Friday, 28 June 2013

Arundhati Roy

Attivista-Scrittrice Arundhati Roy in Zuccotti park New York

Alice Paul (1885-1977) & Margaret Fell (1614-1702)

Raised in a Quaker famil, Alice Paul-the 1900s sufragette- showed a strong sense of purpose, a determination that I belive came from the very nature of Quaker practice. 

The first Quakers lived in mid-XVI century in England and like others dissenting protestant groups of that time broke away from the established Church of England. From the beginning Quaker women played a great role in defining Quakerism, as a matter of fact, one of the founder was a woman Margaret Fell known as "The Mother of Quakerism", a traveling Quaker minister for sometimes, in 1664 she was sentenced to life imprisonment and the loss of her house for allowing Quaker meetings to be held in her home. She defended herself by saying: "As long as The Lord blessed her with a home, she would worship him in it.". During the four years she spent in prison she wrote a pamphlet on women religious leadership "Women speaking justified"  a careful exegesis of Scriptures in which she mainteins the spiritual equality of men and women and that both are capable of being prophets. Her work set the foundation for women's ministery. She had to fight to defend the organisational structure of women's separate meetings that together with George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, she had established in the first years of their evangelical preaching.

the life of Margaret Fell
margaret fell

The Sufragettes  Portrayed in the film Iron Jawded Angels (2004)         
 Alice Paul (1885-1977)  & Lucy Burns (1869-1966)

Suffrage historian Eleonor Clifts notes that "they were opposites in temperament and appearence...whereas Paul appeared fragile, Burns was tall and curvaceous, the picture of vigorous health...unlike Paul, who was uncompromising,and hard to get along with, Lucy was pliable and willing to negotiate. Paul was the militant, Burns the diplomat. Despite  their stark difference.Paul and Burns work together so effectively that followers would often described them as having one mind and spirit."                                    suffrage campaign 1910-1920

Courtesy of Brabant Sofie

Politics of Hope

"People don't take stock of how much the world has changed, they can become attached to their powerlessness and all too comfortable with despair. If you tell people that they can't change anything then it's safe for them to go home and watch sitcoms. But if you tell people that they're responsible for what the world is like, they have to do something."

The politics of Hope is THE answer to the politics of Fear. Is the only Practice that could undermine the pervasive feeling of distrust and renounce that many of us display in their daily jobs.
Hope, like Faith, is a driving power, a source of energy and strength, it gives you vigour and desire to act.
When Hope is on your side, you feel you can have an impact on the world around.
Hope is such a great thing! No wonder it is so little valued: then you need to shift from that very comfy position of the poor victim to that of the powerful doer.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Indonesian Heroine

Indonesian Women's Emancipation : Not only Kartini 


From Darkness to Light titled this year edition of Ubud Writers and Readers Festival to honour R.A. Kartini the well-known Indonesian heroine.
After Kartini died aged 25 (1879-1904), Dutch Abendanon collected the many letters Kartini wrote to her pen friends in the Neatherland in which her deep insights about women rights, education and emancipation stands out and have continued to be inspirational to many modern Indonesians. That collection bears the meaningful title of From Darkness to Light.
R.A Kartini has gained her status as National Heroine thanks to Sukarno who declared 21st April, her birthday, national holiday but she is not the only Indonesian to be such a remarkable woman. Many unsung indonesian women deserve such a recognition. Like West Sumatrans Rohana Kudus (1884-1972) first Indonesian female journalist and Rasuna Said (1910-1965) first Indonesian woman Minister. Other women deserve to be commemorated as national heroines like activist Dewi Sartika (1884-1947) from Bandung West Java who founded the first school for women in early 1900 while Cut Nyak Dhien from Aceh (1848-1908) had fought against the Dutch in 1870 instead of staying at home. Although her name is mentioned on school textbooks, roads in major cities are named after her and her face's portrayed on Indonesian Rp.10.000 notes, we usually know no more than that about Cut Nyat Dien.
Many Indonesians are unaware that Aceh has a long tradition of women warriors, politicians and Sultanas dating back to 1600 to current days and that makes Acenese women the first true pioneers of women's emancipation in Indonesia!
Fiorella Carollo