15th December, 2016 - Posted by Gavin - Comments Off on Hope
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops- at all-
Beyond ideas of right and wrong there is a field,
I will meet you there.
So how do we maintain our hope in these difficult times?
After the American election many responses were written and heard.
The one I appreciated most was from the previous director of the Take One Action
Film Festival. He encouraged us to ‘dig deeper’ and reminded us of the Rumi quote above.
Digging deeper means to me keeping faith that love and resistance will prevail.
And to dig deeper into my own capacity to be caring,and effective in bringing about change.
Two days after the election the Shakti Drama Group performed ‘Dancing in Freedom’
at the Museum of Edinburgh. It was the opening night of an exhibition celebrating 30 years of Shakti and 40 years of Scottish Women’s Aid.There were feminist footsteps stencilled on the Museum floor.The atmosphere was of resilience,perseverance,
We performed again at the Shakti AGM. This time we were filmed,and the video was taken to New York by one of the Shakti Drama Group and will be shown at a Conference on Gender.
I have recently been at 4 events which fed the bird of hope.
The first was a talk by a young woman activist who works for Peace Direct in Pakistan.
She had lived experience of being drawn towards extremism as a solution and had then turned her own life around. She now mentors and develops mentors for other young women and men in her community. She told us of the remarkable success of the grassroots organisation she set up in improving countless young people’s lives.
The second event was a launch of ‘16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.‘ The event was called Fearless Women. it was organised by Actionaid and was in The Scottish Parliament. Two of the Speakers were from Nairobi, Kenya. They both spoke vividly about their work with grassroots women’s organisations to make their communities safer for women and girls. The room was full of images of powerful women from all over the world working in N.G.Os and imaginative creative organisations that contribute to the safety and empowerment of women and girls.
There was cross party support for the event and there had been a debate on gender violence that afternoon in the Parliament. Ten years ago that event would have been in a church hall.
One fact that stood out for me was the statement that ‘the number of countries with domestic violence legislation has increased from 7 to 127 countries in the past 25 years,’with collective action led by Women’s Rights Organisations being pivotal in securing such change.