For our final post of 2011, we would like to thank all of the readers who have made Sisters of Resistance a success in our first year by sharing with you this important film that we believe captures or touches upon many of the issues of injustice currently facing the world at large. Continue reading
Originally posted on Nottingham Indymedia.
On Thursday November 10th 2011, over 250 people attended the Nottingham launch of revolutionary rapper Lowkey’s “Soundtrack to the Struggle” album.
The hiphop artist and activist who has traveled to Palestine and whose #1-selling album raises awareness about the arms trade, Islamophobia, the so-called “War on Terror”, international U.S military bases and the hypocrisy of Western leaders including Obama, enjoyed a warm welcome from the Nottingham crowd which included students from both universities and colleges as well as local residents. Fans sang along to lyrics rejecting war and Western consumerism, promoting instead justice, equality and peace. Prior to the headline act, an open mic took place, and local artists such as El Dia (who’s performing at the Sumac‘s Insurrection Hiphop night this Friday) and MC Drago warmed up the crowd with their politically conscious lyrics and cheers of “Free Free Palestine!” Logic, Awate, and Crazy Haze, who accompany Lowkey on tour, were also met with enthusiastic appreciation of their inspiring lyrics. Poet and journalist Jody McIntyre then shared his critical, witty, political poetry to a receptive audience.
The stage was adorned with a large Palestinian flag and graffiti pieces created by 16-year old Lowkey fan Usamah Qaiser and the venue also hosted a diverse range of stalls from local activist organisations and campaign groups. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign was joined by Notts Uni Palestinian Society, Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts, Nottingham Refugee Forum, local artists and Veggies from the Sumac who provided tasty samosas and vegan cake along with relevant newspapers and pamphlets such as Peace News. Radical feminist collective Sisters of Resistance politicised the women’s toilets with details of their anti-imperialist, pro-vegan hip-hop blog.
The diverse crowd engaged with the stalls, took flyers and purchased Palestinian scarfs (kuffiyehs) raising money for Palestine and becoming aware of the need for organised resistance. Members of the audience were encouraged to become actively involved in building alternatives to the exploitative, unsustainable system that the featured artists powerfully denounced. With Lowkey’s soundtrack as the inspiration, the successful event saw revolutionary activists and hiphop fans, students and locals alike united in their determination to continue the struggle.
Sisters of Resistance came across this interesting item of cultural expression this evening and would like to submit it for your consideration as an artefact of the current historical moment.
Because single women out in the town or city defy patriarchal norms that aim to put us back in the kitchen and/or bedroom, we receive unwanted attention from some men who assume our unattached presence is an invitation. We reject this attention with decisive, declarative responses similar to the below and, if possible, quickly continue on our way.
This content has been added to the Sisters of Resistance Terminology Toolkit.
CHERPS/PICK-UP LINE: Hey! (or other shouting, yelling, hooting, calling over. Often done on the street or from a passing car.)
RESPONSE: None required.
CHERPS: Did you hear me?
RESPONSE: Yes, I did, and I’m choosing to ignore you.
CHERPS: Where are you going?
RESPONSE: Not where you’re going.
CHERPS: Are you single?
RESPONSE: None of your business.
CHERPS: What’s your name?
RESPONSE: I will not be providing you with that information today. (This was developed in response to police officers’ attempts to gather intelligence at protests but is applicable in a variety of other situations.)
CHERPS: I want to get to know you.
RESPONSE: I don’t want to get to know you.
CHERPS: I can’t be your friend?
RESPONSE: I’ve got enough friends.
CHERPS: Can I get your number?
RESPONSE: No. (Repeat as necessary.)
CHERPS: Any other question or attempt to carry on the conversation.
SOME POTENTIAL RESPONSES:
I’m in a rush. Bye!
I’ve got to be somewhere. Bye!
I’m on my way out. Bye!
(Repeat “Bye!” as necessary and walk away.)
WHO SHE IS: Audre Lorde is a Black lesbian feminist poet, essayist and novelist. She was born on February 18, 1924 in Harlem and died on November 17, 1992. Of Caribbean descent, her parents were immigrants from Granada.
WHAT SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED: She wrote poetry from a young age and continued to do so throughout her life. Her first book of poems was published in 1968, after which she taught writing at New York City Colleges and courses on racism at Lehman College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her precise and poetic reflections, especially regarding women writers, are highly informed by political, artistic and cultural critique, leading some to call her the “Warrior Poet.” She was a cofounder of The Kitchen Table-Women of Color Press and an editor of the lesbian journal Chrysalis. Her work is included widely in women and gender studies programmes around the world.
The Audre Lorde project, a New York City center for gender variant people of color, is named after her.
WHY WE LOVE HER: She is such a femininspiration. See for yourself.
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
“For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.”
“The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.”
“For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom.”
— Audre Lorde, Woman We Admire.
Happy Pride Month!