I hope you’ve had a stunning weekend, South Africa observes Human Rights Day today, somehow this day and its meaning has changed and grown over the years, which means, the day remained intense in energy.
The day commemorates the lives lost in the struggle for Freedom from the apartheid government, the protesting for the rights to be treated equally, and recognized as humans too.. a world wide thing..
In my exploration of the intensity was access, shared in 2 parts - socialization and protesting,
Part 1, Socialization
I capture words and keep them in my head until my head is done with the process of understanding… this can go on for weeks, like the word Freedom, and how it’s meaning is different depending on who you are, where you come from and if your lineage has ever been oppressed... and then, the age factor, that challenges how freedom is consumed...
In the many circles of storytelling around encounters with the ocean and human normatives... is the constant… how BIPOC skin requires constant explaining for why it is here, where it is from, sometimes attached to suspicion of poaching... and then the hair that grows from this particular kind of skin.
Never not needing to explain to those who assume themselves the norm...
The danger of normatives is its close relation to Power. Perhaps how that Power is used. Normatives created by who makes the largest populous in said space, which makes that people, a dominant, in this dominance an extension to being authority.
On one of our sunrise dives, as we stood after our dive, a gent made a comment of ‘us being the noisy ones’, later we spoke of how the word noise is also subjective…
Noise was an irritation to the dominant, the social norm, but the same noise was indicative of a celebration to us, life… energy.
... Who you are, where you come from and if your lineage encountered the stripping of yours for the taking of theirs... wrapped in inferences of civilized.
And then age.
Part 2, Protesting
Not too long ago, we had surfers on the beaches mid lockdown, protesting about how their rights had been violated because they cant surf. This protest, was protected.
And currently, students are protesting for education to be accessible to all, regardless of your background. This protest, is not protected, with one man killed - just the other day.
Peace then seems to be relative and through the lens of time, looks to fall on one without effort while the other is continuously the face of conflict.
History and its continuous mirror to the present day.
The word Freedom…
We need to constantly hold this word up to scrutiny, until its meaning is one, regardless of who you are, where you come from, or if your lineage has experienced oppression, and even then, the age factor.
As we honour the lives lost, for the fight fought so this reality and possibility could exist for BIPOC people too.
So our voices could matter too.
So our wings could learn to soar in the wind too.
... So this skin, this body, this hair and this voice can exist in a place where ‘nie blankes’ (non-white), was once its fate.
As I sat preparing for the week ahead, I pondered how, when the ocean must cleanse herself, she summons raging winds, muddies the waters, and makes endless waves that serve no one else, but her and her end (and maybe kite surfers).
And yet in the discussion of human cleansing, there are rules to how hard the wind must blow and for how long, and how the cleanse is a cleanse yes but can’t be too dirty because that would make those passing by uncomfortable… and so, residues of an incomplete cleanse continue to live in the circulation of humanity.
Minorities in Shark Science joined us on the live the past week, such an amazing conversation around representation and the need for this amazing organization! Listen here, and read more about this amazing organization below
Carlee Jackson will be joining us for the discussion, she is a co-founder and director of communications for Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), an organization founded by 4 Black woman shark scientists to uplift and increase diversity in shark science. She is a shark and sea turtle conservationist based in South Florida. Carlee’s research has focused on the effects of tourism on nurse sharks in Belize.
Have a stunner week friends!