Monthly Archives: March 2011

Omawumi’s “If you go ask me”

An Ambassador for Project Alert in Nigeria — using music to talk about sexual abuse and the ‘taboos’ of our societies….Rock on Omawumi!!

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Isabella Matambanadzo’s “Black Granite”

Black Granite

That year, her grades dropped. It wasn’t a gentle decline. She went
from always being one of the three top performers across all her
subjects to hedging with failure. Because she didn’t loose her
unbending cheer, or fall off her sports teams, the teachers misread
her. Report cards would go home with the words “bad set of friends”
scrawled all over them, or “teenage tantrums” in the case of teachers
who thought they should have had a prestigious career in the world of
Psychology, rather than rub chalk off their fingers with damp cloths
at the end of a 45 minute class period.

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Amina Doherty on “The activist artist…”

Throughout (her)story and across our diverse cultures and backgrounds the arts have always played a significant role in shaping our identities. Pervading every aspect of our lives – our languages, our music, our dances, our poetry, our rituals, our celebrations and our struggles. The power of our artistic fiyah is undeniable. As feminists and as activists we use art to reflect our lives and experiences, to build consciousness and in many instances to share our political messages and stories.

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Welcome child! by Coumba Toure

A praise poem for a new child by Coumba Toure – Senegalese feminist changemaker, artist, publisher  and educator.

Welcome child

To Azali Isisa

I welcome you child

I welcome you to our world

Forgive us it is not very tidy

We are doing our best

But we found it quite messy

Hope you will help us face the madness

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Two poems by Demere Kitunga

Two poems by Tanzanian publisher, writer and feminist activist Demere Kitunga- founder/director of Soma cafe in Dar es Salaam.

Whack!

Whack!

A lash rips her skin open

Slut!

Comes out of the prodigal tongue

Of her loving father’s mouth

Whack!

I shudder at the sound of another lash

Tongue tied

Mother and I watch, immobilized

Like marble frozen, mute!

Whack!

Heart pounding, mouth dry

I close my eyes and will my tears to roll

A floodgate of memory of humiliation,

Mine, hers, ours!

Whack!

Another lash, harsher than the previous

A sound I can no longer bear to hear

In a furor of action I mingle, angry

No longer stupefied!

Whack!

Tables turn a switch grabbed and flung at him

It misses!

Rancor settles at the sound of her voice

No more…

A shudder…

Inexplicable sense of guilt

All this cruelty as punishment

For the most natural of all emotions

And we let it happen?

Frustrated…

Teeth clenched we claw and rake

Root it out we call and sing together

Impotent ‘tis his turn for stupor

Pride plummeted!

© Demere Kitunga


Siasa gani hii?

Jicho limefunga

Shavu limevimba

Mguu unachechemea

Michubuko mwili mzima!

Kulikoni ndugu rafiki?

Aah! Utelezi

Jana usiku gizani

Maji yakichuruzika sakafuni

Nikateleza nikaangukia kisiki!

Ah! Kisiki ndani ya nyumba?

Uongo mwingine…

Nyuma ya pazia jembamba

Ningesemaje?

Juzi nikabururwa hadharani

Hamkuingilia!

Ni ugomvi wao wa  ndani

Niliwasikia mkisema

Nikajiona dhalili!

Mliposhika midomo yenu

Mkinicheka…

Leo mwataka niseme nini?

Wacha nivumilie vitendo vyake

Niifunike aibu yangu na yenu

Ndani ya ukimya huu

Pamoja na uongo huu

Tunaouishi!

Hizi ndizo zetu mila

Ndivyo wanavyotufunda

Ndio wetu utamaduni

Na yetu maadili pia

Lakini niambie ndugu rafiki….

Mila na utamaduni wa nani?

Na hayo maadili?

Yanamlinda nani?

Siasa gani hii…

Yenye mambo ya nje na ya ndani?

Inayohalalisha ukatili!

© Demere Kitunga

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Sista, why do you run? by Jessica Horn

From her debut poetry chapbook Speaking in Tongues, Jessica Horn’s solidarity poem for women facing sexual violence.

Sista, why do you run?
(dedicated to those women who have not survived sexual violence)
been a long time
in these bruised bones
long time in my rituals
of burnt eyes
and painted smile. 

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Khethi chanting down domestic violence

South African soul-sister Khethi’s music video for “Lady Tupandve” – about domestic violence and how it places a shadow over so many women’s lives……

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