If you want to be heard then make noise. BODIES AWAKENED uses the power of graphic poetry, guerrilla tactics, video and sound to make socially conscious art. Our Government has tried to silence us. Be we are not silent. We are awake and we are fighting for our rights and our equality.
A sequence from the first ‘guerilla graphics’ plastered beside Project Arts Centre developed into a new poetic, typographic motion piece that was projected on a 9,000 square foot wall at Day for Night Festival in Houston, Texas. The project resonates in America where women’s basic rights are being stripped from them under Trump’s fascist regime. The project and the issues it raises have also recently been featured in Berlin-based Art and Culture publication Sleek Magazine.
I AM NOT A VESSEL
MY BODY / MY CHOICE/ BUT WHEN I YELL / SOMEONE HAS MY VOICE / LOST TO YOUR OPINION / OF A WORLD THAT I SHOULD LIVE IN //
We are fighting against oppressive laws which still govern our bodies. We are fighting for a more liberal and progressive society for Ireland's future- for freedom of choice. We are fighting against the eight amendment. This is the last remnant of a state historically controlled by the Catholic Church. It is a part of that which belongs to the past and while no doubt be reflected upon by future generations as a barbaric, archaic and draconian practice, which has not only taken lives and rushed the health of Irish women, but also trampled on the most basic of their civil liberties.
Article 40.3.3, known as The Eight Amendment, was voted into the Irish Constitution by the means of a referendum, solidifying the fate of hundreds of thousands of pregnant Irish women for decades to come. It reads:
"The State acknowledges the right to the life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, as as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."
While the Eighth Amendment can be considered a success to those who adhere to the constraints of traditional and conservative Catholic values, it does not reflect the best interests of the majority of Irish women today, equating their right to life to that of an undeveloped embryo or foetus.
The Eighth Amendment condemns women and girls who are the victims of rape or incest and become pregnant as a result, to carry their pregnancy to full term. Such was the case in February 1992 when the Irish attorney general filed an injunction against a 14 year old rape victim to prevent her from travelling to England to terminate the pregnancy, in what became known as "THE X CASE."
The Eighth Amendment compromises the safety of pregnant women, forcing health care professionals to preserve a foetal heartbeat at the expense of the woman's life. Such was the case in October 2013 when Savita Halappanavar miscarried at 17 weeks, and her requests to terminate her dying child were denied by staff who claimed this could not be done as we live in "a Catholic country." The untouched foetus became the septic focus of what went on to cause Savita's tragic death.
2 cases, 20 years apart, with no progress made.
Effectively, once a woman is pregnant in Ireland, regardless of the circumstance, she is no longer in control of her own health, as the State can intervene under the constitution. This Governmental control is exemplified perfectly by the tragic and traumatic case of a braid-dead young Irish woman, 16 weeks pregnant, kept alive as a cadaveric incubator against the wishes of her morning family and the advice of doctors, all for the sake of her non-viable foetus' heartbeat.
Today's REPEAL THE 8TH campaign seeks for the reinstatement of the basic rights that have been stolen for Irish women - The right to choose and the right to dictate their own future. It's time the State faced the reality that over 166,483 women have travelled to the UK to access abortion services in the last 35 years, not including those giving fake addresses or purchasing abortion medications online.
Feminists, activists and International Human Rights Organisations such as Amnesty International have been fighting on behalf of Irish Women in the face of discrimination by the Irish State. In June 2016 The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations condemned Ireland's abortion laws as discrimination against women, denying them equal protection in the face of the law.
Despite what the U.N. describes as "cruel", "inhuman", and "degrading", treatments given to pregnant Irish women by the State, this law has remained in place. Calls from the public for a referendum on the topic have been ignored and delayed. Ministers in Government would rather sweep this problem under a rug, allowing thousands of women to undergo the physically, economically and psychologically distressing process of a vilified abortion over the next year than hasten the inevitable and ensure their rights and bodies are duly protected.
We have been silenced, but we are not silent.
IF YOU HAVE A CRISIS PREGNANCY
While the Government continues to deny us of a healthcare system which provides us with #freesafelegal, in the meantime it is possible to order mifepristone and misoprostol online and self-administer an early medical abortion safely at home. The medicines are very safe and are on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines.
For women in Ireland who want to access these medicines, a reliable source is :
Another service offering these medicines which is safe to use is:
#2 FUTURE NOW
Our reality is a confusion because we are living in a post-truth world. An anti-intellectualism has been fed to the masses and politics of fear, resentment and prejudice are being directed at those not like us. Demagogues divide us up by gender, by race, by nationality or religion. But together there is nothing we can’t accomplish. There is no compromise on sexism, racism, bigotry and xenophobia. We will fight it in all its forms, whenever and wherever it re-emerges.
Be fearless. Think critically. Challenge others. We have a renewed urgency to articulate our thoughts and actions. Let us use politics of reason instead of submitting blindly to authority and tradition. Our humanity is facing unparalleled challenges of a global kind. We have a shared responsibility for a radical shift in consciousness. The future is now. Let’s imagine an alternative.