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.”
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.
Tonight we dance.
With Electrified bodies
With minds floating far from concerns,
Tonight we riot.
All leather skirts and red lips to the ready
We use our fashion to scream at convention
At the uniform
At the mundane business of the working.
For tonight is Saturday
Every hour of this night is our own.
So let us lavish in laughter, in dancing and gin
As we brace ourselves for the week to begin.
Called by the knowing
The inner whisper from
To a timezone
Where seconds melt away
And potential burns through
That follows one passing phase
With all of life
Brimming and bubbling in the bones of you
Here births the realised dream
The magnetised pull
To the future you
That is already fulfilled
Already the dazzling wonder
You feel so vividly in the distance
One you are with this dream
And all future yous
In the present
In those brief absences
Of my lips knowing another,
My mind dances around the memory of you.
When looking back, my mind recreates you.
You are stronger, taller, innately sensitive,
With eyes that can transcend the physical.
You are quintessential
Enough to make reality; unfulfilling.
But in truth,
You were just a whisper
Of something greater still to come.
Yet, in those absences
When the closest thing to my desires
Is in your inadequate memory,
I curse my fickle heart
For the sweet deceits it spews
And for enjoying the memory & image of you.