Monthly Archives: August 2015

Feminism in London: Disabled Women’s panel, London 25th October

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flyerFeminism in London panel on 25th Oct sunday 12.30 Hilton Metropole London

Multiple Identities: ordinary lives: The challenges of being disabled and feminist

Disabled women’s rights are human rights! Disability can be physical, mental, neurological, hidden or visible. This panel will look at activism through the prism of disability and feminism and seek to explore further the intersection and challenges of being between the two and the capacity of the two movements to work for change.

speakers
Kirsten Hearn (Chair)
Becky Olaniyi (Sisters of Frida)
Rebecca Bunce (ICChange)
Asha Hans ( Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre. &. Women with Disabilities India by video link)
Frances Ryan (Guardian journalist)
Nidhi Goyal (CREA: disability and sexuality by video link)

Tickets available now

The conference address: Hilton Metropole conference suite at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, 225 Edgware Road, London W2 1JU. It is very close to Edgware Road tube station. It’s fully accessible.
it is on Sunday 25th at 12:30-2pm, except for speakers – you need to buy a ticket.
http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/timetable/

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Sisters of Frida at : Woman Up! London, in association with Conway Hall Ethical Society (Saturday 29th Auguest)

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Eleanor, Rebecca and Zara

Eleanor, Rebecca and Zara

Sisters of Frida were at the Woman Up event August bank holiday weekend. 29th/30th August
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
WC1R 4RL London
United Kingdom

Saturday

Panel: The politics of women’s bodies: sexuality, porn and nudity
Collette Nolan – Doodle Your Down There
Jane Fae – Journalist and campaigner
Zara Todd – Sisters of Frida
Rebecca Ryce – Sexpression
Chella Quint – Period Positive
Pandora Blake – feminist porn maker

(see transcript below)

Sunday
Panel – Preventing violence against women and girls, and supporting survivors
Rebecca Bunce – ICchange
Chris Green – White Ribbon campaign
Tamara-Jade Kaz – feminist campaigner

Full progamme at From Woman Up eventbrite

transcript of video clip

Zara:

….seen as innocent vessels (?) that are then corrupted by the world.. And yes, there are some horrific stats about disabled womens’ experience.

We are 4 times more likely to be the victims of domestic abuse and violence. The sexual exploitation of disabled children is massive.

But for me I can’t help but question whether those stats in part, are partly because we de-sexualise disabled women.

Because if by de-sexualising them it means that if they do go to the police and say that they’ve had an experience they can be disbelieved because disabled people don’t have sex.

What is really strange to me is that, despite the de-sexualisation of disabled people and disabled women, it is seen as perfectly acceptable for a stranger to approach me and ask how I have sex, or do I have sex. And they are questions that non-disabled women don’t get asked very often.

And I think that to me is where disabled women need to be represented in discussions in Feminism, about sexuality, about porn because a lot of disabled women have hidden impairments and actually a lot of the women that are being exploited and are experiencing sexual violence are probably disabled women. They might not realise it, you might not realise it, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t experiencing those kinds of barriers. So it’s really important that we’re being open and honest about disabled women and how they fit into this kind of environment.

Now I’ve been a Disability rights activist for quite a long time, probably longer than some of the panel members have been alive! – in that I started being involved in Disability rights at the age of 10.

I didn’t get involved in the Feminist movement until my mid-20s. The reason for that was that I didn’t feel like I belonged in the feminist movement. I have spent a large proportion of my life trying to be seen as a sexual entity, as a sexual being, whereas a lot of the messages that I’ve received from the Feminist movement over that same period of time have been telling me that I don’t want to be ‘objectified. Actually, as a disabled woman who is told that I don’t have a sexuality, repeatedly by society, the idea of being sexualised and objectified – sounds pretty good to me!

Anyway, on that note I’ll hand over…

END 3:07

Sisters of Frida: Disability & Sex/uality Workshop, Part 1

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Disability & Sex/uality

Workshop, Part 1  

Sisters of Frida invites you to the first Disability and Sex/uality workshop on 19 September 2015 at Unity Church Hall, 1-5pm. This workshop is for self-identified disabled women who want to create a space to talk about disability, sex and sexuality.

The workshop

As disabled women we have a wide range of experiences, positive and negative, around disability, sex and sexuality. Disabled women are sexy, sexual, passionate, loving, caring, desirable, hot, beautiful, strong and much more! Our experiences of sexuality are also affected by different kinds of oppressions as ableism, racism, sexism, heteronormativity, classism and age.

This workshop is the first meeting of the project Disability and Sex/uality we are developing. In this workshop we will explore the different themes around sex and sexuality that arise from our experiences. We will also look at what we want to explore more and what work needs to happen to develop this project.

The project

The idea for this project arose from a screening of the documentary AccSex, which showed how a group of disabled women in India experience their sexuality. This project is part of Sisters of Frida. We are setting up this project out of a need to create a space where we can safely discuss our sexuality in a supportive and empowering environment.

Registration

The topics we will discuss can be sensitive, for this reason, please contact us directly to register and discuss participation as this will be a closed meeting: sof.disabilitysexuality@gmail.com. Note that places are limited, please get in touch as soon as possible. Deadline for registration is 6 September.

Accessibility and needs

The venue is wheelchair accessible. There is an accessible toilet, but without a hoist. There is a small room that people can use for quiet-time. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you need BSL, transcription or if you have other access needs. If you have any concerns or queries about the nature of what might be discussed in the workshop and how it could relate to your experiences, please get in touch. This is a peer-support group, we cannot offer professional support.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Date: 19 September 2015

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Where: New Unity Unitarians

Address: 277A Upper Street, Islington, London N1 2TZ

Contactsof.disabilitysexuality@gmail.com

Deadline for registration: 6 September 2015

Accessibility: Please get in touch to discuss your needs

At Sparks London

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At Sparks London
the spark banner

the spark banner

The Spark is a completely free festival of ideas, discussion, art, performance and more looking at how we can bring about positive change here in the UK and around the world 20 – 26 July 2015.

Ciara Doyle leading the workshop

Ciara Doyle leading the workshop

Sisters of Frida were invited again after last year’s participation. Some of us participated at Sparks and lead workshops.

Ciara and Dyi had a workshop: The ability in disability: questioning the idea of being healthy and well-being

This workshop asks what is ‘normal’? It explores ideas around ‘ability in disability’, ‘normal health’ or ‘healthy’. It encourages a curiosity about understanding ableism as a system that affects everyone by dictating what is ‘normal’ around ability, including ideas and practices around ‘health’ and ‘well-being’.

Facilitated by:

–Ciara identifies as an activist, an academic, queer, disabled.

–Dyi has been an activist in Amsterdam around issues of gender, race, reproductive rights, and age/generation and now, in London, tries to catch up on issues of disability and sex/uality while fluctuatingly ill and doing a PhD

Dyi was actually not well on the day and Ciara did it on her own with a great interactive discussion on.

The workshop after that was Equality and being inclusive and accessible

Everyone says they are aiming for equality however they do not always factor in being inclusive and accessible. Physical, hidden and logistical barriers can very often prevent people from being properly involved. Although nearly always unintentional, this exclusion has a negative impact on the campaign and access isnt always easy to add on later.

Non disabled people do not always understand what barriers disabled people face in going about day to day activities – eg. having steps to a physical meeting place mean wheelchair users are excluded, having information only available on pdfs mean that blind people who use text reader to access electronic information are left out and if you have meetings that start very early in the morning might mean that people who need personal assistance to get ready or those who have chronic issues might find it logistically challenging to make it to your meeting.

facilitated by Eleanor Lisney, an access adviser who is also a wheelchair user.

At the Four Fridas!

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Annabel and Eleanor were at the Sisters of Frida’s stall at the Four Fridas, ( excerpt from website below) part of the Greenwich and Docklands Festival.

Annabel and Eleanor

Annabel and Eleanor

The Four Fridas will be a spectacular, outdoor theatre production celebrating the life and work of the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Audiences will be immersed in a visually thrilling experience, integrating elements of ritual, music, narration, contemporary dance and aerial choreography, played out against stunning video projections in the sky.

Taking inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s lifelong empathy with indigenous Mexico, The Four Fridas will feature a rare opportunity to see the breathtaking ritual flight of the Voladores. The production brings together an exciting creative team led by GDIF’s Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings, including a specially commissioned appearance by Shechter Junior, a new young ensemble of talented dancers from Hofesh Shechter Company, alongside an innovative collaboration between leading UK aerial dance company Wired Aerial Theatre and BAFTA Award winning film maker Tal Rosner, together with film animation by artist Rachel Gadsden. The production is designed by Georgia Lowe with an original script by award winning writer Jay Griffiths, music by BAFTA Award winner Dan Jones and lighting by Olivier Award winning Natasha Chivers

We asked if we could have a stall to give information on Sisters of Frida. The crew there kindly gave us a space at the front of stage and we shared between the cocktail van and the stand which sold Mexican sweets. We had lots of interest and even some friends visiting! We had quite a few enquiries and interest in our badges and postcards.

postcards write to sisofrida@gmail.com if you would like badges or cards

postcards write to sisofrida@gmail.com if you would like badges or cards

badge

badge in two sizes

At 4fridas with Sophie Partridge and friend, Taharah

At Four Fridas with Sophie Partridge and friend, Taharah

Here are some photos from the spectacle!

Four Fridas

Four Fridas spectacle  

Four Fridas

Four Fridas