Today I participated in the Feminist Writers Festival Panel, ‘Writing Violence, Writing Change’. My co-panelists included crime writer, Tara Moss and academic, Jess Gleason. We spoke to many issues concerning how writing about violence can effect systemic change, the challenges writers face and where to next?
It was a robust conversation, moderated by Jess, also incorporating audience questions. Points raised concerned culpability of Writers in a #metoo era, media, reportage, activist/writer burnout and self care.
*retelling stories of violence to influence social change can be empowering and potentially re-traumatising. Often we want women to retell their trauma, not because we have amnesia, but because we are complacent. We need to pay attention.
*High culpability in the way the media frames their reaction to violence against women; humanising perpetrators and erasing victims narratives
*Burnout is real. As a collective, we can delegate roles. It should never be our burden to unpack other people’s misogyny or racism. Stop. Pace yourself and share the load
*and so much more…!
Congratulations to the team at #FWF including their many volunteers for such a thought provoking and engaging panel conversation. It highlighted to me the joy in witnessing brilliant women reclaiming agency in this sector, in tandem with the bleak reality of how much time and energy (mostly unpaid) we dedicate towards managing and eliminating, largely men’s violence against women and children. #feministwritersfestival #melbourne #makechangehappen #tasneemchopra #crossculturalconsultant