My Body, My Protest: After Mon Laferte

In silence, I stand

Nipples bared and bowed

To the bravery of the stolen

Of the forgotten voices

Of the raped

Of the tortured

Of those killed in the name of freedom

 

I bare my body

I surrender this suit

I plaster truth

I carve it into the bones of me

Until the world hears

 

En Chile torturan violan y matan.

 

“In Chile they torture, rape and kill.”

Commentary: My Body, My Protest (After Mon Laferte)

The story behind the poem My Body, My Protest, begins with me stumbling into bed at 4:30am, slightly (or not so slightly) intoxicated after a night out dancing. I was doing the habitual scroll through my Instagram timeline when I came across an E! News post detailing the events occurring at the Latin Grammy’s. This is where I first saw Mon Laferte’s political red carpet protest moment, where she completely bares her chest to strategically raise awareness of the grotesque acts of police brutality taking place in Chile right now.

Chile is currently experiencing a season of political unrest as thousands exercise their political right to protest. Protesters are taking to the streets to express their fury at the establishment and are demanding social reforms to address the high levels of inequality the country is experiencing.

Here is a useful link for more details on what is happening/has happened in Chile during the protests:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-50512093?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c452lzylemmt/chile-protests&link_location=live-reporting-story 

In summary, 22 people have been killed as a result of excessive police force, while thousands have been seriously injured, tortured and/or sexually assaulted. These are absolutely abhorrent acts of injustice and I was profoundly moved by this whole situation, compelling me to write something about it then and there. I deeply admire Mon Laferte for using her platform to raise awareness of the human rights abuses that are happening all over the world. Mon Laferte reminded us all that our bodies are not merely sexual tools, they are powerful vessels – holding, giving and supporting life.

Here Mon Laferte chose to use her body to express a significant message. She utilised the power of the naked female form to highlight our human right to protest, to challenge norms, to shake systems, to change the world.

For Grenfell Tower Block

I am the tower

I am home

I am family

I am security

I am where safety should be

I am where you can let your guard down

Until…

 

Friction.

Two opposing forces cause a spark

Left in me because too many believe me to be

An eye sore,

The reason you clutch your purse tighter,

A reminder of the unattractive reality of poverty,

When you would much rather

Be left behind the veil of ignorance

Wealth gifts you.

 

So they give me a ten million pound paint job

To cover the cracks of financial inequality

Without actually dealing with the problem

– This becomes the fuel

To the fire left in me by the scornful eyes of the rich

By the powerful

Who measure worth by bank balances

They are the fuel to the fire that grows in me in the quiet, unsuspecting cover of night.

 

But, unfortunately, in this case

The fire is not a metaphor for love

The fire is not a metaphor for passion, for intensity, for purpose, for pleasure.

The fire is a fire

The fire is death

The fire is pain

The fire is destruction

The fire is neglect

The fire is the government, the biggest furnace of corruption

The fire is a life destroying entity

The fire is trauma

The fire is hate

The fire is what happens when we neglect social wounds; such as classism, racism and inequality

For so long

They begin to fester and persist.

 

For I am no more

No more am I the myriad of lives, loved ones, hopes and dreams that inhabited me.

I am now a derelict shadow

That will not be not be ignored, society.

 

Society is the ashes, in which the

Phoenix will rise.