a painting

February 28, 2009 § Leave a comment


i love this painting.  it is by one of the refugees who works at the school where i teach dance.  excuse my bad photography which makes it look washed out.  in real life there is this stunning vibrancy that bespeaks of a visual imagination that is contemporary to the fluidity and quirky attitudes of street muralists throughout the crazy cities on planet earth.  the improvisational frankness and complexity of jazz and hip hop.  it looks like aza.

aza’s moods

February 28, 2009 § Leave a comment




raven’s eye: structure, editorial slant, needs

February 27, 2009 § 7 Comments

again, you guys, this is all just a suggestion, a loose idea that i am putting out here to be critiqued, questioned, affirmed, knocked down, whateva…i just figure that if i put my ideas out there and then ask for feedback and for your ideas that i am much more likely to get concrete responses than if i just open the question: what do y’all think?


1. at least 15-21 posts per week.

2. anyone who wants to write or post stuff to the blog can do so.  just tell the editors and we will put you on.  you can post as much or as little as you want.  you can cross post from your own blog, write original material, post up announcements of stuff happening, news items, reflections, discussion-led posts.  whatever. (in this way it mirrors the speak! blog)

3.  every month we will choose a new theme for the blog.  no one is required to write on that theme.  but if you do we will be very happy.  and we, as editors, will publish a series of posts on said theme to get the conversation started.  some ideas of themes: motherhood, food, growing up, ambition, community, sex, language, borders, etc. theme suggestions would be highly appreciated.  (in this way it kind of mirrors a carnival)

4.   we, as editors, will be reading blogs continuously (got to love delicious!) and looking for work to cross post.  new blogs that pop up in the internet-o-sphere by woc and invite them to write and join in (keeping the conversation open and growing).  we willl be focusing on work that we find to be unique, well-written, relevant, opens the conversation, thought-provoking, etc.   (in this way it mirrors some of the bigger blogs)

editorial slant:

1. i want this to be a conversation-driven blog.

2. i am just going to quote lisa who said it better than i could:

For me, this is not about inclusion, it’s about creating a new mode of knowledge, a fiercely vibrant school of thought that welcomes ALL but focuses on the perspectives and lives of WOC.

Women of color ISSUES has been done to death. I want women of color LIVES.

I’m looking into creating something that frames, centralizes, dissects, and celebrates women of color LIVES;
all in the ways that are fresh, joyful, fun, clever, deep, and inspiring.

It’s not about uplifting WOC past White oppression or showcasing the usual “oh what a strong WOC she is because…” I feel that to create something new, something fresh that *satisfies* us, it must be written, it must be built by WOC in a spirit of creativity and knowledge, not out of feeling left out of other blogs that target somewhat mainstream audiences.

3. and this was my response to lisa (slightly edited for clarity):

and i think that one of the ways that we show genuine support is by engaging in conversation with one another. with all of that entails.  i hope that in the conversation that we change and our views of each other change…
and i have to say that i think that we discover ourselves in the process, we discover our voices and visions, our similarities and differences in the process. so to think of this blog as an endpoint is not accurate, but as a process in and of itself…

what we need:

1. writers

2. editors

3. folks who can do promotion of the blog

4. bloggers who are willing to cross post

5. techie folk

6. critique

new words

February 26, 2009 § 1 Comment

everyday you gather up new words and spit them into the world.  your tongue is so flexible now, it makes sounds that my flat tongue tries to imitate and fails. so although it is supposed to be me teaching you how to speak most days it is you who are adding new words to my vocabulary.

this morning you were the fashionista again, dancing around in a straw hat and insisting on wearing your ‘zipper’ which in my language means ‘hoodie’.

yesterday you were the travel guide as we rode in the taxi you pointed out the cars and lights that we passed. and then as we were walking through the ancient streets of christian and jewish cairo, i was marveling at the afternoon light.  your papa at the wood and stone work.  and you of course pointed every cat and puppy that passed us.  and then started up conversations with the shopkeepers who had closed up shop and were sitting on benches watching the tourists and smoking cigarettes.

right now while your father is discussing plans for starting a daycare for east african refugee children, you are playing with them and their older brothers and sisters.  a few days ago after hanging out with them for a couple of hours, you came home insisting on using new words that i could not decipher.

yesterday in the restaurant you left rose petals as a tip for the waiter.

and there is frustration in all this.  like i would have liked to have shielded you from elmo and the entire sesame street gang for a little longer.  you arent even two yet and insist on staring at that little red head monster sing his abc’s with various pop stars.  well, it could be worse.

isolation, communities, and international womens day

February 25, 2009 § 11 Comments

1.  i am really excited about the fact that folks are interested in this lil blog dream.  i had kinda thought that no one be interested.  and people would be annoyed that i asked them in the first place.  and i put it out there because i had this dream and then another one and another one and it became obvious that the universe was not going  to let me get a good night sleep until i did.

2. i am hoping to have it up and basically running for international women’s day: march 8th.  but i may not reach that deadline.  there is alot going on in my world right now and i dont want to half-ass any of the projects i am working on.  including the whole being a mother-thing that i do.

3.  this morning i woke up with mary j blige’s version of ‘im going down’ running through my head…

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yoga and seeds

February 24, 2009 § 5 Comments

i was shocked when i first read a few years ago about patenting seeds.

In 1998, Mr. McFarling bought 1,000 bags of genetically altered soybean seeds, and he did what he had always done. But the seeds, called Roundup Ready, are patented. When Monsanto, which holds the patent, learned what Mr. McFarling had sown, it sued him in federal court in St. Louis for patent infringement and was awarded $780,000.

The company calls the planting of saved seed piracy, and it says it has won millions of dollars from farmers in lawsuits and settlements in such cases.

how can a company have the right to own life?

but, frankly that is a huge corporation that in the US is legally treated as a person but has no moral conscience and must according to law work first and foremost in the interests of its stockholders…

but then this afternoon i read this:

Since its arrival in Britain and America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when it was popularised by Beatles guitarist George Harrison, among others, Yoga has become a $225 billion industry.

In India, however, it remains collective knowledge – practiced in public parks where gurus often teach fast breathing exercises, like pranayam, and different ‘sun-salutations,’ free of charge.

But as the number of Western yoga teachers has grown, there has been a steady increase in patent applications claiming each pose in their class is not part of the ancient discipline of mind and body, but their own unique invention. In the United States alone, there have been more than 130 yoga-related patents, 150 copyrights and 2,300 trademarks. Now India’s Traditional Knowledge Digital Library is being made available to patents offices throughout the world so they can establish whether the claim is a genuine innovation or “prior art” from Indian systems of medicine.

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raven’s eye: some more thoughts and questions

February 23, 2009 § 6 Comments

these are all just brainstorming thoughts and suggestions…like, totally open to adjustment, change,  critique, and whatever else…

1. i definitely think that this lil blog dream feeds into speak! and the cyberquilting experiment.  what i envisioned  is like another patch.

2. a blog that posts daily (about 15-21 posts/ week) on women and transpeople of color news, analysis, reflections, announcements about events that are pertinent to us.

3. transpeople and women of color (who, to use andy smiths construction–identifies as of color 24/7/365) are welcome to contribute posts, news, etc.

4. i would be willing to act as editor.  and i would love to have someone else (s) also work with me as editor.  by editor i mean it would be in our responsibility to make sure that we are continually and consistently updating the blog.  someone (s) who would be willing to read blogs daily and cross post and write original content at times.

5. it would be pretty open if you wanted to write for the blog or cross post yourself…just contact one of the editors and we would put you on.


anyone would like to be editor?

anyone would like to be writer?

one commenter said that they and their partner had techie skills, but they didnt leave any contact info…so if dipperwell is reading this…how do i reach you?

what would yall like to see on this blog?  what am i missing?  what suggestions, concerns, brainstorms, ideas do you have?

for me, it is really important that this is a community project and not just some chica (me) farting in the wind…

peace and love y’all…

raven’s eye

February 22, 2009 § 13 Comments

so i have been dreaming about blogs.   the first dream was about a blog called: raven’s eye

and as i have been thinking deeply over the past few days about these dreams and visions, i felt compelled to say this:

we, as women of color, have been organizing ourselves for years on the internet.  we have started blogs, and e-zines, social networking spaces, list serves, conferences, conversations, groups, websites, cd’s and more.  we are incredibly prolific, visionary, each of us coming to this space with individual and collective visions of self-expression, survival, sexuality, business, teaching, learning, community, organizing, solidarity,art, dreams, healing, and love.

in my visions i kept seeing a women and transfolk of color blog.  one that was updated daily with our news, analysis, announcements, personal reflections, conversations, and more.  a location on the net where we, from our different perspectives and lives, are able to give voice to us.  where we agree and disagree, and stay in conversation.

i see this blog as a part of the ongoing organizing and expression that we do both on- and off-line so well in the midst of our crazy, blessed lives.

and so i am sending this out into the ether asking what you think.

are there others who are interested in building such a space for women and transfolk of color?

i can offer a chance to see if this experiment could work.  i have some free time to dedicate to the building of this site.  a certain amount of knowledge of software and a willingness to learn more.  a connection to some communities of color.  and a desire to build with you.

please distribute this where you think appropriate.

and if you are interested please leave a comment at guerrillamamamedicine.wordpress.com

opening the border

February 22, 2009 § 1 Comment

egypt has opened the rafah border

this border has become my hope for entry into palestine because it is the only official border crossing that is not controlled by israel.  even though egypt has basically kept the border closed for the past couple of years in response to hamas being elected in the gazan government.

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all over the map

February 21, 2009 § 4 Comments


1. i have been photographing cairo.  (as you can probably tell)  i am happy that this blog has become much more visual.  and that i am gaining confidence to be able to show others my work.

2.  the past two nights i have had dreams about blogs.  the first night i had started a blog called: raven’s eye.  the second i just kept dreaming about blackamazon.

3. once a week i teach dance to the east african refugee kids here in cairo.  today we danced to unpretty by tlc with the tupac remix.

dance-class-1dance-class-2heres the thing: i picked unpretty by tlc because i love that song and the ‘message’ about self-acceptance and self-love.  but it had been a while that i had listened to the version that i downloaded.  and when i did i realized that tupac’s verse is…well…not about women practicing self-acceptance.  basically it is the ‘i fucked your wife biggie smalls!’ verse.  cute.

oh and in the top picture: check out the boys brushing their shoulders off.  too cute.

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