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#WorthBleedingFor: The Politics of Periods

By Haafizah Bhamjee

Over the past three years, my team at Amnesty International Wits and I have been campaigning on our university campus for free pads. This meant talking about our periods a lot and in a very public way.

 

Donate to #WORTHBLEEDINGFOR

 

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For most of us, this is the first opportunity we have had to speak about menstruation in public. Many girls around the world grow up in homes and communities that restrict what they are allowed to say about their bodies. Speaking of the female body and its functions have always been a big taboo in most cultures. However, this often means that girls and women suffer in silence. Many are unable to speak about the issues that they face daily; one being a lack of access to sanitary products.

According to UNICEF, 1 in 10 school girls in Africa cannot afford sanitary pads. That’s over two million schoolgirls in South Africa alone. A survey we did at Wits University showed that every 1 in 6 students couldn’t afford sanitary products. Many women and girls are forced to use alternative and unhealthy methods of handling their menses. For example, many use old newspaper, rags of cloth and toilet paper in place of pads and tampons. Many more miss out on school, work and other opportunities such as sport. An estimate shows that schoolgirls in South Africa miss out on approximately 70-100 days of school a year, because of a lack of access. This disproportionately impacts girls and women from lower-income communities. It also means that women and girls have fewer opportunities available to them than their male counterparts.

Educating women and girls is the only proven method of reducing poverty in our communities. In a country saddled with political strife, race & sex discrimination and wealth inequality; the conversation around sanitary products is rarely brought to the table. This means our plea often falls on deaf ears. Sanitary products are still taxed as luxury items; something we call the period tax. Earlier this year President Cyril Ramaphosa proposed a 1% tax increase, without considering the implications for poorer communities.

In many ways, menstruation and women’s bodies have become a political conversation. One that we don’t plan on halting any time soon. Through our campaign we have raised funds and donations for students on campus, we have had a march and hand over of demands and we have petitioned 3500 signatures for our course. You can see more of what we are doing by visiting our Instagram (@WorthBleedingFor), Facebook (Amnesty International Wits) and Twitter (@AI_Wits) pages for more information.

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#WORTHBLEEDINGFOR

A woman will have an estimated 450 menstrual cycles during her lifetime; using upwards of 17,000 sanitary pads or tampons comprehensively.  To the women belonging to countries who incorrectly label feminine supplies such as sanitary napkins as luxuries, 450 is the number of missed opportunities to feel supported, humane, hygienic and dignified.  Wits University, Johannesburg (a South African province) is working to implement policies that impact this way of life in a positive way – one feminine hygiene donation at a time; coupled with initiatives aimed to educate women of childbearing age and their communities alike. Continue reading #WORTHBLEEDINGFOR

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#GenreRepYourCity 2018 Edition

It’s time again for #GenreRepYourCity! We’re putting a little spin on it for 2018.

Read the details below:

    1. Fill out the form (it’s just under the instructions).
    2. We will send you the sign (free of charge).
    3. Fill in & assemble your #GENREREPYOURCITY sign.
    4. “Get up, get out, and get something” (Outkast).
    5. No. 3 means get out into the world see some art. You decide what art is.
    6. Take a picture (selfie or otherwise) alone or with some dope ass art piece in your town.
    7. Post on IG, Twitter or FB tag us and add #genrerepyourcity in the post caption.
    8. Go H.A.M.
    9. H.A.M.: Hard as a muthafucka (He Who Shall Not Be Named)

Continue reading #GenreRepYourCity 2018 Edition

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Urban folk: the truth is out there

prose by Paula Puolakka

He has no teeth,

but still, he walks like a king across the gas station parking lot.

In his white pick-up truck, he listens to Led Zeppelin, the foreign sounds of his youth, and

feels like the ruler of I-81 though he’s just a grain of sand in this overpopulated world.

 

His skin is tan and his mustache is thick: a bumper between him and the ladies,

who are only California Dreaming or in the New York State of Mind and

not falling head over heels for the West Virginian.

But when he gets to his hometown, sees the weeds and the wildflowers surrounding the old

warehouse,

he feels peace taking over his heart.

Here, all is well. He’s somebody, even when he’s a nobody.

Continue reading Urban folk: the truth is out there

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry -Eli $tones

Eli $Tones Is A 20-year-old Recording Artist/Songwriter From Milwaukee, WI.

Starting His Music Background With Rock/Heavy Metal, Eli $Tones Fell In Love With Rap Music & R&B In Middle School Which Is Also When He Started Writing And Recording His Own Music.

After Graduating High School, The Young Artist Dropped His Debut Ep, “Elsewhere” (2016), Which Showcases 7 Diverse Tracks Engineered By Himself, Featuring Hit Tracks Like “Idk” & “Like Me”, Both Produced By Wonya Love.

“Elsewhere” Is Available For Streaming On Soundcloud.

Since His Ep, Eli $Tones Jumped On A Completely Different Wave With His Groovy & Bouncy Hit 

Single “Hell Of A Guy [Prod. Key Boy]” And Bangers Like “Flex [Prod. Cashmoneyap]” & “Way Back (Ft

. Shon Mil) [Prod. Tower]” Which Are All Just The Beginning For What Eli $Tones Has In Store.

Since His Ep, Eli $Tones Jumped On A Completely Different Wave With His Groovy & Bouncy Hit Single “Hell Of A Guy [Prod. Key Boy]” And Bangers Like “Flex [Prod. Cashmoneyap]” & “Way Back (Ft. Shon Mil) [Prod. Tower]” Which Are All Just The Beginning For What Eli $Tones Has In  Store.

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry
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PURCHASE NO. 4 PRINT

Support our small press by purchasing a copy of Genre: Urban Arts No. 4 TODAY! We provide a platform for artist to become published digitally and in print. In addition to this, we also provide exhibiting and performing opportunities for visual and performance artists. A purchase of this magazine definitely will support the arts!

Our No. 4 Prints will begin being shipped on June 25th. No. 4 Print reveals the maturation of Genre: Urban Arts. The size is now 8×11 and hosts 84 glorious pages of art, poetry, prose, photography and critical articles from contemporary artist around the globe.

Pick up your copy today!!!

Purchase below:

No. 4 Print

 

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry -Team ADHD

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry

A Rap Group Of Individual Artist Coming Together To Put Out Great Music, Take Lyricism To The Next Level, Stay True To HipHop, Its Culture And represent their hometown. Known As Milwaukee. Josh Jenkins, G Gifted, & JalenG.

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry -Roomana Shaikh

Hi there! I am Romana, a native of the Bronx and my roots are in Pakistan. I started writing poetry to express the inner confusions inside my soul and I still feel as if poetry helps me understand the craziness of our world and of our society. I will be giving a spoken word at Bowery. Come support!

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry
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Tequila, Doodles, and Jamiroquai

My alone time is so precious to me. Being able to immerse myself in my solitude and actually find comfort in it is a beautiful thing, I highly suggest it. Add a little bit of tequila and good music and I end up with this doodle.  Yeah, I was pretty tipsy and in the zone having a million thoughts cross my mind, but even with everything that was on my mind I was able to center myself to create. You have no idea how grateful I am to have this creative outlet.

Definitely one of my favorite solo activities, having a drink and drawing as I let go of my long day.

-ZaiOhmy

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry- Oscar Sander

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry

malcolmentertainment.com

A word from Oscar:
Being a political spoken word artist/poet/performer, you inherit an abundant responsibility. The world and society at large are acutely divided, misinformed, and for the most part totally uninformed and don’t have the proper tools to cerebrally conduct judgment-setting aside pre-conceived familial belief systems and stereotypes. That is where my purpose as a political spoken word artist and playwright is at a potent level. Entertainment is a powerful medium of communication that allows me to reach out to people and put them in a comfortable state and place, at the very least, listen to contrary points of view. I am the messenger with an entertaining delivery and intent, to convince the audience that they are in a classroom void of judgment and condemnation to open their minds and hearts to the greater good of society and to bridge the gap of dismissiveness to talk about our differences, all along laugh and smile as human beings together.
The Oscar Sanders style of spoken word poetry is using multi-cultural dialects and impersonations of famous people and actors such as: Sidney Greenstreet, Al Pacino, Peter Lorre, Adolph Caesar, southern military generals, a Chinese doctor, former President Ronald Reagan, Vin Scully, Jimmy Cagney, Puerto Rican activist, and an African President to embellish the well crafted tongue-twisting intellectual articulate spoken word poetry written and performed by Mr. Sanders.Oscar Sanders is a multiple award winning author, Indie Author Legacy Award Poet of the Year 2017, Best Jazz History Documentary New York Jazz Festival 2017, (NAACP NYCHA JUST READ AWARD 2016 Fiction/Final Hearing, LA, LA NEO NOIR, FILM, & Script Festival 2016 Fiction Final Hearing), Jazz documentaries Billy Bang: Long Over Due (Carmarthen Bay FF 2013 Best Documentary, Capital City Black FF 2013 Best Documentary, Los Angles New Wave IFF 2013, Texas Underground FF 2012, Peoples Film Festival Best Documentary 2012), and seething feature political poetry spoken word performer, and event host of festivals and book fairs. Anders Griffen, of the New York Jazz Record said about Mr. Sanders’ latest film jazz doc Michael Carvin: No Excuses (Official Selection The People’s FF 2017 (released 5/1/17), “The tour of Manhattan performance venues is fabulous…the story is strong and by the end, one feels the collaboration between the musician and filmmaker.” New Voices in Theater feature play performance (November 9, 2017), Thirty day creative residency (December 2017) at Jamaica Center for the Arts & Learning culminating with a theatrical “First Friday series performance January 5, 2017, Bronx Book Fair 2017/2018 host/facilitator of poetry segment Weaving our Voices, and Speed Coaching, New York Screenplay Awards 2016, and 2017 Jury Member.

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry – Romain Thiery

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry

French photographer, Romain Thiery, has been transforming abandoned places into his own personal playgrounds. As a trained pianist, he placed his passion for the instrument at the center of his photography series, ” Requiem pour Pianos”. In this project Romain beautifully crafted melancholic images that evoke powerful pensive thoughts among many who see them.

His “Requiem for pianos” series is a proof of his attachment to piano, and photography. About fifty of his photographs are focused on a central object: the piano. Sometimes with some of its keys missing, sometimes completely dismantled but always sitting imposingly. “As a pianist myself, emotion takes over when I discover a neglected piano. This is the culmination of my art: my two passions are then united in one and the same feeling. It’s an exaltation of my artist’s life.

To achieve his “Requiem pour pianos” series, he explored several countries including France, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria, Spain, and Poland. “Through my images, the musical notes of these abandoned pianos reason again in these buildings in ruins, giving free rein to our imagination”.

Website: www.romainthiery.fr

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Childhood in the Dead Zone

Originally Puerto Rico was my first home up until I was 8ish. I still remember getting off the plane and immediately feeling Chicago’s disrespectful ass wind smack me across the face.  I went from being a 5 minute drive from the beach to not being able to walk more than 5 minutes outside without seeing a crime being committed. Talk about a mind fuck of a culture shock!

Ladies and Gents let me introduce you to my love hate relationship with an area in Humboldt Park called the Dead Zone.  Let me break this down real quick, Humboldt Park is a neighborhood in Chicago that had an even a smaller section called the Dead Zone that was ran by the Maniacs or better known as the Latin Disciples. This piece of information was very important to know even as a kid back then.  Yeah I know!

Humboldt Park in the 90s early 2000s was bitter sweet growing up. Obviously, growing up in a hood called the Dead Zone would impact your outlook on life and it sure did with me. Um, maybe seeing bangers getting shot at on the regular or always having to be on edge as I walk down the street did it, but I can definitely say my up bringing contributed to my rough jaded edges. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the lessons I’ve learned from my hood.  I have great streets smarts (which is a must in Chicago), I’m resourceful (because we were so broke), and I’m always two steps ahead of the game. However, I’ve noticed always feeling the need to be ahead of the game has evolved into it’s own monster. My need to be ahead has somehow robbed me from good relationships, I’ve made it a habit to make assumptions on someone inorder to “protect” myself, when all along it wasn’t even needed to think that ahead. Now I see that after alot of mistakes and lessons,  being ahead of the game isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. I’m finally learning to balance that mindset.

The Dead Zone wasn’t all bad either, I’ve had a lot of good memories in my old hood. So many games were played in the buildings backyard with the kids, I honestly feel we were the last age group of imagination.  Had my first kiss in the Dead Zone to a kid named Jesse who had a very high pitched voice and a fro. Most importantly, that was my home for a decade of my life and I was able to grow up among my Puerto Rican people. Looking back I loved growing up where I grew up. Yes, growing up in a rough neighborhood isn’t ideal but it’s what I had.  Yes my Outlook on life at times can be aggressive partly due to my up bringing but I wouldn’t change it now I  only want to change and acknowledged that I have to soften up a bit.

To my hood, the homies, and le moyne and Rockwell, thank you.

-ZaiOhmy

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Dawn

Clouds of unwavering doubt,
once casting her sky in muted tones of grey, had dissipated.
Relinquishing her dreams, leaving her open to brilliancy,
like a buried chest filled with treasures, when the sky opened
a golden light was cast; adorning her
with a glow, pulling out inspiration
like jewels, and shining her up
like a diamond.

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Daddy’s Toolbox

The one you’ve chosen to spend your life with is an engineer kind of dude.  He likes to build things. But baby, when he met you, you were already a stallion.  An edifice.  And so, he deconstructed you bit by bit…to see what in fact you were made of.  It’s the only way he knew how to love.  The problem is, he tired out.  Too lazy or too preoccupied to put you back together again.  So, here I am doing the work I did years ago.  Building you up…again…as only I know how.  As only I can.

A woman cannot fight a man.  She will never win.  He will hide parts of her in far off lands.  He will place pieces of her soul into glass bottles and drift you off to sea.  And in a fit of rage you can find him breaking the tools required for reconstruction.

This time you need to pay close attention.  I will not be here forever.  Putting a Queen back together is a lost art.  Grab my toolbox – top shelf, right corner.

 

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry- Artist So Yeon Kim

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have visual art, spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry

A word from featured artist So Yeon Kim:

The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By applying abstraction, I grasp language. Transformed into art, language becomes an ornament. I take in the tradition of remembrance into my practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation. 

Click the button to visit her site:

So Yeon Kim

 

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry Featured Poet Katerina Canyon

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have visual arts, spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry

We have loads of great talent for you including author and Poet Laureate Katerina Canyon!

Visit her site here:

PoeticKat.com

Katerina Canyon is the Poet Laureate Emeritus of Sunland-Tujunga, California. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Meniscus, and Waxing and Waning, and will be in The Esthetic Apostle. Her recent book, Changing the Lines is currently available online and in stores. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Genre: Urban Arts @Bowery Poetry Featuring Ricardo Hanley, Jr

Genre: Urban Arts will be at Bowery Poetry in NYC where we are having our No. 4 Print launch on June 24th, 3:30- 5pm. We will have visual art, spoken-word, live music, and other performance arts.

Purchase Tickets for Genre @Bowery Poetry

A father, author, and artist. He is a man who deems truths above all things and strives to embody that belief in his everyday life. He is a writer who reflects all facets of living-realities and tangible dreams.

He has released a book of poetry and prose entitled, “Silence Conceiving Symphonies, My Imprints of Existence”. Read about his visions for this book and view “Trump Card” below.

The contents of Silence Conceiving Symphonies, My Imprints of Existence is my first book, which has sprung from my depths like a mother with child. This is a compilation of 29 years of experience humbly lived. I’m honored that this text is within your line of sight. May our thoughts reciprocate a propelling force of understanding that translates into actions of progression. May the contents of this book find the right person who needs to hear it, who needs to see it, feel it, connect and progress. This work is dedicated to all my family and friends who helped me along my path. Whether it was just a brief time knowing you or a long history we’ve shared, you have all added to my growth and I’m thankful to you. I hope you enjoy reading my first book as much as I enjoyed writing it. This is my gift to this world, receive me. ricardohanleyjr.wordpress.com