Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Although christmas eve dinner let a bit to be desired, we have had lots of delicious food in Madrid so far. And usually food comes along with drink, which any one familiar with gender fatigue knows, we love!!
We're stuffed and feliz this christmas day! Drinking mimosas and recieving eye-popping regalos (presents)!
"If you are thinking of going home..."
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
That, by the way, was while we sat on the smallest plane ever (photo to come). Mothersheister did remarkably well considering the small size of the plane and her deep seeded fear of flying - maybe she will overcome it completely some day? The next plane could have fit at least three of our first planes into it, yet it did not even have individual TV screens on the backs of the seats for our veiwing pleasure! Not that Fred Claus is viewing pleasure but still... The Morning screening of Mama Mia on the other hand was excellent and Mothersheister had a great time dancing and singing while bent and dj "i'm in love with edward cullen" slept fitfully.
Unfortunately, by traveling on December 17 we missed the commemoration of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Check out what we missed at the big march in DC :(
Once we landed we thought all was clear as we wizzed through customs (we all had to go throught "the rest" column as opposed to "spanish and EU" line) and we eagerly made our way to the baggage claim. Our enthusiasm was trampled as we watched bag after bag pass us on the conveyor belt, some as many as twenty times in repetition. Yet our bags were nowhere to be found. An hour later they said no more bags were coming from JFK, so we headed over to the baggage info line, which once again was understaffed. We probably smelled and looked like characters from the last scene of Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.
During yet anotherinterminable wait, we were pleasantly surprised by our host dj ana who had somehow made it past the security guards into the secure area of the airport to find us because she had been waiting so long for us. While we were overjoyed to see her, it does not bode well for security at Madrid's Barajas airport. When we finally were able to speak with the one person assigned to answer our questions, she told us our bags had not arrived but that they would be delivered when they did. Damn!!!!
Undaunted, we headed into the city and hung with dj ana's mom/dj "i love edward cullen"s grandma. we had a sumptuous meal of cake cut into stars assembled into a christmas tree-like stack and dribbled with flat whip cream... This was followed by our first Spanish shopping mall experience where we witnessed a phenomenon that bent thinks is very European - groups of old people sitting on benches. Like dozens, not tlaking, just staring off into space. Creepy. Mission accomplished at H&M (which we must say the Spanish version of this store does not reflect well on the country) we headed out to Estremera, the far nether reaches of "Comunidad Madrid" - basically it's the country side but they call it Madrid, trying to fool people for some reason that is a mystery to us non-Spaniards. This would be like calling a small town in Shenandoah Valley part of DC.
Yes, we know it's set in Mexico, but whatevs. And no, our lives do not revolve around movie references, we just happen to make a lot when we are strangers in a strange land!
We're off to more adventures. Stay tuned!!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Open studio is a really brilliant really simple idea: create space for people to create. Particularly but not only art and other creative endeavors - like watercolors, sculpture, drawing, collage, and more. Open studio is about creation and that also means silk-screening and sewing and djing. We had all those things and more on display Saturday night, as bunches of folks passed through the newly reopened Sheesha Palace Cafe.
There was wine and snacks galore and lots of new faces - and who could forget the excellent performance/art piece by Marcia on the trombone. Off the hook!
One beautiful thing about the night was that so many people could take away their creations, including mix cd sleeve collages and incredible new clothing created by silk-screening beautiful images of phenomenal females onto shirts, hoodies, and more.
Keep your eye out for future Open Studio events and the final Open Studio of the year will be next Sunday, Dec 14th.
Viva Open Studio!!
Friday, December 5, 2008
In the meantime here are two great mini videos that the fine folks at $pread Magazine have created - please give them money so they can keep up their amazing work!
Also don't forget OPEN STUDIO this Saturday from 5pm on! It will be great times!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Washington Post had an interesting article on the hearing (chaired by Phil Mendelson, At-Large Democrat) and includes a neat video that I like:
I am so impressed with Sharmus, she is the bomb and really stuck it to them - I didn't get a chance to see her testify, but I helped her craft her testimony and my sources at the hearing said she was the best and strongest voice present for sex worker rights.
Some of the proposals put forward by witnesses from PSA 102 in Northeast included:
-making prostitution a felony offense
-mandatory HIV testing for anyone arrested of a prostitution offense
-increasing the length of time of prostitution free zones and expanding the area that they can cover
-longer sentences for prostitution charges (currently they are up to 30 days first offense, up to 60 second offense, and up to 180 third offense and beyond)
To show how uninformed and operating on assumption and moralistic foolery these people are, they also proposed two "solutions" that are not only offensive like the ones abose, but:
-already law: increasingly long sentences the more convictions you have
-impossible and contradictory/ie make no sense: mandating diversion programs
Diversion programs are when people agree to plead guilty so that the charges are suspended and they participate in a program, which would be helpful (like drug treatment) or bad (like re-education programs for clients of sex workers). If they fail to fulfill any part of the program they face the jail time for the guilty plea and full sentence.
The atmosphere and language of the anti-prostitution dudes was vitriolic with them complaining that there are condoms everywhere in their neighborhood that their kids try to eat them, that sex workers threaten them and make everyone in the area afraid for their lives, and more foolishness. Incredibly, Chairman Mendelson seemed to be taking their recommendations seriously!! WTF?!?! He is supposed to be this measured, thoughtful guy and I've heard him in other hearings repeatedly say to advocates of harsher criminal penalties on other topics "It's important to hear individual stories but we need to think about the broader policy issues and find what is going to work." Not once did he bring that critical eye to this issue. It's so obviously about political calculations - as Mendelson told researchers with the Alliance for a Safe & Diverse DC that he thought it's time to try new approaches to sex work that don't rely on criminalization but that it's not politically viable. Plus he used the passage of the prostitution free zones in his campaign literature for re-election and probably is worried about being portrayed as "soft on crime" again in the next election.
Folks in the community recognize the seriousness of the situation, that this hearing is probably going to lead to new proposed legislation that will be horrible, so we are organizing to put pressure against that kind of solution. Between this debacle and the overt, violent efforts to remove all non-yuppies from 5th and K Street area now that there are new condos and such there, this violent battle for public space in DC continues. They are even fighting against social services! When does it end? Oh that's right, when every poor, person of color, gender non-conforming, homeless, etc person is run out of the District. That's probably when DC will become a state too.
It is really a shame that more groups are not working on these issues, recognizing the fundamental threat to all of us that they represent, and creating stronger coalitions across issues to fight back. Low income housing advocacy groups, homeless advocacy groups, people of color groups, LGBT groups and more should all be working on this and educating their membership about the issues. Because of the fiercest witnesses demanding the heads of all sex workers at this hearing: most of them were white gay men.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It's really amazing to me that the election of Obama has given people so much license to just spew ridiculous racist BS. It's been a week now and not only are hearing the classic racism from here in the US but even from abroad. Of course the same election night that Obama won the presidential election Nebraska eliminated affirmative action, and Colorado came close. This will naturally be a time of people saying that "racism is over" (as one comment I saw on a photostream said "blacks haven't been oppressed since the seventies") and "I don't see color, I voted for Obama" but will it also be a time of people engaging with those kinds of comments? I wonder if Obama himself will shy away from taking these topics head on, or if he will tackle them head on. Meanwhile I guess we can at least hold him to his words about MLK that King would not have endorsed any candidate but would organize people to pressure the elected president to do the right thing.
On another note (kinda related) I really like this song and video (minus one stupid mini-moment), which I came across in dj/rupture's post on Earplug about Auto-Tune:
Friday, November 7, 2008
jenka's journal: a black president
ok! i admit it. It does feel good to actually have a black president. i mean, yeah ok, he's compromised, corporate, and part of a system that was set up to maintain inequalities... but damn!!!! we actually have a black president!!!!
i have to admit it, i was cynical up to the end - i didn't believe it would actually happen, no matter what the polls said - i was absolutely convinced that the bush/cheney gang would figure out a way to steal yet another election. but it didn't happen! i mean....... how could i NOT be moved when i, sitting in the radio studio providing live coverage of the election returns, started getting the reports phoned in from washington dc, so loud i could hardly hear the reporter on the phone,
telling me about watching black people pour out of their homes by the thousands, into the streets .....the same streets that had burned in the anger of the 1968 riots when was killed.... and had remained burned out and dismal until the last few years when they've been whitened by gentrification....but on election night, the streets were black again - with the exuberant reality that we finally have a black president!
and so i start wondering - how will this be remembered ..... will barack obama be assassinated before he takes office? will he turn out to be a mediocre leader that lets the nation be led into even more war? will people take the action for the change that so many are talking about, or just go back to sleep now that the election is over?
and then i think to myself wow!!! it sure is good to be feeling WONDER - instead of exasperated outrage! because after eight years of having to steel myself to not be shocked by the latest atrocity carried out by the gang in power, i don't think i could take another day of
i don't know if i even realized just how deep and pervasive my feeling of exasperated outrage had become - every time the bush administration came out with another insane policy to further erode the constitution, to run the economy further into the ground, to further entrench the
imperial occupations of iraq and , to justify torture and other atrocities - i just became more and more exasperated, more and more outraged..... and sheesh....that really wears a person down! even a person engaged in ceaseless struggle against such injustice.
So .... now that everything is possible (...i say with a smirk and wry smile....), I'd like to offer this suggestion on the question of Israel-Palestine.
A lot of talk has been made about a 'two state solution'. In my humble opinion, the only just two-state solution would include the following:
-The original UN Resolution of 1948 that created the State of Israel should be implemented. The borders of and Palestine should be set according to that resolution, and the city of should be an international city, administered by the United Nations.
-Palestinian refugees have an internationally-recognized right to return to their homeland. Israel should offer all of those refugees registered with the United Nations Refugee and Works Association a choice of residency rights in Israel or compensation. Those who choose compensation should be allowed full citizenship rights in the countries where they have chosen to reside (mainly Jordan and Lebanon). The leaders of those nations housing who choose compensation over a return to their ancestral home should allow the Palestinians full and equal rights, including allowing them freedom to travel and freedom to build homes.
-Israel should implement a general amnesty for all Palestinians currently being held in Israeli detention camps. These prisoners number about 10,000, many of whom have never been charged. Israel has no jurisdiction over the Palestinian people, and no right to enter
Palestinian areas and take Palestinians prisoner at a whim, as is the Israeli practice now.
-Palestinians should hold a general assembly to determine the type of government they prefer, which may not necessarily use the model of the Palestinian Authority, which was imposed upon them by Israel since 1967, Israel has controlled all aspects of Palestinian life. The following controls must all be lifted in order for there to be a just peace:
-Israeli control of all Palestinian residency rights
-Israeli control of all Palestinian water rights
-Israeli control of all Palestinian airspace
-Israeli control of all Palestinian sea borders, including control over
fishing boats -Israeli control of all Palestinian land
-Israeli control of all Palestinian borders and travel abroad
-Israeli control of all Palestinian movement within Palestine
-Israeli control of all Palestinian construction permits
-Israeli control of all Palestinian imports and exports
-Israeli control of all Palestinian taxation
-Israeli control of all Palestinian farmland
-Israeli control of Palestinian freedom to worship (banning most Palestinians from praying at in Jerusalem)
-Israeli control of all Palestinian vehicle registration and licensing
-Israeli control of all Palestinian ID cards -Israeli control of Palestinian students' right to education (Israel has the final say on whether a student, once accepted to university, is allowed to go to the university)
-Israeli court system and laws enforced on Palestinians
If all of these things are implemented by Israel, then we can begin to talk about a two-state solution.
But since Obama decided to set the tone of his presidency by selecting, as his first act as President-elect, Rahm (nickname Rahm-bo, middle name Israel, who volunteered for the and is described as more hard-line than Bush on the Israel-Palestine issue) Emmanuel as his Chief of Staff, ......well, I kinda doubt that'll happen.
still, i can't help but wonder if we could maybe make it happen......just maybe.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Dear President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama,
Last night, when bent and I emerged from the Columbia Heights Metro elevator to head home to pick up records for our election show, it hit me that the chances of you becoming the President of the United States was inevitable. And that broke me down. I never thought I'd ever live to see our country led by anybody else that didn't look like those that have been minions to this power structure that has time and time again proven to suppress us.
When bent and I started hearing the exuberant yelling, it became clear that this was going to happen. I couldn't do anything but scream your name at the top of my lungs with the dozens of other people outside that were also making the same realization. I was so overwhelmed with tears that I couldn't hold myself up at one point because my head couldn't wrap around the idea of not only a black president but a black president that could possibly inspire agency amongst people. Someone that had the background that could shape our lives for the better despite the hard road this country is set to follow. I didn't realize how much the Bush administration had strangled a part of my soul until my wounded yelling of your name would not cease. I didn't realize how your election to this seat of power meant something, something that I needed to restore my belief in people. Because everywhere we went people took to the streets: dancing, crying, smiling ear to ear, screaming, setting off fireworks, hugging strangers, shaking hands with strangers, showing the best sides of themselves. Usually the idea of unity seems corny if not naive. And usually the idea of unity comes after something tragic and it often signifies that to be unified, you can't question. But I didn't feel any of that last night. I just felt alot of hope.
Don't get me wrong, I was never one of your great supporters. I didn't door knock for you. I didn't vote for you [because of citizenship issues but I probably would've voted for Cynthia Mckinney]. I never contributed money to your campaign. My deep critiques of the state apparatus, the electoral process, and the U.S. as a irresponsible global mega power shaped my attitude towards the election. And over the next 4 years, I'm going to make some critiques--hopefully constructive--concerning your presidential actions. But with all of that said and done, you really inspired me, you gave me more upliftman than any person in higher office has ever done and I thank you for that. I look forward to seeing what you do in the next 4 years. It's going to be so hard for you but if you can continue to find ways to maintain the spirit that I saw the night of November 4, 2008--I will keep the faith that the people in this country can stop surviving and start building communities that rely on each other out of respect of differences and love for each other.
Peace from your Kenyan Compatriot,
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
After all the sliming was done we had a blast of a night, including judging costume contest in Mt Pleasant, party hopping and eating too much candy. Now it is election day in the United States - and Gender Fatigue is special because we are also half-Kenyan! We will be joining other exciting Radio CPR DJs this evening for a special elections broadcast - who knows what shenanigans we will get up to?!? Of course our regular broadcast is also tonight, 6-7, and the "elections coverage" (if you haven't gotten sick of it by then) starts at 9pm - we'll be on again from 11pm to midnite. Tune in and give us a ring with your opinion about the emerging results!
Don't make Glen angry!
Monday, October 27, 2008
This weekend we were very excited to get the new cd from one of our favorite groups, Kumbia Queers, in the mail. Kumbia Queers are from Argentina and Mexico, a bad-ass group of women making great music. They started out doing primarily cover songs put to cumbia with their own lyrics (so is that still a cover song? or a remix? or just campling the original?) , and they are creating more material all the time. We first came across them when bent found a link to their myspace page and listened to the amazing hits "Isla Con Chicas" and "Chica del Calendario." Now we have the full cd "Kumbia Nena" which is 12 tracks of excellence.
The tracks include the songs we already knew well (see above) as well as many that were new to us including an amazing tune called "Kumbia Zombia." A perfect tune for the time of year, it also seems they are quite attuned to the important theme shared by Radio Hybrid - zombies and the undead. Other stand outs include "La China es Kumbianchera" (to the tune of "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" by the Ramones) and more. It's really great to find a cumbia band that not only is composed of women, women singers, but singing about great stuff and not the same old same old - even as we love cumbia and many other genres that are dominated by the usual powers that be, it's refreshing to see our people making this great music.
It seems Kumbia Queers have made it to the US at least once before, so Mothersheister and bent are determined to bring them to DC, come hell or high water. In the meantime we will have to settle for listening to them and playing them at dance parties and clubs whenever we are rocking the decks.
In the meantime a great vid of them:
And a great video of some other random group that is hilarious....
Speaking of rocking the decks - OMG - our dear friends DJs Choque y Fuga are opening for DJ Rekha on Halloween at the Black Cat!!!! This is very exciting and you all should get your butts there because it will be OTMFH!!!!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
So we've been late on updating but we will soon put a whole host of witty commentary, reflections, and humorous sentiments. But in the meantime, check out this video from one of Mothershiester's new favorite songs--fotonovela.
Thanks Ivan for keeping disco real.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I need to start today's post with this statement: My life has been changed today. I went to Museo Frida Kahlo, the house where Frida and Diego Rivera lived, and my mind was completely destroyed. I am so completely in love with Frida Kahlo, there are no words for it. I am obsessed. OK, Diego Rivera is OK, but Frida Kahlo is OFF THE HOOK!!!!!
Otherwise, I wandered about Mexico city, buying many great CDs and even some vinyl! OMG! I found this sidewalk vendor stall with probably 3,000 records for sale - they said for 1 peso each but in the end most cost closer to 2 or 3 pesos - it was just too bad that I had already spent most of my money.
Tonight, after all this, I got to attend a fancy dinner with lots of big-wigs and speeches, but at least my good friends from EMPOWER were there- we had great times last nite at the same exact place, drinking and dancing. The hos and the drug users always bring the party, what can I say. But EMPOWER did deserve to get honored tonight for sure. They are a huge example to all of us in the sex worker/HIV/human rights world, and I know that we in DC at least unabashedly copy them. Their latest amazing work is the creation of a popular education game/show about the 7:55 that we sex workers are not actually having sex (as opposed to the 5 minutes of sex that most people are obsessed with).
Today I took a break from the conference, but tomorrow I will be back in action, as I have to present a poster an there are many exciting things going on. Then at night, otra fiesta! I spent a lot of time on the Mexico City Metro today (funny that it is called the same as in DC) and I like although some fucker was sticking his hand down my pants when we were really packed in but I held my anger in and simply moved. Kind of like when UNAIDS head Peter Piot was talking tonight at the reception of the Red Ribbon awards about supporting the rights of marginalized people and I wanted to scream "Why doesn't the UN have a coherent platform supporting sex worker rights!?!?!?!" but I didn't.
Ok see yall soon at wild times party the nite of the 8th when I make a crazy appearance after 9 hours of travel!!!!!! Expet much new musica!!!!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Wow, what an amazing couple of days it has been here, at the pre-conference event with all these incredible women and men, including trans people. It has been a little frustrating at times with too much talking in circles, but mostly amazing to see activists from other countries who i've met in the past, and to meet new ones from all over Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific, Asia, and Europe. Today we are having a march for sex worker rights and we all have these amazing shirts:
Then the conference (International AIDS Conference) begins soon and we get to cause troub le, learn from each other more, and try to make the foolish governments and international institutions listen to us and stop criminalizing sex work, stop arresting us in the name of saving us from traffickers, and support sex worker rights as an integral part of HIV prevention and the fight against AIDS.
I leave you with one last photo of new beautiful friends - Dino, Mariam and Princess, from Jamaica and Guyana.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
damn that looks good. i am going to eat it mothershiester!!!!
meanwhile, i got to watch two of my favorite tv shows last nite! hooray for hotel cable! the shield i have not been able to catch for a while since the stupid my20 channel in DC changed it from late sunday nite to late saturday nite, but i got to see a great episode in which vic and that female cop make out! oh shit! then there was an episode of aqua teen hunger force, which sadly was quite up to snuff but still had funny moments.
today we had anti-oppression training at the conference, and it was pretty good. it was interesting b/c the trainer kinda rejected the idea that power+privilege=oppression, instead saying that anyone can act out oppression (like not only white people can be racist) - i don't know if i really agree with her analysis on that point but it was an interesting argument that she made and overall a great training. we got to talk towards the end in little mini-affinity groups, and i was in the sex worker parent group (since i'm a god-parent and have done sex work) and it was really nice conversation and cool. hm, not very articulate right now but whatevs. then i moderated a workshop by a great woman who started an organization in guatemala for very low-income sex workers, who i'd seen a film about at last year's sex worker film festival in san francisco, called "las estrellas de la linea" (the railroad allstars, because the women work by railroad tracks). it was pretty inspiring to hear about their work, and how they are overcoming some pretty intense obstacles to organizing and service provision.
The group is called MuJER (Spanish acronym for Women for Justice, Education and Awareness) and although it's a shame that it was started by three non-sex workers, at least Ana (who gave the presentation) is herself Guatemalteca, and she is committed to transferring leadership to the women in the organization. Some of the women from the program will be at the sex worker pre-conference gathering in Mexico City in advance of the International AIDS Conference. Speaking of which, I will be blogging from there not only on our very own gender fatigue blog, but also the blog of CHAMP (Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project).
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Right here we should have a picture of an amazing sex worker activist from California who has been battling cancer this past year, and she is looking damn good. This year's Desiree Alliance Conference has started off with an homage to one of the early sex worker rights activists: Margo St James. Margo was on hand tonight to give a short speech recalling some of those early days in San Francisco and her belief that the next generations have carried the flame forward for sex worker justice. She recalled the early days of the movement when she was living in Marin County north of San Francisco and helped to start the organization WHO - "Whores, Housewives and Others" ("Others" she quipped, "were lesbians but you couldn't say that then."). Margo St James went on to help found COYOTE (Call Off Your Tired Old Ethics) and start the first Hookers' Balls, amazing parties for sex wokers which often attracted politicians and top police officials among others. The night ended with some amazing films from the 70s about Margo's work, including a PSA on HIV called "Margo's Message" and the short film "Hookers" which includes some amazing Hookers' Ball footage as well as hilarious shots from sex worker sessions and intense stories from sex workers themselves.
The conference is happening in this interesting neighborhood of Chicago that is mainly light industrial - as in autobody shops and such - with residential pockets interspersed. I ate at a delicious Mexican joint called Traspasada where I had a chorizo taco with a Negro Modelo, and some chips and amazing salsa, probably some sort of chipotle, tomatillo mix. Pics to come! I came there (at intersection of California, Elkton and Belmont) after stopping in an amazing little taqueria just around the corner from the conference space, but they didn't serve beer! There seems to be an interesting trend in Chicago restaurants to not offer beer or liquor, and a lot of them say "BYIB" on the door, which is really cool but if you're from out of town maybe you just want to eat and drink in the same place.
Ironically, our hotel is located on the trans stroll and almost directly across from the bar where trans women can pick up tricks. Stay tuned!!!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The DC Trans Coalition has had a campaign for a number of months to pressure the Department of Corrections to change how they treat transgender prisoners. After a lot of BS and not listening to the community, the Dept of Corrections recently released draft operating orders for handling trans persons in their custody - which trample trans people's safety, identity and human rights in the name of protecting them. The DC Trans Coalition is holding a demonstration this Saturday July 19 at the DOC headquarters to protest their lack of responsiveness to the community.
Demand real "safety and security" from the DOC !
The DC thinks that running their jails with "safety, order and security" means compromising the safety and security of our community.
We need to correct them!
Join the DC Trans Coalition to tell the Dept. of Corrections that they can't ignore our voices, our allies, and OUR need for safety and security within DC Jails.
Bring yourself, as many friends as you can, some righteous indignation and join the protest!
The Dept. of Corrections is located at 1923 Vermont Avenue NW (near 10th and U; U St. metro).
Want to help make signs ? Drop an email to Max, meestertoth @ gmail.com for directions to a sign-making party.
Also, the DCTC's campaign against the Department of Corrections was the focus of a very good article in the Metro Weekly that hit the newsstands this past Thursday. Check it out here:
Meanwhile, unknown actors within the DC Government (but more than likely officials with the DOC, Mayor's Office of LGBT Affairs, and Human Rights Commission) are pushing for BAD changes to our relatively new regulations that protect transgender and gender variant people's human rights in the District. Folks should contact the DC Human Rights Commission, the Mayor and City Council to demand that these changes NOT be made to DC Municipal Regulations Chapter 8 Title 4!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It's Motheshiester, on the road again, as I promised I am blogging from the Allied Media Conference. And thankfully this conference is in the home of Motown aka Detroit, one of 5 cities, I have dreamed of visiting since the first time I heard the Marvelettes singing "Please, Mr. Postman".
After an 11 hour drive (full of dance parties in and out of the "Detroit or Bust" cars) to MotorCity from the District starting late Thursday night, friday seems like a blur so I'm going to write about saturday since it's fresh on my mind. And hopefully, in the next couple of days, I can give you my impressions of the AMC from the very beginning but for right now, give me a virtual kiss for making it to this morning's 9 a.m. workshops.
First up, I went to a screening of black./womyn.:conversations. The screening was part of a a 3 hour 2o min workshop on Transporting Silenced Voices Through Interviews for Film/Video. In the film, the director, Tiona Mcclodden, interviewed several self-identified lesbians of African Descent about a range of issues from coming out to falling in love to gender roles in the black lesbian community. If you get to watch the film, you may recognize some of those being interviewed like Staceyann Chin (slam poet extroadinaire--i usually hate poetry but she's so good that there is no way I can groan) and Aishah Shahidah Simmons (director of NO! The Rape Documentary--a film that forced me to reexamine how consent has played out in my past relationships). I was really excited to here from Tiona about why she chose the documentary format she did and how did the interviews shape how she saw her own identities. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish watching the film because there were other sessions that I wanted to partake in such as....
Party Promotion As An Organizing Tool which was facilitated by folks from the 5th Element. 5th Element is a collective of women who use hip hop to challenge sexism and misogyny by producing shows and workshops, and promoting artists who embody those values. I sat in this workshop for a few reasons. You all know how much Bent and I value good party spaces. You also know that Bent, me, and several of our friends spend a lot of time on our CPR shows and lives in general talking about the kind of parties we want to throw . For us having spaces where people feel free to express their gender, sexuality, race, and other identities in whatever way they want-- free of harassment-- is critical to building a healthy community. And equally important is the fact that if there is harassment at a party, than the person(s) who is being harassed should feel like we as party promoters have their back.
So when I saw this workshop on the AMC agenda, I was impressed because honestly I don't think a lot of people consider partying/dancing/movement as political acts that lead to positive changes in our communities. And often times folks when organizing parties end up not being intentional about the space they create even with parties that are fundraisers for 'community' driven work and/or organizations. The only thing they may think about is how many kegs to get, how much liquor to buy, and whether to get a dj or not. The question of how to shape a space to allow folks from different communities to share the dance floor in respectful, inspiring, risk taking and booty dancing ways rarely comes up. [and even though I'm talking mainly about dance parties, I also think these questions must be applied to all party like spaces).
okay, here's a few things I was hoping to get out of this particular workshop. How to set the tone for a party that lets everyone involved know that harassment will not be tolerated and why it won't be tolerated; examples of creative outreach that appeals to culturally different communities (and that's not relegated to just racially different communities); and how to foster the tone you set (by having such a HOTT party in more ways than one) after the party with those folks--does that make sense? Lots that I was hoping they would explore but several INCITE DC folks came into the workshop in the middle so I thought it made sense to get a report back from them about this one while I peaced out and headed to .....
Doin It: Sex, Disability and Videotape/Why They Gotta Do Me Like That? The Fe Fes Take On Bullying
so i'm totally impressed by the Empowered Fe Fes girls. Yes, I came late to this one. Practically more than half way late but luckily I came during one of their films, Why They Gotta Do Me Like That, a public service announcement type film about school-based discrimination and bullying of people with disabilities. The Fe Fe are a group of girls from Chicago who have disabilities and come together to do kick ass things like make films that make people like me and the 50 plus people that were in the room with me want to jump up and scream "H-O-T-T". Why? Because this is what the AMC is about, having folks tell their own stories instead of expecting mass media to do it for them. How many times do you see folks with disabilities even represented on the screen? and when they are, it's really negative. And here are these girls, totally bringing it by creating films that are creative, fun, and can be used for organizing. The scenes that were off the hook involved dramatizations--which you know I love. The Fe Fes created two dramatization scenes contrasting what school administrators should and shouldn't do. For instance in the bullying film, one of the Fe Fes plays this girl who has been targeted by classmates because of her disability. She decides to seek help from her counselor but instead the counselor blames the harassment on her and basically calls her a baby because she decided to seek help from the administration. And in the other dramatization, the same counselor instead of berating her, offers her help but not in that colonial way, she actually asks her what her needs were and how they could proceed together to stop the harassment. Like all good dramatizations, the screen turned fuzzy/dream like.
okay folks I have to jet out because I am in the middle of a Degrassi marathon but here's a bit of Detroit Music to get you twisting. This little diddey comes from Yvonne Fair....
A bit of detroit music for you!!!
we hope to have the interview up here soon, but in the meantime check out "on the lower frequencies" which has been published by soft skull press.
and check out any issues of "doris" including the compilation published in 2005 by microcosm. cindy also compiled and edited the amazing "support zine" about supporting survivors of sexual violence, which you can from microcosm as well.
indeed, it is really important to understand history as we think about the present and future, apocalyptic or not.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Our Evolution Beyond Survival:
It should be an exciting weekend full of media making (zines, blogging, etc) and connecting with other media makers that are challenging how we view communication. I'm so excited...Like 'so excited', that I must refer you to this Pointer Sisters song.
So now that I have your toes tapping, please think of me as I make my way north to one of the five places that 5 year-old mothershiester dreams of. Luckily, I am going with a group of folks from the DC chapter of INCITE! Radical Women of Color Against Violence.
Final Note: Despite my excitement, I am sad that I will be leaving a delicious bar-b-que dinner with my boo 4 life, Bent.
Monday, June 9, 2008
which made dj bent think of this song, featuring such a bo diddley beat!
but then she discovered that it was originally done by a group, the strangeloves, back in 1965!!! but of course, they were using the bo diddley beat....
damn i love those dancers.
and how great is it that he always toured with an amazing woman on bass!!!
anyway, mothersheister and bent are committed to keeping the memory of bo diddley and his phenomenal contribution to music well known, in spite of his fears that he would not be remembered after his death. long live the bo diddley beat!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Here's a video of one of my fav songs by them. Keep an eye for the butch that is representing for us gender and sexual variants.
Hey, get out of your chair and dance!
One clear sign to us at Radio Hybrid of the impending/existing apocalypse is the phenomenal increase in food prices. This has led to riots around the world, as well as rationing in various countries, and even here in the US, o land of plenty, Costco and Sam's Club have been limiting the number of bags of rice you can purchase. Ironically, while 88% of rice consumed in the US is grown here, the US also is one of the biggest rice exporters in the world - representing 13% of global rice exports (both according to the USA Rice Federation). Talk about capitalism at work!!! India and Vietnam each export a bit more rice than the US, and Thailand, biggest rice exporter of all, sells about three times as much as the United States.
Rice is a really important food staple for many people, and we have discussed its significance and what's going on with it and other food on our show over the past few months. While some people have said that rice production needs to be increased by developing new strains with higher yield, our friend dj starbane disagrees, and some facts support him. Starbane says it's a lot more complicated than manipulating rice plants to produce more, and that we should all put more emphasis on growing our own food. On the other hand, starbane notes that as some have observed, growth of the middle class in China and India is also a factor in the increase. "The answer is to destroy the middle class altogether and keep 99% of people poor," says starbane, "therefor nothing really needs to change."
At Radio Hybrid we do support class war, against the rich and middle class that is, but we also like eating food we grow ourselves. On wednesday we had a nice salad of the tiniest lettuce that we had thinned from front yard plot and roof-top boxes, delicious with some added cherry tomatoes, pickle and vinaigrette dressing. We've also been eating kale and collards from a roof box, and plenty of garlic scapes. We are excited about the growth of plants that bent and starbane planted in the front yard of a neighbor a couple doors down - including collards, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant!
Of course rice is not the only food rising in price - so is corn, wheat (even as its price falls on commodity markets, gotta love capitalism), dairy products and meat. And that is rough stuff for those of us who love to eat a piece of meat - like mothershiester, bent and Adesh Samaroo, who has a great song, "Eating Meat" (until we figure out this blogging thing and can stream here, you'll have to follow the links, sorry!)
Thursday, May 8, 2008
(altho in dc it would be called "The House the Children Built")
that blog, History is Made at Night, is pretty interesting to check out in general in addition to that post. another blog (fem.men.ist) has an interesting and related post on house music, masculinity and race: Thoughts on Jamaica, Masculinity, Performing Gender, Orishas and House Music
And a classic song with lots to consider regarding history, culture and race, gender and more... all while rocking out!
[George Kranz "Trommeltanz" aka Din Daa Daa]
Friday, May 2, 2008
The report, "Move Along: Policing Sex Work in Washington D.C.", was lead by Different Avenues in partnership with Dr. Salvador Vidal Ortiz (a sociologist from American University), Dr. Penelope Saunders (of the Best Practices Policy Project) and the Alliance for a Safe & Diverse DC.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Here is what you can look forward to:
Analysis of DC's Emergency Evacuation Plans
Apocalyptic Literature and Films
Preparing grab and run packs
Investigating DC's water filtration system and how to make your own
World Financial and Food Crisis
And we've been interviewing artists that make you wanna jump...jump
Speaking of, here's an interview that mothershiester did with "Twink" Little, drummer from Mambo Sauce.