Yesterday was a Thursday, which at Women’s Collective means Black Thursday. It is a tradition that has been around since the establishment of Women’s Collective in 1994. Every Thursday all staff wear black clothes to raise awareness and protest against violence against women. Black Thursday is inspired by a campaign during the 1991 Israeli/Palestinian confrontation when women from both countries took to the streets dressed in black. Together the women challenged the border and condemned the violence and war, a protest which later spread to women’s movements in other countries showing solidarity with the Israeli and Palestinian women. The long history of the campaign shows a stubbornness within Women’s Collective to continue to raise their voices and work for an equal and safe world for women, children and elderly and thus, for everyone.
As I have been buying only colourful clothes since arriving in India (there are just soo many to choose from) I did not have any black kurta or saree to wear (I was wearing blue – close enough I thought). However, I promised I would do better next Thursday! Sheelu on the picture is our supervisor and one of the founders of Women’s Collective (WC). Stella works as a counsellor for women through WC and lives in the flat below us and Reekha has worked at the office for nearly two weeks. In the picture below you see Charles who works with design and layout for WC.
In the last picture, Sheelu is sitting besides the WC office’s neighbour who comes to chit-chat with the staff and is also invited to eat at the office.
Tomorrow me and Sara are heading to a conference in Vellore and then we will spend a week out in the field. I will tell you later where exactly we will be stationed to observe and learn from one the of member organizations of WC! We will also be conducting our first interviews and be filming.
Also, we are responsible for the afternoon tea today and we have brought a fair amount of swedish sweets (Sara thought it would be fun to also bring some super salty liqorice, well we’ll see)! (;