Hi, I’m Hima Batavia - a writer, cultural producer, artist, and community organizer based in T’karonto and the great infinite. This newsletter is a space to write liberated futures into being. You can learn more about me, my social location, and this newsletter here.
The expanded occupation and dispossession of East Palestine and Gaza, and the violence against Palestinian peoples has been a 50+ year struggle. The current events are a continuation of this violent struggle - but with more platforms and political conciousness to amplify the current violent uprising, which was catalyzed by the expansion of settlements in Sheikh Jarrah and the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes. As a result, many are calling this a historic moment. For many people, the recent events have been a catalyst to learn the history of the struggle, and its interconnections with global struggles against imperialism, colonialism, capitalism and the ‘cleansing’ of Indigenous communities.
Solidarity in this moment is amplifying the struggle of Palestinian peoples, attending an action if you feel called to it, following folks reporting from the ground if you have the mental space, and grounding in how the roots of this struggle show up in the land you currently live on (as an Indigenous person or settler). We can’t escape from colonial and capitalist systems, because we live within them — but seeing them exactly for what they are is how we continue to dismantle them, because when they can no longer can fool you, they can’t oppress you.
Here are some questions to catalyze your reflections:
What are the state power dynamics of the Palestinian struggle, and how do these dynamics show up where I live?
How has the imperialist and colonialist tool of ethnic cleansing and occupation showed up where I live?
Who has the right to defend themselves and what is my point of view of what I believe is the ‘appropriate’ way a people’s can defend itself against violence and occupation of Indigenous land?
What are my feelings when I hear about the death of different ethnic and religious identities? Do I value these lives the same or is there a racial, class or religious bias in whose death is a tragedy?
Where and with whom do I have power and influence to have a discussion, ask folks to pay attention and bring awareness to how the struggle relates to the places we live and work?
Here are some folks on the ground + academics (s/o to Ciaran for the list):
Rally + Protest
The Palestinian Youth Movement is organizing a rally / protest @ Nathan Phillips Square for folks who live in Toronto on Saturday, May 15 @ 7pm. Details here.
Next week, artist, poet, city-builder, Parul Bansal and I, will be in conversation with a few other folks on shaping the narrative of diasporic futures. The diaspora has and continues to be shaped in relation or opposition to whiteness, but as our communities awaken, heal, divest and liberate themselves from white supremacy, what story do we want to tell about ourselves?
Performance Piece: Akanzyla and The Future of Women’s Work
Friday, June 25 @ 10:00am | Register Here
In case you missed it last week, I’m so thrilled share that I will be performing a 7-hour durational piece (virtually) that explores the Future of Women’s Work, presented by ATM, FromLater, and Myseum, as part of the 2021 Intersections Festival. The piece will be streaming all day and you can register for free to tune into a day in the life of an Indian climate refugee, living and working in T’karonto in 2050.
I shared a few weeks ago that I will be sharing a series of short audio experiences on sacred rage, which is a topic and practice that I’m passionate about as we cultivate the energy and imagination for sustainable activism and systems and culture change.
I recorded a few of the pieces, and it just isn’t fully there yet (aka I was like, ugh I’m not feeling this). I’m going to let it sit on a shelf for a few days and rethink the creative process, which who knows, may end up being a video, but I want to share that I appreciate this being a space where I can be vulnerable where I am at, announce things to help with personal accountability and creative pressure, and also slip up and fail a bit.