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Building circles of kinship. Ardath Whynacht at the Women’s March rally in Halifax

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Wise words spoken by Ardath Whynacht at yesterday’s Women’s March in Halifax.

The poet Martín Espada writes that Rebellion is the circle of a lover’s hand, and I have been thinking a lot about what it is going to take to withstand the dark times ahead of us.

Ardath Whynacht. Photo by Foundry Photography

I think we need to stop thinking only in terms of allyship and think also in terms of kinship. How the spaces between us can be spaces in which speaking builds structures that will help us withstand exhaustion, how it feels to be broke all the time, the depression of feeling like you’re moving backwards, the ways in which we are hard on ourselves when we need our best day and we feel exhausted, when we don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

We need not only action, but we need intentional inaction and spaces for care.

To make these intentional communities of care will take some really honest conversations about how we re doing today. I want to challenge all of us to start giving really honest answers when asked how we are doing today.

I think about allyship as the people who continue to ask honest questions about how we’re doing today. Because rebellion is indeed the circle of a lover’s hand. If we admit that the structures of state violence tend to replicate themselves in the ways we treat each other, than we need to turn that backwards and treat each other better, so that the structures of state violence will fall because we no longer submit to them.

In terms of building intentional kinship spaces, helping each other with our mental health, we also need to be aware of the inequalities in emotional labour and have more and better conversations about the ways emotional labour is divided in our families , our workplaces and in our movement.

That has to begin with the kids, and also with our elders. Changing patterns of relating with our family members  who we have known for a long time, is going to be really hard but it is also really rewarding

So let’s think about Martín Espada’s rebellion as the circle of a lover’s hand.`

Edited for clarity

Check out the wonderful photos posted on Facebook by Foundry Photography.

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