Envisioning Colors

“I wish I could do that,” I say, showing my boyfriend a makeup post on one of the various sites I used to waste my hours on.

“Then do it” he replies, “You can pull off anything.”

Yet, something holds me back.  Sitting in my squeaky computer chair, makeup products cluttered along my desk and arms, the voice in my mind asks me, “But what if I’m going to be judged?”  I stare into the mirror, talking myself out of playing with the colors I envisioned while my cat in the background navigates the mess just to get to her sleeping spot.  Continue Reading

Femicide

It’s the start of a new relationship,
I get ready for my date, hair in soft spirals,
lips stained red while the color upon my eyes are smoked,
body adorned by a sleek bodycon.

Love took over my mind, the insides of my body filled with floating butterflies,
He’s sophisticated, smart, and charming,
A man that wants to take care of me, wanting what is best for us,
It’s too good to be true.

Cracks start forming, another man emerges,
It’s my fault, I can’t do anything right,
Apologies aren’t enough, thoughts spinning in my head, telling me I’m crazy,
Suddenly, my skin is blemished with bruises, my face stained with tears.

I need to get out, but no one will help me,
After filing several complaints, police won’t help me,
I can’t get out and soon it will be too late for me,
As I will be strangled by the cracked image of a man I thought I loved.

I would be alive today if I was listened to,
Now I am just another number among the women killed before me,
For I have died by femicide, murder committed by my partner,
But there is an outcry for us, activists rallying for a change.

Posters littered amongst the walls under tunnels,
An image of me, the woman I once was,
Displaying the reality of domestic violence,
With the intent of making women before me, victims of femicide, visible.

Written by Taylor Hamilton | Photo by Jean-Luc Mounier 

Education as Creative Freedom

Jenny Stamps self-portrait

My proudest day of school was the day I dropped out. That was the day I declared my learning autonomy; the day I took direct action to occupy my education. I have Sierra College to thank for reigniting my passion for exploration and desire to learn. When I first graduated high school, college was the last thing on my mind. The busy work and pressures of public school had rid me of any interest in further studies. To me, school was a prison. Perhaps I felt that way because I had something to compare it to.
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