Because I can’t get this song off of repeat, I present you with this French Afro-Cubana duo Ibeyi (Yoruba for twins). Their new single “River,” is dedicated to the river Orixá Oshun (or Oxum in Portuguese). Read more about them on NPR.
Trigger Warning: Rape, Sexual Violence
At age 13, a young girl known by her initials L.C., was repeatedly raped by a man in her neighborhood. When she found out she was pregnant, L.C. jumped off of a roof, severely damaging her spine. Doctors quickly concluded that she desperately needed attention but refused to address it because she was pregnant.
L.C. is now a quadriplegic. Continue Reading →
Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux has a new video out, and its adorable. The song, “Los Peces Gordos No Pueden Volar” (“Fat Fish Can’t Fly”), features a round-cheeked little girl dressed just like Tijoux, and lip-syncing to the music. While she sings, we are presented with scenes of children partying, dancing, waiting in line for a concert, etc.
This is Simona, an resident of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and an incredible activist. She is one of nearly 300 women who, in 2013, embarked on a 219 km protest march to Quito demanding that the Ecuadorian government spare indigenous ancestral lands from aggressive oil and mining policies. Handwritten around her photograph, is Simona’s description of herself and her work:
“My name is Simona. This is our land. This drawings are symbols of the richness that exists in the jungle. We live well here. We have been fighting for our land for 35 years. This government doesn’t have a conscience. That’s why they violate our rights. But we are not going to stand down. Even if they surround us, our communities are going to stand strong.”
I found Simona’s (and her many comadres‘ in action) story in the online media project, Imagining Equality: Your Voices on Women’s Human Rights. This project is an effort to shine a light on the state and future of women’s human rights around the world – through women’s art and voices. The pieces come from all around the world, and many of them focus on Latina feminist issues.
You can read about some of the other women and girls who marched with Simona here. While you’re there, check out Suhaly Bautista’s “A Ribbon Around a Bomb,” a photo series of women in Bautista’s life that embody “multi-issue lives.” For her, the artistic process was as much about thinking about representation as it was about creating images:
“In the process of creating these images together, my muses and I are challenged to consider who we are, what we have to offer our communities, and what we deserve as human beings, as well as to compare that against what we actually have.”
Of course, you’ll also have to spend some time enjoying María María Acha-Kutscher’s image series Indignadas. Acha-Kutscher, a Peruvian-Spanish visual artist, creates pop art style drawings of photographs taken from protests. Portraying almost exclusively women, this is her effort to centralize women within social movements, by elevating their work into a medium that is socially understood to be more “legitimate” than others: art. In her piece, Acha-Kutscher says that she wants “the series to serve as a memory bank that shows future generations that social changes throughout history were made by women and men together.” For more of her wonderful (I’m a big fan) work, check out the Indignadas Facebook page.
I could go on, but I’m going to let you check out the project yourself!
This is one of my favorite photos that I have taken recently, and I paid for it.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know that I am currently traveling through Peru with my family, visiting Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Colca Canyon. For some members of our group, the natural beauty of this mountainous country is by far the biggest draw. Though this is a stunning aspect of our trip, the best part for me are the people – particularly the women – I have met. Considering that the populations of the places we have traveled through are mostly indigenous, I’ve been thinking a lot about how these communities are forced to live off of what some people call “heritage commodification.”
Heritage commodification, according to Wikipedia is “the process by which cultural themes and expressions come to be evaluated primarily in terms of their exchange value, specifically within the context of cultural tourism.”
One can see this phenomenon at work anywhere there is tourism or museums. However in my experience traveling through Americas, heritage commodification often falls on the shoulders of women of color. From Salvador, Bahia where Afro-Brazilian baianas put on layered white dresses to sell acarajé to tourists, to Chiapas, Mexico where Zapatista women solemnly guide visitors through their Comunidad Autonoma, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where brown women pose with tourists in full carnaval regalia, women seem to be in charge of holding what is culture, and learning to sell it. This involves a lot of uncompensated performance work – posing, selling, smiling, hawking – in the hopes that someone will buy a drink, a scarf, or a photo. Obviously, this is quite different than encasing one’s culture in glass and charging an entrance fee to see it. Continue Reading →
First published at Feministing.com.
In response to the increasing influx of migrants crossing the border into the U.S., a group of protestors blocked three buses filled with migrant women and children from entering the local Murrieta Border Patrol facility. The protests have continued for weeks, and the buses – which came to Murrieta in order to relieve overcrowded facilities in south Texas - are now being rerouted to San Ysidro.
These anti-immigrant protestors are using some of the oldest – and worst – stereotypes in the white supremacist, misogynistic handbook to attack people who even the UN has recognized as refugees fleeing violence. The chants and signs coming out of Murrieta range from sexist to xenophobic to violent. Continue Reading →