Category Archives: Sisters of Frida

Sisters of Frida AGM 6th Feb 2016

Sisters of Frida AGM 6th Feb 2016
14 women in front of the Sisters of Frida banner, some in wheelchairs. and one baby held in mother's arms

Group photo at the end of the AGM

 

We had a great turn out for the annual meeting at Blackfriars Settlement last Saturday. The venue was great, spacious for our needs and had good access. Not everybody could stay the whole time.

We have a nice lunch and the meeting proceeded well with Eleanor giving an introduction and welcoming new people, reporting on activities in the past year. Lani and Dyi spoke about the Sexuality and disability workshop before we had a short break. Sarah then gave a presentation on the Sisters of Frida’s structure and lead the discussion on how to proceed to work in the future. There was great enthusiasm on the idea of a ‘family’  – on the discussion for a name for supporters and donations. It continued on to what Sisters of Frida did and does as a collective and ended with a question and answers session before time ran out.

There was a short Steering Group meeting with old and new members before it was time to clear up and out of the venue.

The Steering Group 2016

Annabel Crowley

Armineh Soorenian

Dyi Huijg

Eleanor Lisney

Kirsty Liddiard

Lucia Bellini

Michelle Daley

Rebecca Bunce

Sarah Rennie

Sophie Partridge

Zara Todd

 

many thanks to Obi for livestreaming for us – some sisters could not make it to the meeting.

here is the links if you want to watch

http://bambuser.com/v/6084341

http://bambuser.com/v/6084446

(transcripts to follow)

Zara Todd: Disability rights campaigner in today’s Guardian!

Zara Todd: Disability rights campaigner in today’s Guardian!

Zara, one of our steering group and director, had an article My biggest act of rebellion as a disabled person is living as I wish’. But somehow that fact of being in Sisters of Frida got missed out in her impressive CV!

“What you fundamentally want when you are growing up is to fit in, and when you are constantly being told that you don’t fit, there are two ways you can react,” says Todd. “One is to take it all on board and end up hating yourself, and the other one is to fight it.”

For Todd, who has been a committed activist since the age of 11 when she began “all sorts of campaigning” with a local charity focused on young people, it is quite clear which approach she took. While legal landmarks such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the Equality Act 2010 have undoubtedly heralded improvements in the lives of younger disabled people, numerous obstacles remain to full inclusion, she says.

“There have been massive strides, but one of the things that saddens me most about hearing children and young people’s experiences today is that a lot of the things that I experienced are still happening. I hear stories of young people who aren’t even allowed out [during break times] because there are fears that they might be bullied or that something might happen to them and there aren’t enough staff to facilitate it safely, so the only option is to keep them all in a room together.”

read the rest of the article at the Guardian.

——————————————————

Zara Todd

Zara Todd @toddles23

 

 

Sisters of Frida AGM Saturday 6th Feb London at Blackfriars Settlement 12.30pm

Sisters of Frida AGM Saturday 6th Feb London at Blackfriars Settlement 12.30pm
group of women around a coffee table

last year’s AGM in Coventry

 

This year’s AGM will be on 6th February at the Blackfriars Settlement, 1 Rushworth Street, London SE10RB at 12.30pm. This is an accessible venue with a kitchen. As the date coincides with chinese New year, Chinese lunch will be provided but please let us know if you re coming so that we can provide sufficiently. (contributions appreciated for covering costs but not obligatory.) There will be gluten free, vegetarian and vegan provisions. Please let us know if you have other dietary or access issues. There will be a palantypist. Email sisofrida@gmail.com

Agenda will be provided nearer the date. Directions are on the website. For those coming from Euston, the buses 68,168 stop nearby at St Georges Circus, and there are buses 63 and 45 from Kings Cross, stop at Pocock Street.

Please let us know if you intend to come and if you have other access needs or dietary requirements.

sisofrida@gmail.com

please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sisters-of-fridas-agm-tickets-20930725363

 

Together! 2015 Disability Film Festival 11-13 December, Stratford London

Together! 2015 Disability Film Festival 11-13 December, Stratford London

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UK Disability History Month logo

 

As part of Disability History Month, we are happy to participate in the Together!2015 Disability Film Festival.

The programme is on the Together! 2015 DFF website.

There are many good discussions to be had and great films to discover – we recommend Margarita with a Straw (Saturday night 6.30pm)  in particular.! Some of us were there at the premiere last year and met some of the cast and dinner with Malini Chib.

But also Sunday night when we will be discussing Chocolate and other films depicting disability in films.

6.30pm: Chocolate ( Prachya Pinkaew; 89m; 2008). This feature-length drama from Thailand stars Yanin ‘Jeeja’ Vismistananda in her debut film performance as Zen, a young girl with autism who becomes a martial arts expert in her efforts to protect her family. Unsuitable for children and anyone who is sensitive to depictions of violence.

Followed by Let’s Talk about Disability Film with the Sisters of Frida at our café-bar partner Gerry’s, opposite the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Venue access

The Old Town Hall, 29 The Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ. Nearest tube, overground and DLR stations: Stratford (fully accessible).Bus routes include 25, 69, 86, D8, 104, 108, 158, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 425, 473, N8, N86, 010, A9, 741 & UL1.

Parking: Blue Badge holders can pre-book parking; others are advised to use the (old) Stratford shopping centre carpark.

  • There is no need to pre-book unless you are a group of 5 or more (email bookings@together2012.org.uk or phone or text 07973 252751).
  • All screenings are ‘relaxed’.
  • The venue is wheelchair-accessible.
  • There is an induction loop for hearing aid users.
  • Many films are captioned; some are in BSL too.
  • Please contact us if you require audio-description

Disability is not our only identity: An interview with Becky Olaniyi

Disability is not our only identity: An interview with Becky Olaniyi
Becky Olaniyi

Becky Olaniyi

In anticipation of this year’s Feminism In London conference (October 24-25), Alicen Grey talks with Becky Olaniyi about disability, feminism, and the challenges and lessons of being an activist at the intersection of identities.

See the rest of the interview at the Feminist Curent.

Becky is the youngest member of our steering group but she’s a brilliant speaker. Its not too late to get tickets for the workshop. And if you have difficulties paying, just let them know.

Feminism in London: Disabled Women’s panel, London 25th October

Feminism in London: Disabled Women’s panel, London 25th October

flyerFeminism in London panel on 25th Oct sunday 12.30 Hilton Metropole London

Multiple Identities: ordinary lives: The challenges of being disabled and feminist

Disabled women’s rights are human rights! Disability can be physical, mental, neurological, hidden or visible. This panel will look at activism through the prism of disability and feminism and seek to explore further the intersection and challenges of being between the two and the capacity of the two movements to work for change.

speakers
Kirsten Hearn (Chair)
Becky Olaniyi (Sisters of Frida)
Rebecca Bunce (ICChange)
Asha Hans ( Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre. &. Women with Disabilities India by video link)
Frances Ryan (Guardian journalist)
Nidhi Goyal (CREA: disability and sexuality by video link)

Tickets available now

The conference address: Hilton Metropole conference suite at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, 225 Edgware Road, London W2 1JU. It is very close to Edgware Road tube station. It’s fully accessible.
it is on Sunday 25th at 12:30-2pm, except for speakers – you need to buy a ticket.
http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/timetable/

Sisters of Frida: Disability & Sex/uality Workshop, Part 1

Sisters of Frida: Disability & Sex/uality Workshop, Part 1

Disability & Sex/uality

Workshop, Part 1  

Sisters of Frida invites you to the first Disability and Sex/uality workshop on 19 September 2015 at Unity Church Hall, 1-5pm. This workshop is for self-identified disabled women who want to create a space to talk about disability, sex and sexuality.

The workshop

As disabled women we have a wide range of experiences, positive and negative, around disability, sex and sexuality. Disabled women are sexy, sexual, passionate, loving, caring, desirable, hot, beautiful, strong and much more! Our experiences of sexuality are also affected by different kinds of oppressions as ableism, racism, sexism, heteronormativity, classism and age.

This workshop is the first meeting of the project Disability and Sex/uality we are developing. In this workshop we will explore the different themes around sex and sexuality that arise from our experiences. We will also look at what we want to explore more and what work needs to happen to develop this project.

The project

The idea for this project arose from a screening of the documentary AccSex, which showed how a group of disabled women in India experience their sexuality. This project is part of Sisters of Frida. We are setting up this project out of a need to create a space where we can safely discuss our sexuality in a supportive and empowering environment.

Registration

The topics we will discuss can be sensitive, for this reason, please contact us directly to register and discuss participation as this will be a closed meeting: sof.disabilitysexuality@gmail.com. Note that places are limited, please get in touch as soon as possible. Deadline for registration is 6 September.

Accessibility and needs

The venue is wheelchair accessible. There is an accessible toilet, but without a hoist. There is a small room that people can use for quiet-time. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you need BSL, transcription or if you have other access needs. If you have any concerns or queries about the nature of what might be discussed in the workshop and how it could relate to your experiences, please get in touch. This is a peer-support group, we cannot offer professional support.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Date: 19 September 2015

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Where: New Unity Unitarians

Address: 277A Upper Street, Islington, London N1 2TZ

Contactsof.disabilitysexuality@gmail.com

Deadline for registration: 6 September 2015

Accessibility: Please get in touch to discuss your needs

At Sparks London

At Sparks London
the spark banner

the spark banner

The Spark is a completely free festival of ideas, discussion, art, performance and more looking at how we can bring about positive change here in the UK and around the world 20 – 26 July 2015.

Ciara Doyle leading the workshop

Ciara Doyle leading the workshop

Sisters of Frida were invited again after last year’s participation. Some of us participated at Sparks and lead workshops.

Ciara and Dyi had a workshop: The ability in disability: questioning the idea of being healthy and well-being

This workshop asks what is ‘normal’? It explores ideas around ‘ability in disability’, ‘normal health’ or ‘healthy’. It encourages a curiosity about understanding ableism as a system that affects everyone by dictating what is ‘normal’ around ability, including ideas and practices around ‘health’ and ‘well-being’.

Facilitated by:

–Ciara identifies as an activist, an academic, queer, disabled.

–Dyi has been an activist in Amsterdam around issues of gender, race, reproductive rights, and age/generation and now, in London, tries to catch up on issues of disability and sex/uality while fluctuatingly ill and doing a PhD

Dyi was actually not well on the day and Ciara did it on her own with a great interactive discussion on.

The workshop after that was Equality and being inclusive and accessible

Everyone says they are aiming for equality however they do not always factor in being inclusive and accessible. Physical, hidden and logistical barriers can very often prevent people from being properly involved. Although nearly always unintentional, this exclusion has a negative impact on the campaign and access isnt always easy to add on later.

Non disabled people do not always understand what barriers disabled people face in going about day to day activities – eg. having steps to a physical meeting place mean wheelchair users are excluded, having information only available on pdfs mean that blind people who use text reader to access electronic information are left out and if you have meetings that start very early in the morning might mean that people who need personal assistance to get ready or those who have chronic issues might find it logistically challenging to make it to your meeting.

facilitated by Eleanor Lisney, an access adviser who is also a wheelchair user.

At the Four Fridas!

At the Four Fridas!

Annabel and Eleanor were at the Sisters of Frida’s stall at the Four Fridas, ( excerpt from website below) part of the Greenwich and Docklands Festival.

Annabel and Eleanor

Annabel and Eleanor

The Four Fridas will be a spectacular, outdoor theatre production celebrating the life and work of the legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Audiences will be immersed in a visually thrilling experience, integrating elements of ritual, music, narration, contemporary dance and aerial choreography, played out against stunning video projections in the sky.

Taking inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s lifelong empathy with indigenous Mexico, The Four Fridas will feature a rare opportunity to see the breathtaking ritual flight of the Voladores. The production brings together an exciting creative team led by GDIF’s Artistic Director Bradley Hemmings, including a specially commissioned appearance by Shechter Junior, a new young ensemble of talented dancers from Hofesh Shechter Company, alongside an innovative collaboration between leading UK aerial dance company Wired Aerial Theatre and BAFTA Award winning film maker Tal Rosner, together with film animation by artist Rachel Gadsden. The production is designed by Georgia Lowe with an original script by award winning writer Jay Griffiths, music by BAFTA Award winner Dan Jones and lighting by Olivier Award winning Natasha Chivers

We asked if we could have a stall to give information on Sisters of Frida. The crew there kindly gave us a space at the front of stage and we shared between the cocktail van and the stand which sold Mexican sweets. We had lots of interest and even some friends visiting! We had quite a few enquiries and interest in our badges and postcards.

postcards write to sisofrida@gmail.com if you would like badges or cards

postcards write to sisofrida@gmail.com if you would like badges or cards

badge

badge in two sizes

At 4fridas with Sophie Partridge and friend, Taharah

At Four Fridas with Sophie Partridge and friend, Taharah

Here are some photos from the spectacle!

Four Fridas

Four Fridas spectacle  

Four Fridas

Four Fridas

 

Screening AccSex London : sexuality and disability & next steps

Screening AccSex London : sexuality and disability & next steps

Report written by Lani Parker with additions from Eleanor Lisney

People were pleased with the turnout and it was a good opportunity to network and talk to each other.
The film generally had good feedback. There was discussion on many topics, including who the film was
aimed at, the editorial devices which were used (such as changing the subtitles in order to give a “feeling
of exclusion”), and the Indian context. It was felt that it was a good film to get discussion going. We thanked Shweta Ghosh with a little momento (Happy Potter mug) from London.

Next steps

– Michelle and Charlotte had ideas for showing the film in different places and will get in touch with
Shweta to organise purchase of film and further screenings.
–  Shweta said that she will write a booklet to go with the film so that issues which have been commonly brought up at the screenings can be discussed and contextualised.

After the film we had a presentation from Stay Safe East (Ruth Bashall and Lucia Bellini) about their work with disabled women, particularly around domestic violence (their remit is slightly bigger than this). There was discussion on the specialist nature of the work running women’s support groups and the need for further groups like this.

Ruth would like to see the work done around the Serious Crime Bill and domestic violence taken forward to lobby the CPS around their guidance for the bill and they (as Stay Safe East) will be meeting with Women’s Aid shortly. Eleanor and others expressed a wish for Sisters of Frida to be involved with this work.

Eleanor, Ruth and Lucia to take forward work with CPS and Women’s Aid on the issue and the Bill specifically.

There was a discussion about a forum or space for disabled women to talk about sex, sexuality and intimacy. This is a big topic and there are many issues, including lack of information, intersections of identity and oppressions, types of impairments, and PAs’ involvement in relationships. Laki said that there is a need for a physical drop-in as well as information online and perhaps an online forum discussing the issues.

There are many things to consider with an online forum. Ruth said that GAD have a forum but it is by invitation. Seems like a sensible idea to explore along with online safety issues in the future if we were to take forward this idea. The idea would be to have a website and resources, perhaps a forum and an informal drop-in.

–  Laki and Dyi to set up meeting for Sisters of Frida to start to discuss these issues amongst ourselves and to look at collating resources.

–  Ruth to send resources she already has access to.

We discussed about funding and future strategy and future steps.