It has been a most amazing two years of the One Billion Rising and One Billion Rising for Justice Campaign.
Through our efforts we mobilised, engaged, awakened and joined people worldwide to end violence against women. We made violence against women a global human issue not relegated to country or tribe or class or religion. We revealed it as a patriarchal mandate, present in every culture of the world.
In our justice campaign we made visible, volatile and impacting connections between violence against women and economic, environmental, racial, gender injustice. We formed new and hopefully lasting coalitions between existing groups and individuals not only within the women’s movement but also between people’s movements covering diverse sectors. We showed that there is nothing more powerful than global solidarity as it makes all of us safer in our outspokenness, braver in what we feel willing to do. When we see women rise in Sudan and Somalia or young women rise in Tehran or domestic workers take to the streets of Hong Kong risking lives and jobs, it inspires all of us to go further when we know the eyes of the world are on us. Through One Billion Rising laws were created, passed and enforced. Leaders were born, politicians were held to the fire, major and invisible injustices were highlighted and proven undeniable. You only have to look to the women who rose in Tacloban, Philippines denouncing the governments shabby care for survivors of the storm, or indigenous women who rose at oil plants in California, or women in Bangladesh who rose against the oppression and death of workers at Rana Plaza, or women who rose in and outside prisons. Our cries for each of our particular justices rose and merged in a sea of cries and demands, creating a new collage, a new collective vision and radical landscape of what a just world might look like for women and girls. Everyone faced obstacles, attack, doubt, distrust, questions, lack of resources, impossible odds, family needs, and went beyond where even we thought we could go. So we have much to celebrate.
What we also did was show the power of art and dance and the astonishing and political alchemy that occurs when art and activism happen simultaneously.
Dance is one of the most powerful forces on the earth and we have only just begun to tap into where it can take us.The struggle of humanity is the struggle to return to our bodies.
Through trauma, cruelty, shame, oppression, violence, rape, exclusion, the body of the human species has been hurt, wounded, and we have been forced to flee our bodies..
This same cruelty, rape oppression, has been enacted on the earth and the consequences have been dire. We are verging on total catastrophe and collapse of life as we know it.
Dancing allows us to come back into our bodies as individuals and groups and a world, it connects our feet to the earth and inspires us to move to her rhythms. It allows us to go further, to include everyone, to tap into a revolutionary and poetic energy which is inviting us to take the lid off the patriarchal container releasing more of our wisdom, our self love. our sexuality, our compassion, and fierceness. Dancing is defiance. It is joyous and raging. It is contagious and free and beyond corporate or state control. We have only begun to dance. This year we must go further. We must go all the way and make the change.
We must create REVOLUTION.
One Billion Rising Revolution is an escalation of the first two stages of our campaign – One Billion Rising and One Billion Rising for Justice. We’ve danced. We’ve demanded justice. Now we are demanding CHANGES.
And only a radical shift in consciousness, and braver, bolder and more creative and determined actions can bring about CHANGE.