In this video essay directed and produced by Lena Palacios and “MIZShama”, members of the Third Eye Collective perform Black feminist Ntozake Shange’s poem “With No Immediate Cause” while riding the Montreal metro.
Shange’s poem begins with statistics that viscerally pushes us into awareness about the endemic and unrelenting nature of intimate, sexual, and state violence against Black women and girls (“every 3 minutes a woman is beaten/every five minutes a woman is raped/every ten minutes a little girl is molested”).
The Third Eye Collective is an intergenerational, all-volunteer grassroots collective led by female-identified people of Black/African origins dedicated to healing from and organizing against intimate partner violence and state-sanctioned violence against us. We place critical race feminism, transformative justice and community accountability, critical trans politics, and radical harm reduction at the center of our organizing work. As a collective of women, sisters, mothers, lovers, friends, healers, and activist-scholars, we discuss radical harm reduction strategies ranging from how to co-parent with the person who has done harm to prioritizing the self-determination of those who have been harmed. We are based in Montreal, Quebec and can be reached via e-mail: email@example.com. Also, check-out our blog: http://thirdeyemontreal.com/.
Lena Palacios is an emerging video artist and was the recipient of the SAW Video Media Art Centre’s Cultural Equity Production Fund. The Cultural Equity fund is a production support program that provides opportunities for visible minority artists to express themselves creatively through the medium of video.
This video essay was created in part for the forthcoming anthology entitled “Challenging Convictions: Survivors of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Writing on Solidarity with Prison Abolition.” In this mash-up dedicated to female shadow boxers, I chart my emotional and political journey from wanting revenge against an individual—starting when I was a little girl—to organizing collectively against interlocking forms of structural and institutional violence—starting as a young woman recently released from juvenile lock-up in the mid-1990s in California. I speak from multiple intersections as a queer mixed race Chicana from an urban, working-class background who is a survivor of sexual violence, an anti-violence activist, and a prison abolitionist.