we will not go quitely – why i’m a part of this project.

a few people have asked me about why i am doing a zine of this type. Something that no one really wants to hear about, but is affecting the lives of millions of women every day. 1 in 3 women globally will experience some form of violence in their life time.  Many of the sexual crimes women experience are never reported to the police, and of those that are reported, conviction rates are extremely low. Many are perpetrated not in the mythological back alleys or deserted streets – although some are – but in the homes, workplaces and places of social gatherings. Many perpetrators are not strangers but people women know, husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles bossess and boyfriends and at any age or stage of a woman’s life. when we tell our stories they are often met with disbelief, shock, or dismissed as “not that bad”. It takes only one eperience of a negative reaction to keep a person silent for years and some never discuss their experience again. Many victim/survivors are often reacted to negatively in the media if they have so called “high profile” cases – particularly those involving racial minorities (such as the western sydney victim of gang rape by middle eastern men) or sporting identities. The Victorian Police has struck a deal with the AFL to allow the AFL to investigate its own claims of player misconduct (particularly if it’s of a sexual nature) and decide if any further action needs to be taken.  LGBTI people are significantly more likely to suffer sexual violence based on their identity and sexual orientation, Aboriginal women because of their race, Women in situations of war,  and the list could go on.

But now it’s our turn… i took up the challenge with fellow blogger and victim survivor Kate Ravenscroft (16impacts.wordpress.com)  to see if we could give victim survivors a chance to speak up for them selves. To, as Noam Chomsky says “speak truth to power”  I am doing this because I honestly believe that for too long people have been muffled by the voices of the establishment. By those that have a vested interest in keeping us quiet. I honestly believe that If i had been given the chance to write my experience down years ago, I would have been in a significantly different position to what I am in now.  I am doing this because it’s our right to be heard, and heard loudly.   Every victim survivor has a story to tell and very few of them get to do it on their terms.

not one more.  speak, even if your voice hurts.

writers who inspire me part three Luka “Lesson” Haralampou

heh. he just started following me on twitter so i know he’ll most likely read this but every time i see him perform bits of me are inspired to be better. A better writer and a better person.

an MC and performance poet originally from Brisbane I first met Luka possibly at a slam in Brunswick street which he took out with smashing style. Later that year Luka won the Overload Poetry slam and went on to be the second only Australian to represent at the world poetry slam championships in the US.  In addition to being a poet and hip hopper, Luka is also a passionate actvist for the rights of the Indigenous people of this nation and those of Palestine and the founder of the Center for Poetics and Justice.  His poetry is a mixture of the personal -from growing up greek and encountering racism at school, to fusing beautiful greek melodies with his poetry, to writing blazing rhymes about the state of the world.  Here are some links of my dear Lesson in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXz37KQ0cOQ (may your pen grace the page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwRi3fi8j6A&feature=related  (please resist me, outside flinders street station with police looking on)

if you want to follow luka on twitter you can find him @LukaLesson i believe.

blog post – the “awesome list”

i encourage everything to write down their “awesome list” publish it in a blog write it on your wall, write it and pin it UP on your wall if your landlord doesn’t like grafitti but just look at it. whenever you feel unhappy. it’s helping me no end.  here is some of my “awesome list”

coffee

poetry

theatre

music

hugs

kisses

new journals  (or stationary of any kind)

kittens

children

autumn leaves

really really good vegetarian food – especially when i’ve cooked it myself.

conquering new recipes

finding new friends

moving to new places

unpacking boxes (Tedious but i like it)

my nephew

new music

good conversation

creating or finishing a new artistic piece

giving gifts to other people, for their birthdays, or for just no reason at all.

stuffed toys (at almost 28 i have a rather shameful collection including an elephant who blogs)

seeing people smile who haven’t done so in a while.

sending random cards or notes to friends just for a laugh.

autumn leaves

fresh flowers – especially the smell

incense – especially the clove kind

cigarettes (i know.. they are bad.. but they are a guilty life destroying pleasure)

smiling because you know deep down in your heart the world is a wonderful messy place and you are learning to embrace the mess

so take up the challenge.. create your own!

blog post – greetings from alexander the elephant

hello there.
for those of you that don’t know me i am sure you have seen the photos. My mother constantly refers to me as one of the most photographed elephants around.
Currently she is asleep as she is not feeling well and has left the daily blogging up to me. I hope she has not got the flu because i’ve heard elephantitis is a nasty disease!
She did leave me some instructions. She said to let you know she is getting better every day and will be back to her very best soon. She also said, say something cute, and make sure you spell check before you post, because elephants aren’t very good at typing! hmmpf! well if you had no fingers and had to type with your trunk you wouldn’t be either! you wouldn’t be either! But really, I am pretty good at my job. Since Mum adopted me when i was just a baby elephant, we’ve had some grand adventures together. We went to America twice. It’s a scary place, full of people who aren’t very nice to elephants, we met a few rockstars, and every day we try and write poems together I tend to leave that up to Mum because people keep telling her she is very good at it. I try, but she just won’t hear it from me. She says elephants don’t know anything about poetry. But I am no ordinary elephant. And unlike Mum, i don’t forget my lines. (don’t worry, Mum it’s a joke, elephants never forget, you know?) My best friend is Isabella, a little bunny I adopted. She was dirty on the street at easter time and I thought it was a nice thing to do to take her home so she could live with me and Mum. Although she doesn’t get taken as many places as I do, due to Mum not being able to carry us both, we’ve both had some great times together.

but the most important job i have is at night time. Mum has a really terrible illness that makes her sad at night time. my job is to lie right next to her and keep her warm, comfortable and make sure none of that sadness bothers her. At the moment i’m not doing a very good job, as she cries often, but she keeps telling me I am a wonderful, faithful, loyal elephant who she wouldn’t trade for anything. I blush. my life is not made very hard at all with such a wonderful mum.

Tomorrow, i am so excited. a group of us are going to the zoo! Mum tells me i get to meet some of my aunts, uncles and cousins. I am very nervous. I have never met any of my elephant family before. I don’t know if they’ll like me. Mum re-assures me I am a very loveable elephant and they will adore me.

well… I better go. I can see Mum’s waking up and she’ll probably want to use the computer soon. All this blogging has worn me out anyhow, so maybe it’s my time for a nap. It was nice meeting you all.

Love from Alexander the elephant.