By Marina Wood
This week was super exciting because it included the first day of the Revolutionary Filmmaking Project, Guatemala, one of the most exciting parts being that I got to meet the students and the mentors who would be helping me. Me and the mentors met two hours before class to go over the day’s schedule and get to know each other. Olga, Paulina, Negli and my friend Emmi are my four mentors, all with diverse interests and experiences and all either are working on their master’s degrees or have them. Luckily Olga speaks good English so when I stumble on certain words I have help. When class started we began with a simple icebreaker and an introduction to MIA and the mentors. Though almost all of the students have been through at least half of MIA’s Hombres Contra Feminicidio campaign and understand gender, I always like to start with a shared definition. Olga facilitated a lively conversation about what gender is and we provided a definition: “The culturally specific presentation of masculinity or femininity.”
Our first activity was something called “Genderless Crush,” an activity we used at the Queer Resource Center of the Claremont Colleges. The activity is done in partners and each student takes turns describing someone they have a crush on without using gendered language or adjectives. The reasoning behind the activity is to understand just how gendered our language is as well as understand the heterosexual privilege of being able to talk about one’s love interest in public without fear. Then we talked more in depth about gender and learned the difference between gender, sex, gender identity, gender roles, gender attribution and gender expression.
Afterward we did the string exercise, an activity meant to teach the class about the importance of believing and supporting survivors of sexual assault. After that we introduced the basics of Feminist Film Theory and Revolutionary Film Theory. The last activities were centered around the idea of consent. We did three separate activities in which we had to tell someone not to touch us, ask someone if we can touch them, and determine at which point our personal space was violated.
We ended with reflections, questions, comments and homework assignment. The very last thing we did was each person had to say one positive thing either in general or about the day.
After the super duper exciting Saturday and after a very long and sleepless week of preparation, I decided to take my Sunday to the lake and visit a friend. It took a 20 minute taxi ride, a 3 hour long bus ride, a 5 minute long Tuk Tuk ride and a 10 minute boat ride to get there. On the way home the next day I just took one bus and one taxi, but I realized that its not too much of a vacation considering how much time and energy it takes to get there and back. Either way, it was very nice to get away.
Then on Wednesday I facilitated two classes on sexual harassment which went really well and on Thursday I facilitated three classes on healthy dating, all at the University of San Carlos. Though Yohanna, the co-facilitator for Thursdays wasn’t present, she previously invited me to go see live Trova music with her in zone 4 so I decided that I would go. I took a yellow cab and met up with her and her friend Luis and though I felt left out since the entire audience knew the words to most every song, I had a great time since I love live music and Trova is a beautiful genre since it is based on leftist politics.
On Friday I prepared for Saturday all day and then at night had a night out on the town with my friend Jenny. We also saw live music, but it was rock, and it was kinda cheesy but I guess her friend Ana was dating the guitarist. Tomorrow is going to be a blast with the Film Project because we are talking about sex.