Over the past month, a number of disturbing revelations have come to light within the Canadian literary community
READ THIS AND UNDERSTAND: "…quite simply, when a woman tells you a man you know is an abuser, trust her. It doesn’t matter if he’s “always been nice” to you – don’t give him the benefit of your doubt. Don’t protect his “literary genius.” Don’t publish or review his work, don’t sign him up for your reading series or festival, don’t buy his books, and don’t continue to support his ability to victimize the voiceless. Don’t value politeness, or avoiding conflict, or your career over the safety of the traumatized. Don’t knowingly make spaces intolerable for the abused. And don’t ever tell a woman where or how she’s allowed to tell her story.”
I struggled not to put this quotation in all caps, because how often does someone say, “well it’s not my experience, so I’m not going to change my treatment of this person based on yours,” or “that’s his personal life, it doesn’t affect our business relationship,” or “it sounds like a misunderstanding to me.”
Literally get the fuck out of my life if you can’t see how you’re enabling this shit — and yeah, every one of those examples has been said directly to me.
Bande de Filles / Girlhood (2014) dir. Céline Sciamma starring Karidja Toure, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Marietou Toure
A few weeks ago I watched 17 Filles, a film directed by Muriel Coulin based on the myth surrounding the “Gloucester 18”, a group of girls from the same US high school who got pregnant within the same year. A TIME reporter claimed that the girls had made a pact to get pregnant at the same time, maybe as a form of rebellion. Although that was later debunked, the film - set in France - is based on the fiction.
The only glimpse of a black girl in Coulin’s film is during a wide establishing shot in the playground of the school the girls attend. The girl is being (playfully?) kicked in the butt by a white girl. Since it’s an establishing shot, we’re not really meant to care what’s happening in the scene, it’s just a way of letting us know that the characters who matter have decided to go to school that day.
This is basically standard practice in the (bougie) French films I regularly subject myself to (Claire Denis is the obvious exception), and that’s one reason I wanna see Sciamma’s new film Girlhood. The film is getting good reviews (this one especially although I don’t read French so there are definitely more) and Sciamma also seems aware of how messed up that absence is: “It was part of the thrill of making the movie, and the will to make the movie, because [black girls] are invisible on the screen”
"This country doesn’t give them a vision of what they could be, what they could do. Still, they are so strong and intelligent and it’s an incredible youth in France that we have."
"I wanted the movie to avoid the cliches of a suburban movie, you know, documentary-like with the camera on the shoulder. I wanted it to be wide and stylish. And so we decided to shoot the movie in cinemascope. Also so that we could shoot the four girls all in the same frame. And to shoot suburbia in a charismatic way."
"They’re not gangs in the US sense of the word; just big groups of friends… They face a particular set of challenges but at the same their stories are consistent with the themes I’ve explored in my other work such as the construction of feminine identity and friendships between girls… the film is basically a coming-of-age tale.”
Have you been dabbling in freelance writing but you’re ready for the next level? Here’s how to get better-paying writing jobs, with great expert advice.
I can now add “expert” to my resume.
Actually, this is a really good piece (if I do say so myself) and I packed it with all the best advice I know:
Have trouble facing the blank screen? Here’s a trick I used: get formulaic. Start with an opening sentence that includes a pun, followed by two sentences explaining why you’re writing about the topic. Then three paragraphs, each about a different area of the topic. Then a closing paragraph—ending with a pun, of course. (If that formula isn’t applicable to your type of entry-level writing, find the formula that is, and follow it.)
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every 3-cents-a-word piece. You just have to kick the wheel so it spins.
Nicole, your writing output is actually terrifying to me (and I think I’m decently prolific!!). One day we should gchat about freelancing.
How Can We Stop Cops from Beating and Killing? Molly Crabapple on Policing, Violence, and Justice
Occupy Wall Street activist Shawn Carrié always dreamed of becoming a classical pianist, and he was on his way, with a full music scholarship to New York University. That all changed on March 17, 2012, when, during a demonstration at Zuccotti Park, a New York City police officer pulled his thumb back and back and back until it broke. Six other cops kicked him until he bled from his ears, according to Shawn. He told me that while he was held at the Midtown South Precinct an officer named Perez tore a splint the hospital had given him from his finger and said, “You fucking Occupiers. Every time you come back, we’re going to kick your ass.”
Shawn would never play piano at a professional level again.
In December 2013, New York City paid Shawn (whose birth name is Shawn Schrader) an $82,500 settlement as compensation for the beatings and for arresting him on an old warrant meant for a different person named Shawn Carrié. But the officers themselves paid not a cent. Nor were they arrested, as civilians who break peoples’ fingers might be. They admitted no wrongdoing. They suffered no consequences at all. Instead, New York City taxpayers bore the cost.
Shawn’s lawsuit could be considered a success. But it did nothing to dissuade the cops who attacked him from attacking others. When we spoke in my living room, his pale eyes flashed with anger. “Justice might as well be a cotton-candy castle in the sky,” he said. “I’ve never seen it.”
"Loukanikos" internationally known as the "Riot Dog" passed away today in Athens at the age of 10. His health was adversely affected by police asphyxiating gas and from being kicked from police, forcing him to “retire” from active protest about two years ago.
“He was on the couch sleeping, when suddenly his heart stopped beating”.
Anni Albers, Gunta Stölzl, Otti Berger, Benita Otte
“We consistently fail young women—all women—by tacitly relying on them to learn from each other, or from their experiences, which of the people in their communities they can and cannot trust. We ask them to police their own peers, but quietly, through back channels, without disturbing the important people while they’re talking. We wait for the victims of abuse to be the ones to take power away from their abusers, instead of working actively to ensure that these motherfuckers never get that far in the first place.”