Tools of violence

Identity violence

Symbolic violence

Communication violence

Historic violence

Revisionist violence

Repetitive violence

Infantilising violence

Nostalgic violence

Communication violence

Prejudiced violence

Tiring violence

Destructive violence

Sexual violence

Gendered violence

Religious violence

Spiritual violence

Class violence

Linguistic violence

Colourist violence

Male violence

White male violence

Co-opting violence

Toxic violence

Co-opted toxic violence

Ideological violence

Paternalistic violence

Patriarchal violence

Symbolically patriarchal violence

Promotional violence

Just violence

Violence violence

Tiring violence

Too tired coz I’m broken and it’s the result of all the above and more violence

Mental violence

Inferred violence

Implicit violence

Bright-eyed violence

Broken souls violence

The once you had bright eyes but then you got co-opted and are stuck but still need peeps and I get it but don’t you get that I get it, so why you gotta erase the stuff we excavate and stop us entering and flinging open the doors-no revision check, not open the doors break all these fracking symbolic capitalistic colonial walls – so that we can all evolve together and your tired eyes can weep and rejoice in celebration with us all, bold beautiful and brave and bound to the forward March of completing our shared ancestors abolitionist principles and journeys to create a new fair fresh deprogrammed society so we keep being we and us, and you and me, happy and free together… urgh! Gah! For f***! *sigh* but you can’t and that’s violent, violence.

So instead here we stand. Ina pyramid and I keep trying to educate and create and collate and collaborate while we survive and you thrive but I don’t even cry coz I’m proud inside that at least someone who got one part of our ancestral spirit souls good side to the table where it’s all about whose there to dine, and whose outside… not about our fellow people who die and are also pushed towards pipelines to die. Whether quickly or slowly, that’s for us all to see with our eyes.

I’m too tired to speak, so I’ll leave it to that… and sleeps for the night.

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#NaBloPoMo #17 – Life is short but inspiring marks last forever

Today has been a stormy day. The hurricane level winds blow outside, penetrating through brick. I’ve visited a hospital unexpectedly due to a loved one. Nothing serious.

Now, I near the end of this day feeling like I haven’t achieved much.

My voice still lies stifled within me somewhere. Though my mind is racing – no, rocketing ahead at mind-melting levels, I cannot find myself able enough to do anything, to mark anything. So, I turn to the open Photoshop programme that has been jumping onto my screen each time my laptop starts up, like a hyper pet dog.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I adore all Art and Architecture, in all it’s variety and forms. For anyone who truly knows me, knows of my struggles with Art forms. How the teasing muse within me has bound my hands and feet, poisoned my love and tortured me with incessant dreams and constant ideas. Never to be realised. Never to be known. My heart lies heavy again in my chest.

Alas not all is lost. It has taken losing more than that internal selfish need for creativity, oh so much more than that naive wanderlust and in discovering myself and my complete voice, that the tide maybe slowing changing. Not for the first time has this happened to me. I find the renewed shoots of a more aged, slightly wiser creative mark appear. I would like to use this blog and this monthly push to release a post everyday to document this present start. This creative return. This hope for confident strength, as I work hard at commanding a stronger, more useful creative voice not for others or praise, but for myself, my community and my world.

I start with the image I am using for inspiration. It was taken on 21st October 2015. It is the EC Stoner Building at the University of Leeds.

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This building appeals to me because of the walkways, the angular features and stark existence. But beyond that the internal warmth, support and offerings of safety and longevity contained within it’s features. Though harsh, it is firm and fair with pockets of radiance and hidden depths of brilliance. Connecting all around it like a commanding, supportive father.

 

A lived personal “truth” on mental health and healing.

Emotions that rollercoaster severely often lead those of us between 15- 32 to widely speculate that we are flawed, mentally unstable, unfixable and an absolute failure. From experience, this is what “growing-up” is like for many of us today. As someone with a family of mental health issues I know this burden more than most. Coupled with the fact my lived knowledge helped me, empowered me even to become an intuitive carer, I was again blessed  to be a proximate therapist for many of my friends, loved ones, colleagues and even strangers, through the last decade. Though it could also be a curse  depending on the framing of each context and how I felt.

The flip-side of this knowledge is though that it is harmful. Toxic. It threatens your very being because it undoubtedly flaws your understanding and structuring of your environment, it’s cultures, people and most of all your own self.

I have found in the last few weeks that I am a multi-faceted being. Something I have run from, for… well a very long time. I shouldn’t feel the need to classify myself as “unhinged”, “emotional”, “bi-polar” (undiagnosed) or “mental”. However this is the lived reality for our culture. We are pushed to “process”. I myself love this term. But what does it mean? Is it not just another way for cultural perfection and the need for simplicity  to over-ride our individuality? Our autonomous perceptions? The nurtured genetic truth that every single one of us is different. Unique. My truth is not your truth. My mind is not your mind. My pain is not your pain.

This is where my criticism of mental health or rather personal mindfulness comes in. I am sick and tired of the world thinking that there are quick fixes. That time only exists to be spent not given. Because this the truth as I have seen in. The world is a quagmire of ideological paradoxes. There is no one truth, but this does not stop our governments, our organisational structures, our media, our communities, our schooling, our healthcare, our families and friends even from portraying that there is. No-where is it more evident than in mental health.

Healing can only begin until you, YOU learn the way that you can become grounded to yourself, to your loved ones, to your life and to your context. Only then can YOU move forward. Take those steps to realise and be content with yourself. The entirety of yourself. Meaning…. well meaning whatever that means for you.

Now this doesn’t have to be on your own. Please don’t think I am saying that. As someone who herself is a very communal being, I know the (at times harmful) disconnect that occurs when you are trying to heal the rifts you find in your life. Healing comes in many different ways. It could mean a darkened room you lying on a couch, or a drink with a friend where you literally spew, vomit, pour out everything that ails you. It could even be colouring, doodling, or simply writing a very long-winded [some might say pointless] piece of writing. Or something short like a pathetically simple bit of poetry that regurgitates old syntaxes and quite possibly taxes your souls and those that are joined to it. What I will say is that all of this takes time. The one commodity we never think of. The one we dedicate and plaster everywhere but never truly consider. Never appreciate. Time.

It takes time to learn what is best for ourselves. It takes even longer working damn hard to achieve that which is best for ourselves. Especially when at times it can feel that you are losing the battle with your own misgivings, or community-wide nay-saying. Particularly when professionality, or lack of it, is held out as a “Stop” sign to halt any healing you are perhaps in the midst of.  So what if I didn’t train how others saw the illnesses I see before me? Or if I didn’t learn how we as a species learnt to dissect, disturb and define our experiences – and then destroy the visions that were not held to be “true” enough, down the years? Or if I didn’t learn the language to decipher these encoded inherited knowledges, so I could further obscure, “cure” and minimise our hurt?

We as a people forget at times that there was a time when it was only us. The old saying; “You leave the world as you enter it- alone”, for me is a great way to start forging my inner-strength again. It reminds me that the only path and timeline I should consider is my own. Harder to do than to say. I think it is more difficult for me, being a person who believes unreservedly in spirituality, community, souls, soulmates, romance and familial contexts and love in all it’s forms. Doubly hard as a women who has internalised my oppression so that I find that I can easily sacrifice my time for others, without regret for my own path. (This sounds so weird to write, but it’s so true it’s scary. Anxiety and introspection overload)

I must end. This knowledge serves only to share my story. My re-found power, whilst I still have it and before my shame, anxiety and fear causes me to loose this clarity in which I find myself. Because despite my confidence and belief in my words here, I equally know that these self-affirming statements I start creating, often disappear in the face of my crippling inner-anxiety that I have learnt to mask, by learning from true masters of course (<3 Mothers). The me I kill every single day.

In short, we are individually a collective. We form a vast, confused, unknowing, educated, blinded ilk. We have many abilities. None more so to vocalise, describe and create. What we create better than most is oppressive ways to silence ourselves. Eradicate our existences. Our uniqueness. We must stop this communal self-harming by accepting our own truths. Whether it’s by arriving at a very individual system or process, or one that requires a greater number of people than just yourself. We must end the obscuring of our hurt and the ingratitude of time.

No-one must be allowed to capitalise on our basic human need to heal. To share, to oralise our hurt so that compassion can be given, in turn so that we may travel down our life-paths to attain self-knowledge and contented security, pass on our love and leave this world in the way that we arrived. Happy, free and with a primal breath.

 

MDX LGBT Society Talk About their Film Awareness Video

Sometimes the best events come from the simplest of ideas.

Ahead of the North London Literary festival, Middlesex students are hard at work at many creative endeavours.  Though we hunger for news on the highly anticipated app, other creative committees and students are conducting their events earlier in more public forums. 

On the 1st of February, a few intrepid equality and liberation activists or in other-words Middlesex University’s LGBT Society (MDX LGBT) banded together to create a Campaign Video.

I, the secretary of MDX LGBT, caught up with the President and Treasurer to find out more about why and how the video was created as well as their future aspirations for the Middlesex Society.

I am joined by Peter Dillon, 20, the President of MDX LGBT and Tom Stock, 26, the Treasurer of MDX LGBT, who share their views and journey on leaving a lasting legacy.

Pete: It all started as a simple idea, for a simple video black-and-white nothing too fancy – shot on campus to show everyone we’re here. The video kind of spiralled from there..

Mariam: How do you mean “spiralled”? And exactly when did the initial idea come about?

Tom: We’ve always talked about creating a video, as I study film and Pete studies music it seemed natural to create a video piece. The only major roadblock (other than the Loans department) was time commitments and getting people on board. I guess we finally started thinking seriously about the video in November or maybe early December. Basically we had a few quite challenging events on campus, which we don’t want to get into here as they are being resolved, but that kinda sealed the deal.

Pete: Yep, that sums it up really. “challenging events” more like they were all a labour of Hercules, or rather other’s thought they were a labour of Hercules when the events were anything but. But oh well, we decided in January to really kick off this project and have a video ready to show at Impact Week in early February. To really show the student population that we’re here, we’re all different, proud and don’t care about labels. Oh, and the fact the impact week and our enthusiasm for a video tied in with February being the National LGBT Awareness Month was fantastic. A stroke of serendipity.

Tom: Don’t say the tag-line!

Mariam: So how were you both feeling while filming? Did it go well, how many people turned up?

Tom & Pete: You should know..

Pete: (smiling cheekily) ..You’re the secretary you really should keep count or we’ll have to find someone else.

Tom: (also smiling cheekily) …Really Maz, you’re like a dental hygienist..

(Pete and I look at him incredulous)

Tom: (picking up on the confusion).. You know because they count teeth but the saying is all like they’re blonde and stuff..

Mariam: Ok going back to some questions, Tom, you were the director, editor, co-producer and all-round creative director of the film right? How did it feel as a Middlesex University student to shoot this piece on campus?

Tom: It felt absolutely amazing! I’ve been so busy with the academic side of things and I was so daunted by editing but I have to say I am more than pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. Don’t get me wrong there were lots of things that could and did go wrong, but the actual LGBT video? Well it’s a BEAST OF A FILM!

Pete: He worked like a maniac on a tight schedule but he was the best director I’ve seen. On the Friday, while we were filming he was all over the camera doing all the technical things while I worked with our lovely volunteers on the post-production side of things. Welcoming them, introducing or re-introducing them to the concept and getting them to fill in the props we would need. It was a long, long day but well worth it.

Mariam: You mentioned things going wrong.. care to expand on the problems you faced?

Tom: Well, firstly we were unsure if we could use the Grove Atrium, but bearing in mind our event was going to be held there, we decided to go ahead with the filming. It was a perfect outcome really, we made sure we started mid-afternoon so we didn’t disrupt classes or so that the noise from the Costa didn’t drown us out. Second huge problem was the fact that the 7-d camera we got in the end didn’t take SD. So we (well you Maz) had to run down to the Media Loans Department to buy that big wide card.. that was really close to closing time wasn’t it?

Mariam: Yeah it was a close call, I got there at 4.30pm and it shut at 5pm. Plus they didn’t take card so I literally ran to the Forum to draw out £30. All the guys in the arts shops downstairs found it hilarious.. I did too! But please continue. Pete, what problems did you face?

Pete: Well the biggest one was getting everyone organised with almost no working marker pens, when the only place to get pens on campus was the Spar shop and it had run out of stock. Then it was all about keeping the volunteers happy, entertained and put in one place. But other than that it was so great to meet new people, new faces and share interesting conversations and debates.

Mariam: So we’ve covered the how and when, and skimmed over a few reasons. But Why exactly did you decide as a society to create an awareness video?

Pete: Well, any LGBT society is all about awareness and what better way to do it than through the Visual Arts?

Tom: Plus we’re all in our third-year and so we wanted to leave a piece of us behind so to speak. As the chief committee members we’ve been worried about whether or not our society (the rumoured 5th attempt at a LGBT society at Middlesex University) will continue to be a part of the MUSU, the Middlesex University Students Union, or campus life in general. So this video is a legacy to leave behind with MUSU so that they can say there was a successful LGBT society who actively tried to engage with students about homophobia and other issues that surround the LGBT Community.

Pete: We’ve really tried hard this year to be more active as a LGBT society. In a way it’s been great that we are all on one campus, although I do miss the daffodils at Trent Park. Being on one campus has made me realise all student societies, not just LGBT have to be active in voicing their thoughts, opinions and concerns. And our biggest concern has been reaching out to other students, letting them know about our existence and how welcoming and un-exclusive we are.

Tom: Un-exclusive? Do you mean because we let Maz in?

Pete: No, lol, well yes. What I mean is how we may be the LGBT society but we’re not just here for LGBT people and issues. LGBT is all about non-homosexuals or non-queers too, when stonewall riots happened trans people were at the front and all people from all walks of life stood with them and that’s what we hope to show.

Tom: As the director my biggest worry was that the video wouldn’t reflect the aim. The aim being to show a whole array or people, or different identities and sexual identifications so that when we wrote “We don’t care” we meant we don’t care whether X is Gay, Y is Straight, Z is a Drag Queen. We care about people and building an inclusive and warm community at Middlesex University.

So there we have it folks, stay tuned for an upload of the final awareness video Post Production. But to keep you happy here are some teasers from behind the scenes:

Editors note:

Tom Stock will be publishing the Video under his production company titles ‘A Means Red Productions

MDX LGBT would like to let any readers know that if you are affected by this story or would like to get involved then please email them at: mdxlgbt@hotmail.co.uk

Or Follow them on Twitter: @mdxlgbt

All Video: © A Mean Reds Production

All Photographs: © Peter Dillon.

Written by: Mariam Kauser

Studying: BA Hons Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. Third Year.