Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Some snapshot images I want to remember.

Five white women on sofas reading bell hooks, sipping Fair Trade tea, and trying to get to grips with the message.

A group hear directly from sanctuary-seekers, including a woman from Zimbabwe who has started an African Women’s Empowerment Forum. The microphone is far from the table so I offer to click her powerpoint slides.

Nothing actually comes in totally opposing pairs: left and right have forward and back, peace and war have careful friendship and non-physical conflict, male and female have intersexed. The ability of some to move from one end of a spectrum to another does not automatically make the spectrum into a binary.

My shoes, my watch, my deodorant: things which belong to feminine me, and yet were sold as “men’s”.

Rejecting treatment is hard to do, when you’ve been told all your life that hospitals cure things. Sometimes, though, the treatment is worse than the disease, and it’s better to stop stressing and to take the medical professionals out of what should be your private life. Having turned down two courses of possible but not certain long-term treatment for a condition which only bothers me occasionally and has an acceptable cure-for-symptom which doesn’t involve anything invasive or causing myself pain every day, I feel like some of my agency has been restored.

A conversation with a friend about being annoyed with one’s body when it goes wrong reminds me that I let go of that a long time ago, when I have PVFS if not before. I don’t have energy for it.

Standing in the university corridor – polished wood-block floor, cream painted walls covered in boards covered in pinned-up papers, the slight hum of desktops behind closed office doors – and reading one of those papers. At the very top of the list (my name is early in the alphabet) the pass-list announces that I have a First Class degree.


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Just a quick thought, prompted by spending yesterday at Twycross zoo. My father, a zoology graduate, and I were taking our time, enjoying the sunshine, and reading the notices as well as looking in some detail at those animals which were of interest to us. However, in all the notices, we only saw one which mentioned evolution directly, and that was in the display of information about bonobos, one of the closest living relations of Homo sapiens and a speciality of Twycross zoo (they keep the only breeding colony of bonobos in the UK).

I was lead to postulate that for whatever reason, the net effect of a zoo which keeps animals in no specific order and with no evolutionary information is to give the impression that each species could have been created seperately, independently, each a single miracle. I’m sure that this is not the intended effect, and yet if the links between species are not routinely made, how can a zoo be contributing to the evidence for evolution rather than for creationism?

(Of course, zoos have other flaws as well. The animals rights debate is yet to be settled, though I only saw one animal in Twycross displaying classic ‘caged’ behaviour, a lion who was pacing a short area very repetatively. Furthermore, if this was your only source of information, you could easily have come away with the impression that the only things which live in Africa are exciting animals and bushmeat hunters.)

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