Sharing a moment from the lives of real women. A moment used to uncover their personal values and beliefs.
It’s about encouraging a respect for women, and a solidarity among women; the dignity and validation that comes from having an audience, albeit invisible, bearing witness to the story you tell; creating a moment of shared understanding of emotion between very different kinds of people. It’s Michel Foucault’s truth effect. That's why CSP talks to Aboriginal women, Muslim women, environmental activists, neuroqueer and queer mothers, women married to each other, old women, young girls. Any woman you see, any person you see, has a story, if you can be quiet long enough to listen.
Nov 6, 2018
The Baradine Country Women’s Association is 90 years old. At the moment, its hall is full of supplies and vouchers, donated from around NSW and Queensland to support farmers and to try and keep the local shops alive.
Nea Worrell, part of a family with five generations in the CWA, talks to the Creating Space Project about the impact of the drought.
“We’ve had that farm for forty-odd years, my husband has been farming for seventy years, and we’ve never had dry dams.”
Nea and her family have been handfeeding their animals, from sun-up to sun-down, for 18 months. They’re reduced to their breeding stock, and are wondering how they get through summer, never mind beyond that.
There is no rain predicted.
Nea’s story is not unique. Farming communities are facing enormous hardship. As well as struggle, though, what shines through is the strength, wisdom and kindness of women like Nea, building community resilience and hope.
“We have ladies burst out crying when they see us. They’re being strong for the men in the farm and then they come in here and we say “How are you? Are you alright?” And then the boom gates open. So cuddles and cuppa teas and cakes are free here at the CWA. They go away feeling restored and better. And if we can do that, that’s great.”
"I am a drop waiting to return to the ocean”
Mohammad Ali Maleki is incarcerated on Manus Island. Five years ago, he attempted to seek asylum in Australia and, for this, he was detained.
An Iranian poet, Mohammad writes in Farsi. His friend, Mansour Shoushtari, translates the poetry into English, and Mohammad messages the poetry to Michele Seminara, an editor at Verity La.
Michele and I talk about Expectations, a poem contained in his chapbook, Truth in the Cage.
Michele describes his work as “incredibly sad but also in a way uplifting.”
I think I know what she means. I feel so sad listening to the words of a man jailed for being a refugee, but I also find myself reflecting on my relationship with freedom, through the lens of his relationship with freedom.
“For years the ceiling of my room has been my sky.”
The Australian government does everything it can to suppress asylum seekers’ voices.
Mohammad and others like him have been strong, persistent and ingenious in getting their voices out.
Compassionate and gentle, Mohammad seeks our essential goodness,
“He’s speaking from what’s the same in each of us.”
Truth in the Cage, is a chapbook of poetry, written by Mohammad Ali Maleki, and published by Verity La and Rochford Street Press. It is being launched on Tuesday 17th July, 2018, at the Friend in Hand, Glebe. Come along. Otherwise, buy it online. All profits go to Mohammad.
For more information, including sample poems and how to buy the book, check out the link below
This interview with Auntie Josie is to acknowledge and celebrate NAIDOC week, 2018.
Auntie Josie is from the Wailwan nation. She is a First Nations Person. We were speaking on Darug land. I am deeply grateful and honoured that she has shared some of the stories of her life with me.
These stories concern sexual abuse, domestic violence, suicide and parental death, among other things. Please be advised of these triggers. Listen mindfully for your own wellbeing and with respect for Auntie Josie.
Auntie Josie is a woman of remarkable courage, wisdom and kindness. I have been moved beyond words in listening to her stories and by the generosity she has shown in sharing them with me.
The purpose of sharing the stories is to help Australians, like myself, understand better the experiences of First Nations Peoples. These experiences are the consequence of colonisation and genocide.
I would like to be very clear that I acknowledge that these are Auntie Josie's stories. I am simply privileged to be permitted to release them here as a Creating Space Project podcast episode.
So too, the thumbnail image is the official NAIDOC 2018 logo and I am using it, I believe in good faith, to be a part of this celebration.
Sadiya and Sarah are part of Stop Adani. It is an environmental movement working to block the development of the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin, Central Queensland, Australia.
Last episode, Sarah told a story for Sadiya to reflect on.
In this episode, Sadiya tells us a story, about a Bangladeshi farmer who lost livelihood and home to river erosion.
Sarah pulls out the themes of loss and displacement in this story. For Sarah, this is a human story of the suffering already experienced by extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and global warming.
Climate change is not just an issue of environmental justice, it is an issue of social justice. Sarah reflects on the increase in child marriage associated with climate change, as families are forced to make horrendous decisions to keep their children alive.
“We know that burning coal, no matter where it’s burnt, is going to keep fuelling global warming and climate change and Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries, although no matter where you live in the world, we’re all going to be effected by it.”