Friendships My beautiful friend, Meghan Lazier, had connected me with Aspire Foundation (thank you!) and today London opened to me with an introduction to my very own Mentor! Anna and I met her and we spoke about Organizational Strategic Planning. I am excited to put some structure to our passion and thoughts. There is an energy in us that needs a little bit of stream-lining.
Sara B, another FI-ghter wrote something so sweeet saying “Omg! Natasha I never met you! But I miss you! Is that possible?” It is a beautiful relationship we all share with each other. I hope age, distance, cynicism and the weariness of war and peace and war/peace and all in between, will not taint the innocence of friendships formed through mutual passions and love.
Advocacy Project Another lawyer/blogger/writer/activist, Kirthi Jayakumar, joined F.I. and we are working on a project together on prosecuting sexual violence in war. The project, albeit framed on a micro-legal level, is driven by frustrations with war. At one time rape and sexual violence was framed as collateral damage. Soldiers were cheered on to boost morale by taking women, for release of sexual frustration, but also as a tool to humiliate, to punish, to enslave. And the physical destruction of bodies only scrapes at the surface of a lifetime of mental and psychological agony that impact generation upon generation; from survivors to their children. The scars they hold, the fight to survive, the resignation to life, the choice to self-prostitute, the battle against ostracization, the love for their children (of war), the physical ache that never ails, the dismissal of past, the fight for a kinder future. Cessation of hostilities in war is only the beginning of a new war in peace-time. Women still apologize for their suffering, make amends, cancel histories, re-live moments to find agency.
Awareness, Advocacy. And Arming each other with the right legal tools to characterize conflict, and bring perpetrators to justice is so crucial. It is the least we could do. The project aims to consolidate best practices and develop a skeleton for activists who are interested in accessing models or blue-prints for such cases.
War and waiting The last nights I had weird dreams of a child-friend who passed away recently in Afghanistan. Between my heart-racing and tears, there are also tensions of guilt, frustrations, and anger that life in Kabul could not save her frail body. Not law, not money, not aid, not development could take her away from the fringes of Kabul, that which is crumbling slowly, yet she was taken eventually. Of course we get angry with the state of the country, the chance it had, the way we abandoned it when we tried to save it. I am not sure how Shoaib feels about this, what emotions sit behind the layers. We hope we can stay for as long as it lets us, I suppose……
If we unravelled the heart, the hurt is part of love too.
Nicer readings, come here to stories of conflict and love as there are beautiful reads to greet the first months of 2013.
Come here to make pretty things during library breaks!
Connect with other women at Aspire Foundation :)
World Radio Day is coming! Radio-Activists – SOAS Radio has some fascinating podcasts for streaming.