Dear white male playwright, Middle Eastern women are not your play things.
Henry Naylor’s Angel is a one woman show based on the life of Rehana - the Kurdish law student and alleged killer of 100 Isis soldiers whose photo made it from the town of Kobani in Syria to Twitter in August 2014. There are no confirmed facts or figures; just mythologies. A fascinating story, rife with possibilities that any playwright would be attracted to: a vital opportunity to inject something fresh into the mainstream portrayal of Muslim territories and a stunning opportunity to showcase the talents of an exceptional Middle Eastern actress. Oh, what could have been.
I’m writing this on my way to work on the day of the women’s march, the day after open misogyny and blatant racism took one of the most powerful positions in the world. I’m feeling sad and guilty that I’m not there, but it is also giving me time to reflect on why I think standing up for our rights is so important. The fact that I have the freedom to do so is a privilege that I must not take for granted. But it is also something that too many people feel disconnected or afraid of. This time two years ago I would never have considered myself an activist, passionate – yes, feminist – yes, political – sure, but the term activist seemed above me, reserved for people who had earned that title after years of committed work and campaigning. But now I’m not so sure that’s true.
Samuel Black Photography
She is raw from sex with Strangers.
Not physically or literally
But emotionally and intellectually.
Raw from exhaustion,
Of the men who fumble through the folds of her body
The school bottles of milk never to be drunk
The games of hopscotch never to be played
The chants of "plainsy Billy Balloon" now silenced
I was in the bath, casual thing. On a Sunday night.
I hadn’t washed my hair in a few days, getting a bit long, getting a bit oily.
So I did the deed. Broke out the head and shoulders, gave me Barnet a good scrub. Slicked it down, messed around with a few hairstyles.
And I had this one bit on the corner of my fringe that just wasn’t cooperating. I swept it left, the tuft was still there, I threw it right, it pointed upwards.
It really fucked me off.
I DREW THIS WITH MY EYES CLOSED
AND IMAGINED WHAT I WOULD DRAW IF I WANTED TO IMAGINE THE WORST THING ALIVE TODAY
AND I THOUGHT OF POLITICIANS
INBRED AND CALCULATING
BIG EYES TO SEE EVERYTHING SO THEY DON'T MISS A TRICK
BIG EARS SO THEY COULD HEAR WHAT PEOPLE WERE SAYING ABOUT THEM FROM MILES AWAY
BIG NOSES SO THEY COULD SMELL MONEY AND FEAR AND TAKE IT FOR THEMSELVES
AND IN MY DRAWING I GOT ALL THAT
BUT I ALSO GOT MYSELF
WHICH WAS WORRYING, BUT SAID SOMETHING TOO.
THAT PART OF ME IS AS SOULLESS AS THEY ARE.
Fight or flight
When your chest feels tight
And the light in your eyes feels like it's-
Dimming and the world you don’t love is winning,
And you feel that your skin is thinning and the effect that it has is hazardous to your being.
And after all this you feel numb and you are constantly told that the world you hate has won but you need to keep going.
In a time where politcal, financial and moral uncertainty are guaranteed and the country is divided, it is important that we keep exercising our right of free speech and creativity. Politics has failed to represent us, so it is time to represent ourselves and that goes beyond facebook statuses and discussions with like minded people. You now have art to make that has a meaning and purpose that belongs to YOUR lifetime so USE it, bleed it, sweat it and let that rumble you feel deep in your stomach erupt onto paper or canvas or stage and force people to see where they went wrong and how to get things right. It is time to move from passive liberalism to progressive liberalism. To put it simply:
MAKE PEOPLE LISTEN.
June 23rd will be forever the day of Us and Them and where politics divides us, art will bring us back together.
This is the first in a series. The Millennials.
A true tale to mark Holocaust Day.
I grew up in the Rhondda Valley, a place in South Wales where there was a strong mining community and famed for its talented singing with the Treorchy male voice choir and also for the birth place of actors Glynn Houston and Stanley Baker.
It’s you who changed me
The collective you
The me who allowed you to
It’s thrown about constantly, figuratively speaking, of course. I’m not envisioning having a chat at a bar and just mindlessly chucking cats and/or vaginas about, sounds messy, and wildly confusing to walk in on. No. I’m talking about the word itself, pussy.
Today I am walking; I say this as if to say that I don’t walk every day, on the contrary, I do, in fact, I would describe myself as an active walker, but today is different, today I am walking on my day off just for leisure, to relax and as I so often do search my mind in order to answer the many questions I have about the life and the world I am living in. ...
A couple of years ago I made the heady decision to get pretty damn serious about comedy. I was a young clown, without guidelines or stabilisers, let loose on a unicycle with no real sense of direction. It was always going to be a bumpy ride but hey, if I’d never taken any tumbles how many people would have missed the opportunity to ask if I’d ‘enjoyed my trip’? Never gets old …
In a consumer led society we are told what to consume, wear, and how to spend our time as well as our money....
Anybody who has stepped foot outside in the past few months will be familiar with the newest obsession sweeping the nation. The first part of fifty shades of grey, originally a trilogy of books by E. L. James, has become one of the fastest selling films of all time....
Three and a half years ago, I gave birth to my funny, brilliant, amazing son. I knew we would raise him to be a happy, confident loving young man. He has fantastic male role models with his father, uncles and grandfather. I was excited for my young boy entering this world. I still am. He is all kinds of awesome.
A number of red top newspapers recently ran an article about how dermatologists are endorsing women shaving their faces. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2944961/Should-woman-SHAVE-face-sounds-crazy-beauty-experts-say-reason-men-age-better-works-women-too.html
“Dr Michael Prager, an aesthetic clinician who has a practice in London, says: ‘From an anti-ageing point of view, home shaving has some effect. ‘It’s like a mild form of microdermabrasion, so encourages collagen production, which reduces wrinkles. Whenever there’s trauma to the skin, collagen is stimulated to help cell renewal.’”
Obviously, each to their own. But in answer to the The Daily Mail’s headline of ‘Should every woman shave her FACE?’ the answer is obviously NO.
Two months ago I cut my hair. Pre-cut it was about 3 inches below my shoulders and now it’s a grade 3 at the back. I’d been at war with my mane for years, never knowing how to cope with it whilst at the same time being terrified of hairdressers, so it almost permanently remained long and drab and in a ponytail.
Okay, so as 20 something women we know the drill. We all solemnly swear, approximately age 14, not to bare a single hair “down there” when we ... wear a bikini (or any other swimwear attire), change at the gym with friends (God forbid they should catch us on day 3 of re- growth Thursday) or when performing a show wearing fish nets (one of my personal vows) but there is one occasion when we swear most solemnly of all. It goes something like this – “Thou shall not, even in your laziest of fantasies, reveal thy pubic hair when sexual intercourse in imminent”. It’s the “natural order of western society”, accepted and mostly unquestioned.