silent vigil this wednesday in cape town

Via Malika Ndlovu:

Stand Up! Be still. Join the Tower of Silence in reflection and protest against the silencing, a pillar of honouring and mourning. Wear white  (a symbol of spirit, light, cleansing, unity beyond gender, language, political or religious agenda) and join this 1 hour vigil against the violence epitomized by the death and brutalisation of Anene Booysen… and too many of our daughters and sisters like her. This Wednesday, 13th February 2013, on the steps of St George’s Cathedral, from 12 pm to 1 pm.

Bring a photograph on a placard of anyone you think we need to remember in this way too. We will not be sloganeering or shouting retaliations against our lost sons, brothers who have perpetuated this crime against their own and her humanity. Our collective presence and solidarity speaks volumes and calls for multiple responses to this complex situation, affecting an entire nation. We make this physical visual statement on the eve of global campaign and the president’s “State of the Nation” address. For us, these faces, these stories, these discarded bodies and all the reasons why this continues to happen in the world and all over South Africa – THIS is OUR ‘State of our Nation’ call to address!

edge – sylvia plath

Sylvia Plath died on this day in 1963.

The woman is perfected
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.


Final scene from Robert Bresson’s 1967 film.

“The small town is plagued with alcoholism, marital infidelity, unbridled masculinity, violence, and moral ambivalence. Mouchette’s father and brother, we have already seen, operate by selling liquor on the black market, with complicit police that turn an indifferent eye to a crate left behind. They, like other townsfolk, are paid in shots of alcohol, consumed without speech. Following Sunday mass, the village parishioners leave church and hastily head to the bar before the bells cease to toll. Mouchette’s dying mother has to hide gin from her abusive spouse. Even the town’s interdependent poacher/warden pair, Arsène and Mathieu, bring an end to their cat-and-mouse charade in the woods by sharing a drink from Arsène’s canteen full of gin. The motif of alcohol and its abuse stands as a distinctive mark of the moral decay of Mouchette’s society; however, the corruption of this town is not limited to alcoholism… Indeed, Mouchette’s society is one of extreme decadence and lawlessness, one that is ripe for a scapegoat upon whose back it can collectively discharge the burden of its vice and one from which the victim will gladly depart.”

Read more about the film HERE.

taking back our city #takingbackourcity #dicktatorfreejozi #genderfreesa

Participate in the creation of the city you want to live in. #takingbackourcity #dicktatorfreejozi #genderfreesa
I don’t just live my life, I create my life. And after almost a year of creating images reflecting my vision of the city and its inhabitants, I no longer just want to reflect the city, but create it. Just as I need to be an activist in my own life and my own identity to fully be alive, as an artist, I need to be an artivist, actively participating in the creation of the city I want to live in. Joburg is not just a city, it is my city; it is my home. And as an artivist it is not just a place I want to live in, but a place I actively want to participate in creating.The idea for #takingbackourcity was born out of my return to Joburg from my first real visit to Cape Town. My return to Jozi from CT shocked me with the everyday messages and symbols we Joburgers take for granted; the messages and symbols that shape the collective unconscious of our city and our people. The ‘Penis Enlargement’ posters that adorn every robot, electrical box and street pole were the most glaring example. I asked myself: what does this say about Joburg? what does this say about Joburgers?

We are a city obsessed with the power of the phallus; a presidency obsessed with the symbol and virility and representation of the phallus; a people whose penis size reflects its masculinity, whose masculinity reflects its identity. The effect of this overtly embodied and gendered mantra on our collective unconscious plays itself out in our lives daily.

More so than with other cultures, Joburg constantly genders us. It equates our identity with our gender, places our gendered attributes – our penises, our breasts – under the microscope, and finds us wanting. Those who are found wanting and those who pass the grade play out the script of the power struggle that has been written for us. And as with the Battle of the Sexes in decades before us, the Battle of the Genders brings with it a long, long casualty list. Being part of the female-bodied and -gendered community, as well as the LGBTIQ community, from where so many of the casualties come, I cannot be part of an existence or an art that hides behind the privilege of aesthetic.

Those of you who follow my work know that I believe that gender is nothing more than a social construction and that I perform my gender through my identity and my art daily. But playing with gender and bearing witness to the daily reality of my and others’ lives as queers in my writing and images is not enough. How do I as a queer artist respond to the overt gendering of our city; the grossly embodied sexing of the spirit of Joburg?

I need to take responsibility for the city I want to live in and actively participate in creating it. I need to undermine the gendering of the city and its inhabitants with more than just my existence and my documentation of my play with gender and identity, more than just through my collaborations with others who do the same.

‘Taking Back our City’ is thus this journey of active and creative participation in my city. I hope that you will follow my journey and join me in taking our city back.