Why Transformative Justice: A Response to “Why Didn’t She Just Call the Cops?”

A piece I wrote for the amazing Third Eye Collective, a collective that is led by female-identified people of Black and African descent dedicated to healing from and organizing against sexual and state violence.

third eye collective

Why is the world always easier to fix/than our own homes?

–Essex Hemphill

We cannot live without our lives.

–Banner held by Combahee River Collective members protesting the sexual assault and murder of twelve Black women in the Boston area in the first six months of 1979

The Third Eye Collective is led by female-identified people of Black/African descent who are victims and/or survivors–all of us resistors–of sexual violence. Many Black girls and women who have experienced sexual violence at the hands of family, intimate partners, and community members, have also had direct, lived experiences as prisoners of punitive state institutions defined broadly to include jails, prisons, open or closed facilities, remand centres, immigrant and refugee detention centers, mental hospitals, foster care, group homes, child protective services, and domestic violence shelters. When confronted with gendered and sexualized violence in our families, communities, and institutional spaces, Black cis- and trans- girls and…

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With No Immediate Cause (Ntzoke Shange), Performed by the Third Eye Collective

third eye collective

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”).

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.

With No Immediate Cause

every 3 minutes a woman is beaten

every five minutes a

woman is raped/every ten minutes

a…

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