Feminist Sunday is a weekly roundup of all the articles/threads/news/discoveries that include or are about women which have caught my attention and/or interest.
Thursday marked the summer solstice, which is also recognised as International Yoga Day! Since moving to Maldives I have been regularly practicing three times a week and our class decided to celebrate by holding a group session on the beach. Although it sounds like I’m living in paradise, the capital, Malé, is extremely busy and overcrowded. I’m constantly bombarded by construction noises all hours of the day (and night) so it was really nice to consciously wake up early and venture out to the beach for some yoga on the weekend.
My reading this week has been purposely slow. I finished Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and, if anything, it brought me to Adrienne Rich’s beautiful poem ‘Splittings’ from her collection The Dream of a Common Language. Another piece of advice Strayed gives to people, particularly those in their twenties, is to buy five poetry collections and read all of them at least five times each. I will try to take her up on that advice after feeling the power of poetry to shift your perspective, like Rich does in ‘Splittings’. I then moved on to Audre Lorde’s collection of essays and poetry, Your Silence Will Not Protect You. Although I’ve read many of the essays before in Sister Outsider (you can read my review here), they are essays that demand to be read and reread many times over. There’s so much knowledge and power that can be gained from her words and they need to be given time to think through and digest. As a bit of ‘light’ relief I started Zadie Smith’s first novel, White Teeth, which is surprisingly humourous though there are still the beginnings of Smith’s socio-critique that I’ve come to know and love in her latest books.
Here are some of the feminist/bookish related things I’ve been reading on the web this week:
- An area in my intersectional feminism where I know I am lacking in knowledge and which I have to rectify is transgender women, this article on Bitch Media is a great introduction to the history of backlash against trans women within the feminist movement: It’s Time to End the Long History of Feminism Failing Transgender Women.
- Cited in the Bitch Media article above was a link to the brilliant and insightful TransGriot blog – A proud unapologetic Black trans woman speaking truth to power and discussing the world around her since 2006.
- One of the disadvantages of living abroad is that you miss out on festivals like Bare Lit, which, had I been in London, would have been on the top of my agenda. Luckily you can read Nii Ayikwei Parkes keynote address at the Bare Lit Festival 2018.
- VIDA have published their 2017 Count, the first of the #MeToo era and, unfortunately, not much has changed since 2016.
- In honour of Octavia Butler’s birthday this week, which would have been her 71st, The Paris Review republished a selection of her annotations, notes, research materials and drafts of novels that are housed at the Huntington Library in California: So Be It, See to It.
- Preti Taneja has won the Desmond Elliott Prize for her debut novel We That Are Young, a reimagining of King Lear set in contemporary India. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
- Here are 7 Books in Translation to Read for Pride Month 2018. There are a few brilliant-sounding books written by females on the list too!
- Here is a beautiful interview with author Elaine Castillo on her debut novel, America is not the Heart, on Oh Comely’s website.
- Yesterday marked the 45th birthday of Virago, the feminist publishing company that has been ‘championing women’s writing for the widest possible audience’.
- As I am currently living in Malé I’m going to try my best to include something related to Maldives. Although a very small country, Maldives has an extremely rich culture and a budding creative scene though this rarely finds expression outside of the country. This weekend an exciting and brilliant solo exhibition opened at Hotel Jen – described as ‘a surreal and imaginative glimpse at the women of Maldivian culture and folklore’ – organised by Maldivian Artists Community and featuring the work of Maldha Mohamed, entitled Why Art.