Indigenist activists during this period sought to overthrow the Yobosu Regime and establish a society which guaranteed equality and justice for Indigenous Yaeyamas. As the original Indigenous People's Front had been outlawed by the Yobosu Government, alongside other groups like the Second Women's Liberation Society and the Mikyoan Communist Party, activists established the New Indigenous People's Front in 1969 in secret, to organize around Indigenism as a political philosophy through which they hoped to achieve and protect the social and political equality of Indigenous Yaeyamas in Mikyo.
The New Indigenous People's Front (commonly abbreviated to the NIPF) was involved in organizing marches, protests, and rallies against the Yobosu Regime and its openly Anti-Indigenous policies and actions. During the 1992 Ishigagi Riots, Indigenist activists were among those leading several of the demonstrations, which has since painted Indigenism in the wider Mikyoan Society as radical and Anti-Mikyoan.
In the winter of 1997, during the Anti-Yobosu uprisings, Indigenist philosopher and activist Ehua Gim (金曀花, 김에화, gim ehua) was arrested for circulating and promoting Anti-Yobosu speech, which established her as a martyr figure for the movement, and pushed Indigenists to ally with other leftist groups to ultimately overthrow the Yobosu Regime, to establish a democracy in Mikyo.
Because the NIPF and various Indigenist activists were involved in the resistance and eventual overthrow of the Yobosu Regime, many were involved in the drafting of the new Mikyoan Constitution and the establishment of the new Mikyoan Democracy. Within the constitution, legal equality of all races was guaranteed, however, due to centuries of ghettoization, segregation, discrimination, and repression, the Indigenous Yaeyama communities of Mikyo still do not exist on an equal status to that of Asian Mikyoan communities.
Modern Indigenists seek to establish social justice, now that legal equality is guaranteed, so that various racial and ethnic groups can exist with equal opportunity, which they argue they currently do not. Indigenist activism today intends to provide reparations in the form of increased funding in education and neighborhood planning, less violent policing, and elimination of discrimination in hiring, housing, and other areas of society in order to minimalize and eventually undo the effects of the ghettoization, discrimination, and oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas throughout Mikyoan history.
See main article: Indigenous Yaeyama People
Disparity in Education and Earnings
Statistically, Indigenous Yaeyama are both more likely to live in poverty and to be homeless than the general Mikyoan population. This is seen as a result of Indigenous Yaeyamas being less likely to attend elite universities (or to go to university at all) and as a result of Indigenous Yaeyama majority neighborhoods receiving worse funding for education than that of Asian Mikyoan neighborhoods, thereby lowering the quality of education. Indigenous Yaeyamas are less likely to succeed academically, are less likely to finish high school, and are less likely to attend university as many families see it as necessary for their children to get a job early in order to help provide for the family. This ultimately results in Indigenous Yaeyamas being trapped in a cycle of living in poverty and working low paying jobs to provide for their family, as well as in a cycle of receiving a poor education compared to other Mikyoan communities.
Indigenous Yaeyamas as well have the highest rate of homelessness among any racial group in Mikyo. As of 2017, 5.32% of Indigenous Yaeyama Mikyoans (2,939 people) were reported to be homeless.
Indigenists see this as a direct result of the ghettoization of Indigenous Yaeyamas as well as a historic precedent of universities and higher education explicitly not allowing Indigenous Yaeyamas to study within their institutions. Indigenists thus view it as necessary to increase funding in education for Indigenous Yaeyama neighborhoods in order to allow Indigenous Yaeyamas to have better opportunities to attend higher education and thus earn a better paying job, as well as promote economic equality and wealth redistribution to allow Indigenous Yaeyamas an easier time providing for their children, and thus making it a financial possibility for Indigenous Yaeyamas to finish school and continue onto higher education without their families going into debt or poverty.
Assimilation and Acculturation
The assimilation of Indigenous Yaeyamas is realized through various means within Mikyoan society, however, one example is the Mikyoan law stating that citizens must have at least one Mikyoan surname to have citizenship. Although it is possible to have multiple surnames, one of non-Mikyoan origin and one Mikyoan, Indigenous Yaeyamas are often stereotyped and stigmatized as being uneducated and lazy, which has led to Indigenous surnames like Amgbay and Pangsi to be associated with the stereotype. Indigenous Yaeyamas with names which are of Indigenous origin are thus more likely to be considered unqualified and unfit for positions when applying for jobs and universities, which perpetuates the place of Indigenous Yaeyamas as being less than that of Asian Mikyoans. Some Indigenous Yaeyamas, in an attempt to escape this stigma, decide to remove their Indigenous surnames from their birth certificates and other legal documents to avoid discrimination, however, this also causes them to lose part of their identity as Indigenous Yaeyamas.
Indigenists view this as a form of assimilation and acculturation, as it causes Indigenous Yaeyamas both to view their own culture as less than that of the wider Mikyoan culture, and it also leads to them renouncing parts of their culture. Indigenists believe that the best way to reverse this trend is for Mikyoan society to respect Indigenous cultures and customs and to erase the stigma around Indigenous Yaeyamas and their culture through more positive media representation and through undoing the structures and effects (such as systemic poverty) of colonialism in order to allow Indigenous Yaeyamas to succeed.
Colonialism in Indigenist Theory refers both to the act of colonizing as well as the long-term effects of colonization as well. Within Indigenism Theory, colonialism is said to manifest in various structures which benefit non-Indigenous Mikyoans at the expense of Indigenous Yaeyamas and through structures which keep Indigenous Yaeyamas in a state of social and economic inequality. Indigenist Theorists generally agree that colonialism is one component of the overarching Mikyoan System, however, its intersections with other oppressions are a source of debate between theorists and academics, with some arguing it be considered as a subset of other oppressions such as capitalism and racism whereas others argue it should be considered as its own oppression under the Mikyoan System, distinct but intersecting with others.
Intersectionality2 as an analytic framework has been especially popular within Indigenism as it allows Indigenist philosophers and activists to examine how the oppressive structures of the Mikyoan System interact and amplify each other. The framework, first coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, which seeks to examine how various oppressions can overlap with each other, has been well received by Indigenists, in part due to Indigenism as a philosophy having a long history of interacting and allying itself with other social justice movements such as Feminism and Anti-Capitalism. Through intersectionality, Indigenists hope to find how the oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas can intersect with the oppressions of class, gender, race, ability, sexuality, nationality, and age, and how the intersections between these oppressions can be addressed and remedied.
While Indigenism has a long history of addressing how oppressions can be similar and interact, Indigenist philosopher Ehua Gim (金曀花, 김에화, gim ehua), in her 2014 essay Applying Intersectionality to Indigenism, explains that "Indigenism has always in some way or another had a concept and theme similar to Crenshaw's 'Intersectionality', however, we did not have a word for it until Crenshaw brought the term to our attention, and we acknowledge her and give credit to her for doing so."
Although Indigenist academia has largely embraced Intersectionality, individuals within Indigenism have not always applied it to their activism and philosophy. Early Indigenist philosopher Kiankong Amgbay, in spite of being considered a foundational thinker of Indigenism in Mikyo, has been criticized for his comments on Feminism in Mikyo. He wrote, in his novel The Indigenous Struggle: Freedom and Liberation for Those Who Were Here First, that:
The women's rights movement is a distraction for the Indigenous Yaeyama. The Indigenous society treated all genders equally, therefore I see no reason that women's liberation must be in any way of more urgency than the liberation of the Indigenous. Once we have secured our freedom as Indigenous people, women's freedom will surely follow, therefore I see it as unnecessary to fight for the equality of the woman when the equality of woman is a result of the equality of the Indigenous person.
It is generally accepted today, among Indigenists, that women's liberation and Indigenous liberation are, rather than the results of each other, necessary components of each other, and thus Indigenists advocate that fighting against all oppression is the goal of any consistent and thoughtful Indigenist.
Indigenist Theory refers to the extension of Indigenism into academics as a theoretical framework. Indigenist Theory encompasses work in a wide variety of disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, economics, postcolonial studies, indigenous studies, literary criticism, art history, philosophy, and media studies. Indigenist Theory seeks to examine inequality and discrimination against Indigenous Yaeyamas in academia and in various disciplines, as well as to understand and study colonialism, power relations, and cultural aspects and influence in academia. Through examining and understanding these issues, Indigenist Theory seeks to promote equality and justice for Indigenous Yaeyamas. Themes explored in Indigenist Theory include discrimination, assimilation, acculturation, power dynamics, the effects of colonialism and imperialism, oppression, implicit bias, stereotyping, and dehumanizing.
Indigenist Theory was paralleled in the early 2000s by Indigenists who sought to develop the concept of Indigenous Literature in order to explore academics and research from an indigenous perspective. Ehua Gim argues that both historic and contemporary literature and research in Mikyoan academia is centered around a colonialist and settler perspective, and thus it is necessary for Indigenous Yaeyamas to decolonize and introduce a different perspective into Mikyoan academia. More recent Indigenous Theory has also begun to focus on solidarity between Indigenous Yaeyama with other Indigenous Peoples, such as those of the Americas.
Variations and Ideologies
Indigenismo, referred to in Mikyoan as 인디헤닛모 (indihenismo) from the Spanish word indigenismo, seeks to build solidarity between Indigenous Yaeyama and other indigenous groups fighting for equality and justice within their societies, such as those of the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.
Indigenismo argues that the various Indigenous ethnic groups throughout the world are united in their subjugation and oppression by settler and colonialist systems, and thus should unite to collectively fight for the freedom of Indigenous People throughout the world.
Indigenous Feminism, referred to as 先住的女性主義 (싱주덱녀싱초께이, shingjudek-nyeoshingchongei) in Mikyoan, argues that the oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas and the oppression of women are inextricably tied and thus must be advocated for together, rather than separately. Indigenous Feminism is one of the oldest subsets of Indigenism, growing out of the advocacy for both women's and Indigenous rights during the 19th century in the early days of Indigenism and Feminism in Mikyo.
Indigenous Feminists argue that Indigenist and Feminist philosophies which do not examine how these oppressions overlap and compound each other are inadequate and can ultimately hurt both Indigenous Yaeyamas and women. Indigenous Feminism was started by and continues to be lead primarily by Indigenous Yaeyama Women and Gender Minorities, as a response to Feminism and Indigenism which lack an analysis of how they are necessary components of each other.
Queer Indigenism, referred to as 퀴어先住主義 (퀴어 싱주초께이), is a subset of Indigenism, closely related to Indigenous Feminism, which views Queer Liberation as a necessary component of Indigenous Liberation. LGBTQ+ identities, such as non-binary genders and same-sex attraction, have a long history in Indigenous Yaeyama communities, however, settler Mikyoan culture has not always been as accepting of such identities. Because of the way in which colonialism in Mikyo reinforces various oppressions of queer identities, various Indigenists have determined that Indigenism requires a queer perspective in order to fully address how colonialism has affected and subjugated Indigenous Yaeyamas.
Socialist and Marxist Indigenism
Socialist Indigenism, referred to as 社會先住主義 (자화싱주초께이, jahua-shingjuchongei), and Marxist Indigenism, referred to as 맋先住主義 (맋싱주초께이, maks-shingjuchongei), connect the oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas to Marxist and socialist ideas about exploitation, oppression, and labor.
Socialist Indigenism and Marxist Indigenism originate from the period of Imperial Japanese Rule of Mikyo, as Indigenous Yaeyama workers often felt alienated from their labor due to being forced to work for Japanese landowners, in Japanese factories, and for the Japanese Military. Socialist and Marxist Indigenism of the time also tended to relate to Feminism, as many Mikyoan women were forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Military.
Lyongism and Indigenous Anarchism
Lyongism, referred to as 龍主義 (룡초께이, lyongchongei) and Indigenous Anarchism, referred to as 先住的無政府主義 (싱주덱뮤징부초께이, shingjudek-myujingbuchongei) are forms of Anarchist philosophies which see the oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas as an unjustified hierarchy, as well as colonialism and imperialism. Indigenous Anarchism's roots can be traced back to the Imperial Japanese Rule over Mikyo, as it developed alongside Marxist and Socialist Indigenist Philosophy, however Indigenous Anarchism differentiates from Marxist and Socialist Indigenism as it sees the state as oppressive, whereas Marxist and Socialist Indigenism see the state as necessary to achieve their goals.
In contrast, Lyongism was developed by the Indigenous Anarchist and Feminist Gyangsang Lyong (龍強山, 룡걍상, lyong gyangsang), based on their experiences as an Indigenous Yaeyama, Non-Binary person, and as someone who lived in poverty for years. Lyongism is foundational for Modern Indigenism as it was with Lyongism that the Mikyoan System as a way of understanding oppression and how various oppressions interact and connect was proposed and first developed.
Although Lyong did not refer to themself as an Indigenist, and although Lyongism is not prescribed to by all Indigenists, it is a foundational philosophy that is considered to be essential to the development of Indigenism as a whole, especially to contemporary Indigenism.
Eco-Indigenism, referred to as 生先住主義 (섕싱주초께이, shaeng-shingjuchongei) or as 이코先住主義 (이코싱주초께이, iko-shingjuchongei), is a form of Indigenism which connects the destruction of the environment to the oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas. In order to liberate the Indigenous Yaeyamas, Eco-Indigenists claim, the environment must be liberated as well. Eco-Indigenists believe that the Indigenous Yaeyama have a key role in stopping the destruction of the environment, preserving it, and creating sustainable societies. Eco-Indigenism has sometimes been criticized for lacking an intersectional framework due to it creating a binary of Indigenous and the Environment versus Non-Indigenous and Environmental Destruction, whereas others have criticized Eco-Indigenism for being too focused on a mystical and spiritual connection between Indigenous Yaeyamas and the Environment, rather than focusing on tangible and realistic goals to stop environmental destruction and the oppression of Indigenous Yaeyamas.
Since 1998, equal rights under the law have been guaranteed for Indigenous Yaeyamas, in large part due to the vocal complaints and visible activism of Indigenists during the Yobosu Era protesting against unequal treatment of Indigenous Yaeyamas by the Yobosu Regime. The constitution of the Mikyoan Republic, drafted in 1998, was essential to securing the legal rights of Indigenous Yaeyamas in Mikyoan society, and it resulted in birthright citizenship for Indigenous Yaeyamas, classifying Kampanamgapay as a protected language, and outlawing discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas of Mikyoan society.
While legal equality is ensured for Indigenous Yaeyamas, the long-term effects of structural discrimination and colonialism are considered to still be ingrained in Mikyoan society, and thus as a continuation of equality, Indigenists advocate social justice as well.
The linguistic impact of Indigenism has been varied, however, some effects include the attempted revival efforts for the Indigenous Yaeyama language Kampanamgapay and the use of more inclusive language when referring to Indigenous Yaeyamas.
Currently, Kampanamgapay is declining in its use, regularly loosing around 100 speakers each year. Within the Kampanamgapay speaking community, the language is primarily used by older Indigenous Yaeyamas, whereas younger Indigenous Yaeyamas tend to use Mikyoan due to the social stigmas attached to Kampanamgapay. Revival efforts have been put in place primarily in the Outermost Islands County of Mikyo in order to attempt to preserve the language, as it is the only surviving Indigenous language of the Yaeyama Islands. The Outermost Islands in 2011 passed the Kampanamgapay Language Act, which makes it a requirement for Kampanamgapay to be a subject taught in all local high schools, however many Indigenists see this as not adequate in fully promoting the use of the language, and instead would like to see funding put into efforts such as immersion programs.
The Mikyoan System
The Mikyoan System is a term in Indigenism which refers to the various oppressions which exist in Mikyoan society, including oppression of race, sex, gender, sexuality, nationality, age, ability, and language. While these groups are protected by the Mikyoan Human Rights Council, Indigenists assert that these systems continue to exist in Mikyoan society as a result of long-lasting discrimination and oppression, the effects of which are believed to remain in society unless social justice is advocated for and carried out at a jurisdictional level. Some more radical Indigenists may assert that because the Mikyoan System is ever present and colonialism is so ingrained in Mikyoan society, the only option is Indigenous Separatism, however, other Indigenists view this as an inadequate and extreme solution.
Pro-Indigenism is the support of Indigenism and Indigenist movements and activism without explicitly calling oneself an Indigenist. The term is most commonly used by Non-Indigenous Mikyoans who support Indigenist movements and activism, but choose not to identify as an Indigenist for a number of reasons, including its association with being a label only for Indigenous Yaeyamas, its association with radical social change as well as rioting and political violence, or who believe it is not their place to apply the label to themselves. Pro-Indigenists may also participate or help organize workshops and lectures with and for Indigenists. Pro-Indigenists may also be involved in making space for the decolonization of various aspects of Mikyoan society, especially in the workplace, in government, and in media.
Anti-Indigenism is a reaction to Indigenism in some or all of its forms. Anti-Indigenism typically opposes the main goals of Indigenist activists at the time, for example, during the Yobosu Era, Anti-Indigenists were frequently opposed to giving Indigenous Yaeyamas citizenship and equal status in the law, and today Anti-Indigenous may oppose reparations and actions to promote social justice through giving special attention or funding to certain communities.
1 - Indigenous Yaeyamas
2 - Intersectionality