Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Walls Remember

In the early days of the women’s movement of the 1960s-1970s, some women preoccupied themselves with what they considered the insignia of feminism: mannish attire & no mascara--& they could be quite harsh on those who did not agree & dress accordingly. Most women however, considered feminism a commitment to action, a “come-as-you-are” movement to fight the horrific violence & injustice women endured.
In an ironic comparison, veiled Muslim women became the symbol for Islamophobia used to vilify Muslims & justify war & occupation. But attire is never of the essence. A fighting spirit is all that counts.

Here, Basma Ali Khan, a veiled activist in Sana’a, Yemen, holds posters of her disappeared father at a protest that is part of “The Walls Remember” campaign to  educate about the hundreds of activists disappeared by the government. Her headband reads: “The walls remember their faces.” Yemeni activists  are using street art & graffiti on walls to protest. This is another example of images of murdered activists coming back to haunt justice.

Media reports of Yemen are all about US drone attacks on al-Qaeda but it isn’t some phantom enemy in the hills the Pentagon & White House are worried about. It’s fearless activists like Basma Ali Khan. Our fullest solidarity with their struggle. And we don’t give a damn what they wear. (Photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters)

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