This March 8, 2010, we will again commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD) to recognize the struggles and triumphs of women in the U.S. and throughout the world who are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis and facing the ravages of poverty, war, militarization, capitalist plunder, environmental destruction and many forms of gender violence.
As GABRIELA USA, we will be launching our Voices of Women vs. Violence Against Women (VOW vs. VAW) campaign and will be highlighting these issues with our commemoration of International Women’s Day. We look forward to working with you on common or similar issues you may be working on currently.
Sisters of GABRIELA, Awaken! (SiGAw), a member organization of GABRIELA USA, would like to reach out to you or your organization to join us in planning for a cultural show to commemorate International Women’s Day. We hope that together, we can highlight the struggles of working women and assert women’s voices of unity, resistance, and resolve to confront and overcome our current challenges.
Attached is the concept paper for the cultural project that SiGAw will be presenting the weekend of March 20th, in commemoration of International Women’s Day. We hope that the possibility of working together on an activity for International Women’s Day can be a step towards building greater international unity and cooperation among women’s organizations throughout the world.
Please feel free to email us if you have any questions. We can follow up with you in a few days if you leave us your phone number or email. Looking forward to working together for the upliftment of women everywhere.
In Sisterhood and Solidarity,
Sisters of GABRIELA, Awaken! (SiGAw)
Pasanin Mo Pasanin Ko: Bridging the Struggle of Filipinas
A Concept Paper for the Centennial of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2010
1. Honor the pioneers of International Women’s Day and the women who continue to fight for women’s rights.
2. Celebrate the centennial of International Women’s Day
3. To educate the Filipina/o community and the community at large about pressing issues faced by Filipinas here in the US, as well as in the Philippines, and around the world.
4. Provide a space for Filipina women, especially working class and migrant Filipinas, to tell their stories of struggle and resistance as part of participation in the ongoing campaigns of Voices of Women vs. Violence Against Women (VOW vs VAW), led by GABRIELA in the Philippines.
5. Provide a means for Filipinas and the larger community to connect, support one another in their struggles, in order to strengthen a global women’s movement for the 21st century.
Women carry heavy loads on their backs, both literally and figuratively. Women carry large expectations placed on them by their families and society, and at the same time face various forms of violence. Filipinas are forced to leave the Philippines for work and survival, making them the #1 export of the country, spreading the diaspora to other countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Whether back in the motherland or in other countries, Filipinas face multiple forms of oppression yet also continue to organize themselves, resist, and fight for women’s rights. Through all the hardships they face, they persevere by carrying hope for their children, families, and for their own genuine independence and liberation.
SiGAw’s project, Pasanin Mo Pasanin Ko: Bridging the Struggle of Filipinas, seeks to examine the struggles and resistance of Filipinas, with an emphasis on working class and migrant Filipinas. Filipinas will be asked to reflect and talk about what they carry with them. Through this cultural project we hope to expose the harsh conditions and repression Filipinas face, while at the same time exploring the strength and resourcefulness of Filipinas, in the goal of building an ever strengthening global women’s movement.
There are several ways to participate in this cultural project. Working class and migrant Filipina women will be interviewed around the proposed theme. Permission will be obtained from the women to utilize their stories as part of a larger production to be held in March 2010 for the centennial of International Women’s Day.
Interviewees may come from the larger Los Angeles area, but there will be a special effort to focus on working class/migrant Filipinas specifically from the Eagle Rock/Glendale and Carson areas, where there are heavy concentrations of Filipinas. Interviewees will be filmed or audio recorded as they respond to questions around the theme.
As part of the process, the interviewees will be given the option to have their video or audio used for the larger cultural production. Interviewees may also choose to participate as a performer in a theater piece.
The stories told by the women will be the basis in creating a multi-media community theater production. Workshops will be held prior to the performance, with possibilities in theater, writing, memoir, and other kinds of workshops.
Another element of the production will entail documentation. Those interested can volunteer to photograph the process of creating the production, to culminate in a slideshow and/or photo exhibit, to be displayed concurrently during the presentation of the theater piece.
Interviews will be conducted during the second half of January, until February 10, 2010.
Workshops and video production will be conducted during February 2010.
The performance/exhibit will be presented during the weekend of March 20, 2010.
Requirements for Participation:
*We encourage Filipinos, Fil-Ams, and other ethnicities who are supportive of upholding the VOW vs. VAW campaigns to participate.
Interviewers: must attend one orientation and have access to recording device.
Performers: must attend one or more workshops and be available to rehearse.
Photographers/Documenters: must attend one orientation and have access to camera.