Diary of a mothering worker. February 10, 2015.


“Being experts in crossings is what Caribbean people do. It’s how we learned to exist. We have crossed waters, crossed authorities, crossed junctions and junctures, and crossed everything from spiritualities to pleasures.”

Originally posted on grrlscene:

Post 180.

Zi is at the left of the photo, last in the line Zi is at the left of the photo, last in the line (Photo: Roba Ofili)

Two hours waiting. Two minutes of playing mas. Thus went four year-old Ziya’s first time crossing the big stage.

Practice starts from young, which is clearly how committed masqueraders develop patience with long waits, and know to make the most of their few moments to put their all into display.

In a spectrum of stunning costumes, like inhabitants of a surreal alter-dimension, dozens of children somehow managed the heat, and began such early socialization to a ritual that determines the ultimate success of local music, shapes national conversation about selfhood and freedom, and establishes the most revered secular space in the country.

For us to be visible, to be seen like this, is to exist, writes scholar Gordon Rohlehr. That’s why the crescendo of the stage continues to rule the rhythm of the…

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Gender-based Violence at Mona: #SpeakUpUWI

Originally posted on Active Voice:


The University of the West Indies’ repeated claims that it was clueless about the level of gender-based violence (GBV), or any violence on its campus for that matter, because it “cannot admit to a phenomenon that is not supported by data collected by UWI” are damaging the institution. They are an embarrassment because they lead to the inevitable conclusion that there are fundamental problems with UWI’S methods of data collection. Either that or the methods are designed to evade collection of data that would indicate beyond any shadow of a doubt the enormity of the problem.

Because of course the University’s claims that GBV is not a major issue at the university flies in the face of the experience of students who have to live and work on its campus. For the first time in a long time students mobilized social media to make their views known using the hashtag…

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Sexual Harrassment and UWI: Can we talk?

Originally posted on Active Voice:


Everyone agrees that in order to deal with a problem you first have to acknowledge it exists. I thought of this when listening to Camille Bell-Hutchinson, University Registrar, energetically refuting the charge that gender-based violence is out of control on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. Today the Letter of the Day in the Daily Gleaner is from the University’s Director of Marketing, Recruitment & Communications, Carroll Edwards. Like the Registrar she denies allegations of rampant attacks on campus women made in a Sunday Gleaner article dated February 1, 2015, ‘Halls of horror: gender-based attacks haunt UWI, Mona’.

The denials come in response to a study cited in that article quoting Taitu Heron, currently National Programme Coordinator at UN Women Jamaica, who chronicled some of the reported cases of violence against women on the campus in her 2013 study Whose Business Is It? Violence Against Women…

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Diary of a mothering worker. January 27, 2015.

Originally posted on grrlscene:

Post 178.

Watching her Gayelle family celebrate and remember Marcia Henville, I couldn’t shake disbelief that domestic violence could have caused her death.  The loss of such an irrepressible woman left horror hovering behind the love and courage being shared from Gayelle’s studio to our living rooms.

Feeling what Sunity Maharaj rightly called ‘grief upon outrage’ pressing heavily on my heart, I remembered that providing a sense of connection was always the genius of Gayelle and its hosts. Even at home, you could feel you were there with them, close, personal and on set with their emotions, their aspirations and their community.

But it wasn’t just Gayelle who made television we own, it was Marcia, a woman who seemed to know no boundaries, who walked unarmed where police feared to tread, who asked questions to make a politician cringe, and who made her own television brand one that was unapologetically…

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Why are women and girls falling out of our HIV response?

Originally posted on One nation…many bodies…boundless faith:

Why are women and girls falling out of our HIV response?

Though the core of my career has been spent working in HIV, in recent years I’ve refocused that effort on what we call sexual citizenship, fighting to make sure people are valued and included and taken care of in our society, regardless to their sexuality. It’s what the national public knows me best for. That usually means fighting public officials and politicians to understand why gay men are as important as straight women.

But I got appointed to a regional HIV body recently. And at my first meeting in that role, I found myself in a really queer position—a bit alone fighting regional HIV advocates and officials to pay more attention to women and girls. I wasn’t really being a noble champion; a lot of it was self-interest.

If we aren’t solving HIV risk for girls, we certainly…

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boxing day 2014. guyana

Originally posted on freedombyanymeans:

“Whore!” was a frequent and common insult slung at her. Whore. He was fucking her whenever he pleased, had brought her to his house for that purpose, as well as to cook and clean. She had been working at the rice mill and looking after his mother who was sick and lived in the same village. Over time, when he came to visit his mother, they caught each other’s attention and started to communicate. She had come to the house about three years ago, accompanying his mom on a visit. Mother eventually went back to the village but she stayed. It was good in the beginning (although never great; he not-so-jokingly referred to her as the maid), but soon deteriorated. Still, she kept on waking up at 5am to cook for him, to wash his clothes, to clean his house, and to work in his yard. Whore.

He pretended to…

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