NO SPRING WITHOUT WOMEN
لا ربيع بدون نساء
Over the past year civilian protest across the Middle East has become known as the Arab Spring, Women have played a key role in leading the call for regime change. In countries such as Yemen women have emerged as prominent activists and found a voice. In February 2012 the ousting of the Yemeni president, after 33 years of authoritarian rule, has been more than a political revolution as it marks the beginning of a social revolution for women in a highly traditional society.
No Spring without Women explores Yemeni women’s response when government forces killed 25 protesters. The following day women spread a black cloth across the street in Sana’a and threw their makrama (full length veils) into a pile and set this ablaze. As the flames rose, they chanted: "Who protects Yemeni women from the crimes of the thugs?" Traditionally, the burning of cloth was a symbolic way of imploring fellow tribesman to protect them.
The film was originally created as part of a walk-in installation, exhibited in June 2012 at The Oxfordshire Creative Academy, Abingdon and Witney college – visit http://lizgascoigne.carbonmade.com for more images of this art work.
Liz Gascoigne worked in the remote rural areas of Yemen from 1981-86 and has returned several times more recently as a Social Development Adviser. Liz Gascoigne has followed social and political issues in the Yemen over the last 30 years; and this film is her tribute to the courageous women of Yemen.
YEMENI WOMEN CHANTING - TRANSLATIONS:
Leave, leave, leave - (Irhal) ارحل، ارحل، ارحل
People want the down fall of the Government (Ashaab yareed, “isqat annitham”) الشعب يريد اسقاط النظام
Heads of households (female) ربات البيوت
We will not be intimidated by the sound of gunfire لن يرهبنا صوت المدفع
With every martyr your oppression increases كلما زدنا شهيد طاغ عرشك
People fight tyrany الشعب يناضل طاغية