Writing for liberation exercise: Powerful metaphors

Like everything with writing, creating powerful metaphors comes with lots of practice, and more hard work and crappy writing than most people are comfortable with. Metaphors are not spontaneous bursts of genius.

Honduran refugee: Writing helps me survive

Jorge Madrid is a Honduran activist whose opposition to current right-wing president Juan Orlando Hernández saw him receiving death threats and having to flee the country. He was also a student leader when then President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by a coup in 2009. He says the stealing of the elections in 2017 and direct... Continue Reading →

The Vivid Dangers of Our Indifference to a Hellish World

Obligatory apathy: We live in a society that despises any sign of caring about just how bad things are for most people. The planet is corroding and smoldering, and time and resources are going into nuclear weapons and sending humanity into its own carefully prepared hell. The unequal global economy is efficiently stimulating the starvation... Continue Reading →

Resistance words from Turkey

A Dead Sun - by Bejan Matur I peel night from the dead sun's flesh and like a scarf wrap it round my head The graves of children - by Bejan Matur So – we died. We flitted out of darkness. Beaches bore witness, as did the tiniest of stones. Night and stars streamed above us where... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: odd moments

It can be nice, and freeing, to move away from the typical (overused, cliche) plot points of murder, marriage, affairs, and winning, to just honing in on a single, strange moment. I like these moments because they are so humanising, and precisely because they can counter the Hollywood cliches about life and what is exciting... Continue Reading →

Writing exercise: Ghosts of injustice

Ghosts in stories tend to represent a single person - a child who died young or was killed, whose presence continues to haunt her family, the victims of a serial killer who haunt a house, a woman killed on a highway who scares passing drivers. For me, a non-believer in ghosts, I see these as... Continue Reading →

Activism is poetry is activism

Warsan Shire's poems are angry and they argue and rage and weep. As fighting poems should. A British poet, born to Somali parents in Kenya, Shire's poems have been read at rallies, and in homes and not-so-homes. She writes about people who are made invisible in society - often refugees, migrants, and other marginalised groups.... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: Madlib poem

The purpose of this exercise is to have some fun, play with those creative juices, and get them flowing for ideas to come. We're going to use someone else's poem though, so the product coming out of this obviously can't be used elsewhere: but in the process of doing this exercise or afterwards, who knows... Continue Reading →

Mexico’s revenge

Trump called the people here rapists. White people in the US think it's legit that Mexican migrants work there for less, doing the hardest work, with no rights. You know the story, but do you hear about the resistance to the narrative, to the demonisation and discrimination? Does the media tell you what Mexicans, and... Continue Reading →

For resistance writers, success can never be about sales

Ages ago in 1991, Sinead O'Conner refused to participate in the Grammies, because the music industry, "(has) created a great respect among artists for material gain - by honouring us and exalting us when we achieve it, ignoring for the most part those of us who have not." That is, in an industry oriented towards... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: opposites

Often talking about or thinking about opposites has a similar psychological effect to telling people not to think about something (they won't be able to help thinking about it). Here, I am suggesting you create (ie describe) a character that is the exact opposite of you-with all your complexity of faults, strengths, and strange habits.... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: lose cliches

Not only do cliches tend to reinforce the status quo and stereotypes, they are also pretty boring. Here is an exercise to practice doing without: 1) Chose a any word... eg love, old, sky.. 2) For the word, list the 6 most obvious associated words. Eg Love: romance, heart, couple, kiss, date .. Old: wrinkles,... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: who we write for

While without a doubt we often write for ourselves, our writing that we want to be read is speaking out to others with a message, fighting for a cause (even if that cause, in the case of conservatives, is to maintain the status quo). There is a lot of stuff out there about keeping your... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: understanding creativity

What is creativity? Let's do this exercise, then talk about it. Write a list of ten uses for a toothpick. Then, if you are working on a poem, article, story or even a drawing, write a list of ten alternate ways you could have done it, or ten alternate endings, or beginnings - whatever alternative... Continue Reading →

Mining scars: occupation continues (art)

Jacky Green wants people to know what the big mining companies are getting away with on his land - land that's far away from the eyes of the mainstream media and the dominant methods of communication. And that's how his art becomes resistance and gives voice to an unvoiced people and to a cause. Mining in... Continue Reading →

When the makers of your clothes sing

Six former or current Cambodian garment factory workers make up The Messenger Band, and they have much to sing about their working conditions and the state of the country. "Poor countries are kept in the dark,"  they sing. Through privatisation, the government has stolen everything from the people, and resold it, they sing. They sing... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: