1. My friend Anna just got back from travelling in Mexico and she brought me this present! It is a purse embroidered by Zapatista women, which reads “the women with rebel dignity”. Yeah! I love it. It prompted me to educate myself a bit more on the Zapatistas and I found this:
From the First Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle, the Zapatistas presented to the people of Mexico, the government, and the world their Revolutionary Laws on January 8, 1994. One of the laws was the Women’s Revolutionary Law, which stated:
Women, regardless of their race, creed, color or political affiliation, have the right to participate in the revolutionary struggle in any way that their desire and capacity determine.
Women have the right to work and receive a fair salary.
Women have the right to decide the number of children they have and care for.
Women have the right to participate in the matters of the community and have charge if they are free and democratically elected.
Women and their children have the right to Primary Attention in their health and nutrition.
Women have the right to an education.
Women have the right to choose their partner and are not obliged to enter into marriage.
Women have the right to be free of violence from both relatives and strangers.
Sounds good to me.
2. I very much enjoyed baking (and eating) this week and I might try my hand at some pumpkin cookies this evening. I also want to try those delicious-looking chocolate chip cookies above, and the banana bread recipe that Present & Correct posted earlier this week. YUM.
3. As I type this, I am listening to the Elaine Page show on Radio 2, which is a musical theatre show. I LOVE IT. Here is a brill song from South Pacific in its honour.
This isn’t about making anyone feel guilty for liking nice clothes, or even consumerism more generally. It’s about trying to be conscious about the kind of person I am now and the kind of person I’d like to be. It’s about staying true to myself. It’s about letting myself derive pleasure from things that are aesthetically appealing, while rejecting the culture of superficiality that often characterizes communities that value said aesthetics. It is about pleasure for pleasure’s sake in a world where pleasure feels like a privilege. It’s about acknowledging the ways in which aesthetics matter, and the ways in which they don’t, and the ways in which they currently do but probably shouldn’t, and the ways in which they currently don’t but ideally would.
So check it out.
5. Having said that, I am eagerly awaiting these pink brogues I managed to snag off ebay this week! I AM SO EXCITED.
6. Done a lot of work and thinking on green jobs this week, specifically, the East London Green Jobs Action group that I am convening with Otesha. We’re looking at creating pathways in green jobs for young, unemployed people in East London. It’s a challenge, but it’s all kind of coming together, and it’s very exciting thinking about all we could achieve this year. We’re having our next meeting next Tuesday, and I hope to write a longer blog about the project and its direction after that, so more on it soon.