Mari Berekspresi! Perempuan & Keadilan

Photos by Gordon John Thomas & Maisarah Reckweg.

On Saturday night, one of the three sessions which was simultaneously held was Mari Berekspresi which was organised by Sisters in Islam (SIS) and facilitated by Shanon Shah and Ayam Fared. The purpose of this session was to encourage participants to share issues through performing arts.

During this session, participants shared their personal experience or stories their heard which touched on inequality towards women. After the performances, most participants could relate to each other and realized that their experiences were similar and cut across the different background they share.

After the sharing session, Ayam Fared facilitated the participants to create their own performances in groups based on the issues that was brought up in the previous session. The facilitator stressed that they are only two things which we need to hold a street performance or performing art:

1) Know your body (its strength and weaknesses).

2) Understand and explore the range of physical expressions of your body.

He later took the participants through a process on how to create their own performing arts and how to bring out the issues of concern through this method. The advantage of performing arts is that we do not necessarily need a hall, a theatre or a specific space to do our performance. It can be anywhere, whether on the streets or during a demonstration or even at a park!

These performances was later performed during Fiesta Feminista’s closing ceremony as well as FF’s Day of Action the morning after.

Call for articles: #LoyarEqual – Feminist and women’s rights week on LoyarBurok

From LoyarBurok:

Why feminist and women’s rights week?! Because battling gender-based violence and discrimination is still relevant in Malaysia and more urgent than ever. Because Malaysia is fast becoming one of the rape capitals of Asia. Because survivors of sexual assault are blamed for “inviting” rape and not protecting themselves enough. Because there are still too few women in politics. Because women are expected to do the housework, paid or otherwise. Because women’s bodies are exploited and turned into sex objects at every opportunity. Because women’s rights are human rights.

Fundamentally, feminism offers a framework for everybody to view and examine the inequality, dominance, and oppression around them; it’s not about women trying to dominate men, or about being ‘western’ or elitist. And so feminism is not just for women but for everybody. Sexism also affects men. Unrealistic social expectations require all men to be masculine, strong, unemotional, uncaring, and primary breadwinners whether men like it or not, capable or not. Inequality and disrespect towards women and girls diminishes the relationship men and boys have with their mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, and other female-identified people.

If you would like to share your experiences of sexism and / or thoughts on gender-based injustice and feminism then you’ve come to the right place!

What to submit: Photos, video, comics, 800 – 1,000 word articles, short stories, and poems in Bahasa Malaysia or English on the theme of feminism and women’s rights.

Deadline for submissions : Friday, 14th October 2011

Where to submit: aliciaa90099@yahoo.com

Need help in finding a topic? Here are suggested issues related to feminism you can cover:

Sexual harassment and violence
Sex work and the sex industry
Sexuality and the body
Female participation in Malaysian politics
Parenting and equality
Fat acceptance
Disabilities
Ethical eating
Trans-feminism
Eco-feminism
Men and feminism
Gender in film, media, and pop culture

For a quick understanding of what feminism is and some important issues to wrap your head around, here is a short list of useful links for your perusal:

Finally, a feminism 101 blog

What is “slut-shaming”?

What is male privilege?

Articles will be published on LoyarBurok from 17th to 23rd October 2011. So get cracking :D