SAFIYA IN WONDERLAND

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I go wherever my spirit takes me, I love exploring what the world has to offer and I'm really good at finding things. I'm the woman who reads the footnotes of the footnotes, then ends up being invited to a midnight Voudou ceremony. So think Indiana Jones, James T. Kirk, Captain Janeway, Captain Marvel and James Bond but better dressed and Black.

Welcome to my adventures, ruminations and coolness.

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Summertime


The overturning of Roe vs Wade was soon followed by a surge of references to 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood, this discourse disturbed me. The history of forced labour is horrific across the world, but the inception of 'America' from 1565 arrived with unspeakable violence. I argue that by only referring to a fictional narrative as a 'warning' rather than a book based on historical events, people are at risk of erasing the history of marginalised women, especially those in the Black and indigenous communities. Having spent several years solely researching the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, I am mortified by the lack of compassion towards communities still healing from the traumas of the colonisation of women's bodies and concerned at the thought of a white female fictional character being the symbol for liberating women's bodies when America is not lacking real female freedom fighters. Was Sojourner Truth not real? Although we as a society should be making progressive steps forward, letting go of the past should not mean forgetting it. My reading list alters whenever a political rift encourages me to learn more and someday soon I hope my own writing will be able to illuminate and add to the conversation. In response, I wrote a poem called 'Summertime' after George Gershwin, based on the infamous song featured in the play 'Porgy & Bess'. It is also a visual poem and choreographic piece. To lay out the choreographic score using Labanotation (a method of dance documentation) I used the original musical score. The image of the enslaved woman in the visual was from 'Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave' (1793) Print by William Blake after John Gabriel Stedman.




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