Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wish Us Luck!

All day long I’ve been battling with the American Consulate in Mumbai trying to convince them to reconsider the visas of 8 artists we contracted to perform at the Bride early next month. The Bride is just one stop on a multi-city tour and although it will really bite if it doesn’t happen, the basis for the denial provided is what’s most offensive.

The ensemble, Sidi Goma, includes 12 men from Gujarat, India. Eleven of the 12 have previously performed in the United States before and they all returned to India without incident (visa verbiage). Now, they’re being denied access to the U.S. because they “seem uneducated” and they didn't speak English well. WTF??!!!! With the high school dropout rate in the U.S. topping 52%, citizens of the better watch out because there’s a generation of us who won’t be awarded visas if “appearing educated” is a prerequisite. The men in the ensemble don’t speak English and therefore, requiring them to respond in English is a problem.

So, the ensemble has submitted new visa applications and the date for their new interviews is May 5, which is too late for three of the stops on the tour. Our only hope is to get them emergency interviews early next week. All of the U.S. presenters have contacted their senators requesting intervention. An aide from Sen. Arlen Specter has been particularly responsive to my calls and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office has also contacted the consult in Mumbai. No word yet, but wish us luck.

1 comment:

Angella Lister said...

Well, you had so many posts I could so relate to I just went ahead and linked you on my blogroll. Looking forward to following you!