Thursday, 25 November 2010
Apparently at least twenty beavers are on the loose in Scotland now...having gone on a long journey in my thoughts about wildness (which you can read about here), I feel pretty excited at the thought that the beaver is back in Scotland! GO Scottish beavers!
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Shedding her outer layer of superstition and misery, from the immemorial slave, there emerged THE WOMAN
Museo Reina Sofia. The title translates as: "Shedding her outer layer of superstition and misery, from the immemorial slave there emerged THE WOMAN capable of active participation in the making of the future". So I want to propose Spanish Republican women, en masse, as role models for girls. They threw off their hats (when Dorothy Parker visited, she threw off her cloche), they wore dungarees (the anarchists) or culottes (the communists), they joined the front line (although when they got there, they often did the washing as well as wield a rifle). Their heroine Dolores Ibárruri aka La Pasionara, coined the slogan "They shall not pass" and railed against "the joyless, dismal, pain-ridden thralldom that was our mother's lot." Despite all that, I've got mixed feelings about this picture; I want to be in the space between the women—neither veiled, weighed-down by jewellery and oppressed nor strident and fighting and dungareed (or even culotted). I don't like the idea that it takes a war for feminists to achieve their aims (even though it's striking how that happened with female suffrage in Britain, and how even now Kurdish feminists often join the struggle for freedom, feeling that there they can be equal to men...my radio play Sugar and Snow was about a woman joining up). But for the women of the Spanish Republic, the alternative didn't bear thinking about; Franco marched with the preserved arm of St Teresa of Avila as a sort of pickled-limb mascot, stripped women of their rights, denied them education and rewarded them for having as many children as possible. And there's one thing that does make me love this picture...the woman on the left is looking down, her mouth shut; the one on the right looks into the future, and she's shouting. So, dungarees and all, I know which one I'd rather be.