“IT IS BECAUSE MOTHERS LOVE THEIR CHILDREN that they have them circumcised,” Fatou Keita told me. We were sitting in her air-conditioned office at the National Program for Rehabilitation and Community Re-integration (PRNCC) in Abidjan. Fatou was telling me about her book, Rebelle.
IN THE EARLY STIRRINGS OF THE SECOND IVORIAN CIVIL WAR in February 2011, Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba escaped from his apartment in Abobo to the home of his agent Stefan Meisel in the Abidjan neighborhood of Riviera Golf. On March 30, 2011, the battle for Abidjan erupted. The young Ivorian painter was confined to the workshop at Stefan’s house for 10 days.
A fishing boat named Can’t Afford is tied snug to the dock; its electric-orange buoys barely wrinkle the unbroken mirror of the harbour. It’s September and the off-season in North Rustico; locals call it “The Crick.” It’s the oldest Acadian settlement in Prince Edward Island. Rustico evolved from Rassicot, the name of one of the French settlers.
Pregnant overseas: Drawing a map of home
Each morning, the indolent sun pushes an obedient flock of dust across our bedroom floor. The air conditioner shuts off with a plaintive wheeze. Outside the bedroom, the metal grill opens with a rasp. The other set of keys jangles in my pocket as I approach the front door to let the puppies out. I say good morning to our guard, François, and feel the squeaky, swelling mob of grass and weed underfoot.
Spirit of the Bluebird: An animated tribute to a murdered elder
Gloria Black Plume was an elder and the matriarch to a family of six children. She moved her family off Stand Off reserve to Calgary to give them a better life. In 1999 she accepted a ride from two men and shortly after was stomped to death in an alleyway. Xstine Cook lived in the home behind this alleyway. That proximity bred an immediate connection for her to Gloria, both as a woman and mother…
Against the misogyny, against the trafficking of women and children in Mexico
For 20 years, Mexican activist Lydia Cacho has been waging war on human trafficking in Mexico. In 1999 she launched CIAM Cancun (the Comprehensive Care Centre for Women), a shelter for battered women and children that has been threatened with closure due to lack of funding. The organisation was created in response to the sexual violence against women and children that is rife in Mexican culture.
“Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?” I parroted to my mother as I stood on one leg with my arm in the air, a human antenna.
The joys of Skype-ing with the world’s slowest Internet connection: Conversations are long enough to make contact, but too short to conquer the ache.