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Lions Roar : March 2014
of color—taking up space in places they hadn’t taken space before publicly. Danc- ing and moving and being alive. Being sexual and being free and being beautiful and not being contained and not being oppressed and not being stopped and not having their energy distorted or muted or misinterpreted or tamed or undone. So how do we create spaces—through art, through energy, through writing, through discourse—where women can come into their bodies and their power? I look at those videos from India and Africa, where women were dancing for hours. You can see the energy that got unplugged from the gateways, which had been filled with trauma. To see them come into that aliveness gives me so much hope for the possibility of creating that in the future. bell hooks: But the reclamation of the body also has to be a place where we acknowledge that the body is just that, the body. Love begins with the body, but where do we take that love? The act of loving our bodies as women of color is itself an act of resistance and decoloni- zation. But then what do we do? Where dowego?Howdoweliveinaworldthat isn’t ready for us? I would suggest that we have to invent our own psychic cities of joy. We have to create spaces where we’re not looking for the dominant culture to validate us. As people of color, we know white suprem- acy exists, but we’re still looking to that world to give us affirmation. We don’t want to acknowledge that, as part of our liberation struggle, we may have to create other venues where there isn’t necessarily a lot of money to be had. So let’s think about the role of coop- eration in helping us create a solidarity of resistance that allows the colonizing pro- cess to be challenged, that lets decoloniza- tion be there every day in our lives. Decol- onization is a healing practice that has to be ongoing. They tell you in AA that your Top to bottom: South African actress and activist Andrea Dondolo; Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo; at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. PHOTOS(TOPTOBOTTOM):COURTESYOFTHEUKDEPARTMENTFORINTERNATIONALDEVELOPMENT;REUTERS/JANAASENBRENNEROVA;REUTERS/FABRIZIOBENSCH