Unless you've been under a rock in the past 48 hours, you have by now seen the infamous viral video on street harassment of a woman walking for 10 hours in New York City. This video has brought the conversation on street harassment from a buzz to a ROAR in mainstream media, faster than I was prepared for. Seriously, yesterday so many important interweb conversations were happening that I could not even fully participate in because... hello life. hello jobs that pay my rent. So I'm not EVEN gonna try.
What I am gonna do is direct you to Ebony.com where Senior Editor Jamilah Lemeiux breaks it down so it can forever be broke. She begins with a childhood memory about witnessing her mother being harassed. Lemeiux writes:
She shrank. I’d never seen her do that before, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I’ve seen her do that since.
So began my introduction to the pain of street harassment, the toxic byproduct of a global patriarchy; a set of behaviors that are condoned, if not affirmed, by the widely-held belief that women’s bodies belong to the public and that leaving one’s home means that you are available, accessible and ripe for the picking.
Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/what-is-street-harassment-034#ixzz3HeNC9liF Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook
|L to R: Autumn Scoggan, Candace Thompson, Kimberly Mhoon|
from The Window Sex Project film.
photo credit: Keevan Girdharry
II. THE WINDOW SEX PROJECT by the NUMBERS
SLMDances' work on street harassment with The Window Sex Project is ongoing. Since we began this work in 2011, organizing with women in Harlem to create a space for them to share their stories and feel whole despite the constant barrage of unwanted attention in public space, we have built consciousness on street harassment with direct engagement of more than 1500 people. Which means our work - addressing street harassment through the use of the body (the site of harassment) and art making - is echoing into the world beyond what I could ever imagine. We have illuminated the street harassment conversation through:
12 Excerpt Performances
7 Community Workshops
3 Lecture Demonstrations
3 Evening Length Performances followed by Organized Community Conversations
3 Anti-Street Harassment Rallies
2 Panel Discussions
1 Semester Length Student Research Project
As well as:
1 Short Documentary Film on our Premiere Performance
1 Short Film [in Post-Production]
1 Scholarly Essay [in process]
Every new dancer who comes into the company is introduced to this issue, SLMDances' method of organizing, the choreography + performance itself, and how to facilitate our community workshops. I didn't know it when I started this work, but we are going to be dancing this dance until a significant cultural shift ACTUALLY OCCURS. When women are allowed TO BE, in their own right, in public space.
|NYC Anti-Street Harassment Rally 2014 at|
Washington Square Park.
photo credit: A. Nia Austin-Edwards
III. SEE FOR YOURSELF.
The Window Sex Project is one of those things that you have to see and experience for yourself to fully absorb. Click some links below. Comment, email, tweet or facebook to continue the conversation.
The Window Sex Project in 2013 [A Year in Review]
Lecture Demonstration at Penn State University 2013
MNN Youth Channel Special 2012 [Short Documentary]
The Window Sex Project Post Performance Discussion with Professor L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy
World Premiere Promo 2012
Expanding Feminisms: Panel at Barnard College 2011
Grosvenor YMCA Community Workshop 2011 [ReCap]
Barnard College Community Workshop 2011 [ReCap]
|The Window Sex Project Community Workshop [Dance Class]|
photo credit: Mackenten Petion/RINY Media
We want to do this work. We want to dance with you. We want to create space for women's + LGBTQ stories. We want to have organized community conversations that facilitate understanding amongst the genders. We want to break through patriarchy and institutional racism and other structural oppressions that reveal themselves with something as simple as a walk down the street.
If you want to help us do this work:
EMAIL us at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a plan.
DONATE to the company Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, so the artist-activists who do this work can be compensated for their talents and passion.
|L to R: Sarah Chien, Denae Hannah, Carrie Plew|
The Window Sex Project performance at Brooklyn Arts Exchange