#ShapeTheMovement: our new blog series

January 08, 2018

Today (1 July) we launch our new blog series: #ShapeTheMovement. The series offers a platform for Black and minoritised women to share strategies and approaches to movement-building to end violence against women and girls.

Here is an extract from The Long Hard Way: reflections on our role as feminists and activists in structures of power, the first piece in the series, written by Rochelle McFee:

"I have found sisters in groups of women where we may not have liked each other. We had found ourselves together because of the social violences that forced us to know ourselves in each other. In this expanded sisterhood, we knew at least there was a ground to lay on and bawl, a woman to hold space when there were no words to make sense of hurt, someone who was aware of the impact and significance of the pain we felt. We found ourselves building a movement. We did not set out to be feminists.

We learnt what so many black women had learned before — this is how we find ourselves and each other. This is how we become feminists from the rawness of the violation and the realization that the singularity we felt was not ours alone to bear; the shame thrust upon us did not come from within; that we were not culpable for the violence brought upon us; that there were tools through which we could name these violences, mark the ways in which these violences marked each of us, and then agitate. Excerpts from my diary look like the “Combahee River Collective Statement” before I had ever read it:

“if we come at it from the fringes as black lesbian women in Jamaica we will find the anomaly, and in creating a response to that anomaly, we will create a response that will include everyone”

We found ourselves as feminists together, trying to find responses that could accommodate our needs, together, but different. In words similar to Audre Lorde, we were black women together, but different, we were black queer women together, but different, aware of these differences, but finding a way together. So we had hoped, but there was denial in the fractures of our difference."

If you would like to write for the series, please send a 1 paragraph pitch outlining what you'd like to write about to leah@imkaan.org.uk. Some guidelines are below:

  • Your pitch should be no more than 200-250 words and set out clearly what you want the article to be about and include relevant links for reference

  • The topic of #ShapeTheMovement is 'strategies and approaches to movement-building to end violence against women and girls (VAWG)'. This theme is purposefully broad - we encourage you to explore a strategy for ending VAWG (this could include education, aware-ness raising, changing social attitudes, self-care and collective-care, support services for women and girls who have experienced violence, and more!), and/or approaches to movement-building (how do we create feminist anti-violence movements and spaces that are accountable? Inclusive? Intersectional? Accessible? Decolonial?)

  • Try and make sure your pitch is original and not on a topic we have already covered on our blog: https://medium.com/@Imkaan

  • It is often useful to explain why you are the right person to write this piece, and why this piece would be of interest to people, right now, in 2018.

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