Sisters of Frida Home

Bringing disabled women together, mobilising
and sharing through lived experiences

ezine “We are Sisters of Frida” (6)

New Steering Group

A photo of the new steering group and 3 co-directors in their meeting. There are 6 people standing, 3 wheelchair users and 2 people attending via a laptop, their photos are super imposed. People are smiling at the camera, they are from a range of different ethnic backgrounds and some are wearing masks for Covid safety. The Sisters of Frida logo is in the corner

We would like to welcome the new Sisters of Frida Steering Group. We had a great first meeting last month.

The new members of Sisters of Frida Steering Group are:

  • Emily Reynolds
  • Isabel Marler
  • Lena Mohamed
  • Kym Oliver
  • Priscilla Eyles
  • Megan Belcher
  • And Yen Godden

We are very happy that they have joined us. We will have some onboarding sessions with them to introduce them to the collective to start with and then they will steer the future of Sisters of Frida!

The photo is of the new Steering Group with the co-directors, Rachel O’Brien, Eleanor Lisney and Tumu Johnson. We look forward to running future events and projects with you!

Song by Dennis Queen

As is appropriate to the election season, we would like to celebrate with Dennis:

The video has captions via the captions button.

Art for a Free Palestine

The red poppy is the national flower of Palestine. It is made up of the three colours of the flag red white and green. The poppy’s red petals are often seen as a symbol for the bloodshed and sacrifices made in their struggle for freedom. In the spring Palestinian fields are blanketed with these flowers.

This is an art for action exchange! Follow the lead of a Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement for a free Palestine & an end to this genocide. I have also included a list of ways you can take direct & indirect action with all the organisations & people tagged.

This art for me, expresses the strength of the Palestinian people and I hope is a way to encourage actions for Palestine. For those who have taken action, may download and use this artwork for free. Spread the call to action by sharing on social media or printing and sharing.

Examples of ways you can use this art: 

  • Print as signs or flyers with call to action for rallys or events,
  • Post on social media with actions list,
  • Print as wall art/ posters for your window (will print up to A2), paste ups for your local area, stickers, digital wallpaper, social profile photos or banners, free to use!

*please don’t modify the art.

If you would like to print & sell for Palestinian fundraisers or events just contact Yen

– Yen Godden, Artist & Community Organiser (also Sisters of Frida Steering Group) @YenOutLoud

View more artwork, links and ways to take action via Yen’s Instagram post, or download all of the art here.

Video clip from the last social

We had our last of 4 socials funded by the Greater London Authority, where we shared food and talked about our experiences. We spoke about why these events are so important to us:

The video has embedded captions.

Relationships are messy (Part 1)

Lastly but not least we have a lovely article on relationships:

I grew up with the idea that I would meet a non-disabled man who would sweep me off my wheels in my late teens, have 2 children in my 20s, have a part time office job and some side projects that would make some small but important contribution to science. My husband would have a 9 to 5 doing something interesting that I enjoyed talking with him about. And that was it. No friends, no dilemmas, no travel, no PAs. An almost ordinary life.

Now in my mid-30s, I can say that’s not how it went, and I’m very glad of that. Real life relationships are messy, and unexpected, and unpredictable. My white picket fence life would have been rather dull, and a lot more lonely, and even dangerous.

My view of what I wanted and was going to get didn’t change until my early 20s. I met a man with a very similar set of impairments and needs to me. We also had the same sense of humour, taste in music, food preferences, and similar habits, and life experiences. We talked, all the time, and he understood everything I was saying (a new experience for me), and we took care of each other in all the ways care services don’t. We fell asleep watching movies together, sang duets, ate curry, and just enjoyed every moment we were together. He was a joker, making me laugh so hard I spat tea out of my nose. I was relaxed and free. He was an artist, and an activist, and quickly became the centre of my future plans. I imagined a cute little bungalow, with a couple of carers and a couple of cats. I would work in an office and he’d paint and we’d take care of each other and laugh and sing, forever. And then, due to clinical negligence, he died.

Much of what I’ve done since then is about building a world where this could have been. Arguing with medical professionals to improve standards of care based on knowledge discovered long before I was born, but somehow not yet implemented. Basic access to essentials like housing and care. I even ended up in his job role at one point. Making sure I do things that he would have been proud of, would have
made him laugh, and cheer, and sing. Making sure I sing.

And so I moved out of my parents’ house on my own. I’ve done things I never thought I could, made friends (which wasn’t something that came naturally to me). He left me alone with the tools to be not alone, and to deal with the world alone with the tools to deal with it, and to find my own way alone with the tools to find my own way.

Why am I writing in a feminist newsletter about a man? Because he’s a part of my story that led me to a world not dependent on men, or anyone else, to choose my path, but myself. He had confidence in me and my skills and passions that others around me didn’t at that time, and encouraged that confidence in me. That shouldn’t be rare, and it is precious. I wish that for everyone, and have met so many women who need it. I try to pass it on.

Since then, I have met others who share in that confidence, and who have kept me afloat. I have also met people who believe the opposite, that I’m incapable and ugly and worthless and unlovable and unhappy. Sadly, many of these people have been women, pushing others down to make themselves feel lifted up.

What I’d like my future to be like now looks very different. Whether I’m single, have a partner, or am married, I want to be doing something I enjoy. Monotony, predictability, and following the fairytale are not for me. Desperately trying to keep up whilst pushing my joy down and having it crushed by others can get in the bin. I want those around me to give me confidence and to be able to do that for others. I want to be so proud of me, you, and our community that I start singing. I want to spit tea out of my nose again. And I want to build where this can be.

– Anonymous

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