indo-american art gallery


Educated Indentured Servant

©2013-2020 Lila Leher. All rights reserved.

This image illustrates the financial struggles of an H1B Visa holder pursuing the dreams of becoming a Green Card holder with the hopes and aspirations of one day becoming a permanent resident of the United States. The companies sponsoring the H1B visa call these foreign guest workers to be employed in the USA with promise of higher standard of living. Often the immigrant finds themselves in as a highly Educated Indentured Servant. In the  image above the immigrant is pulling a cart much like a slave would. The contents of the cart are tools often used in their field. The hour glass represents the limited 3 year time to be employed in America with an option of the company to renew once more for 3 years.  At the end of the agreed time the foreign worker is expected to return to their country or the company may choose to sponsor the employee for a green card with hopes to eventually become a citizen of the USA.  The employee is on a flat ground representing the constant low level pay no matter how good or bad the economy is doing. In the background we see the economy plummeting in a bear market while on the right side of the image we see a business man climbing upwards as in a bull market while dangling a green card, like a carrot, in front of the foreign worker enticing them to keep working 2 peoples work while hoping to get the Green Card.  Although this illustration has been made specifically for the H1B visa holder the artist has found immigrants from previous generations relating to this experience illustrated here.

In 2013, this image was a finalist for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center ‘Beyond Bollywood’ -H1 B Visas Migration, Diaspora Call for Art entry.

In 2014, it was exhibited at the Twelve Gates Gallery in Philadelphia, PA

In 2015, the whole exhibit has found an online home:

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