Women rais­ing their voices

Song and video high­light is­sue of vi­o­lence

StarMetro Halifax - - NEWS - Yvette d’en­tremont Metro | Hal­i­fax

A song and ac­com­pa­ny­ing video tack­ling the is­sue of vi­o­lence against women is mak­ing its de­but in Hal­i­fax this week.

The song is called Sis­ter­hood and the video is the final prod­uct of the Women Safe & Sound art project by the Mu­sic Lib­er­a­tory.

The project is a col­lab­o­ra­tion of about 70 women, pri­mar­ily women of colour. It makes its public de­but on Fri­day at the Bus Stop The­atre as part of the Pris­matic Arts Fes­ti­val.

The song cen­tres around one woman help­ing an­other es­cape a vi­o­lent do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion.

“It is done with po­etry and sub­tlety. It’s not over the head. We are proud of the mu­sic and we are proud of the sto­ry­telling and the im­ages in the film which are sub­tle and orig­i­nal,” ex­plained Ta­mar Dina, co­or­di­na­tor of the Women Safe & Sound project.

“It was an all-women col­lab­o­ra­tion. Men didn’t touch a thing in this. They didn’t help us set up any­thing, they didn’t do tech work. We wanted to make sure only women touched the project to main­tain in­de­pen­dence.”

Last year the Mu­sic Liber- atory hosted a se­ries of work­shops that at­tracted women of var­ied ages, races and back­grounds.

They de­vel­oped orig­i­nal song lyrics and helped cre­ate the ac­com­pa­ny­ing video to share the story. The end re­sult is a pro­fes­sional qual­ity prod­uct.

“The song is cre­ated by women for women. If you com­pare that to most mu­sic avail­able in main­stream and sub­cul­ture, women are pri­mar­ily talk­ing to men so this was redi­rect­ing who the au­di­ence was,” Dina said.

“It’s talk­ing to other women as equals, not com­ing from a po­si­tion of any type of author­ity. It’s just try­ing to main­tain and bring light to women’s re­la­tion­ships to each other.”

Af­ter the mu­sic video’s re­lease, Dina said they in­tend to do a “soft launch” of what they’re call­ing a ‘Sis­ter­hood cover me’ cam­paign.

They’re ask­ing artists to redo the song in their own genre and in their own way as long as they stay true to the lyrics.

“From this col­lab­o­ra­tive process, women def­i­nitely got com­mu­nity, con­fi­dence and the op­por­tu­nity to take their ex­pe­ri­ences and to make them into art. In the context of vi­o­lence against women, be­cause that’s what this song is about, there is very lit­tle re­course for a woman,” she said.

“Women are, for the most part, left deal­ing with the dam­age that a man has in­flicted on them. To be part of a cre­ative process is to take that ex­pe­ri­ence and trans­form it and to be in com­plete con­trol of that trans­for­ma­tion.”

The song is cre­ated by women for women. Ta­mar Dina


Ta­mar Dina is with the Mu­sic Lib­er­a­tory.

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