Kinesis

Kinesis May 1, 1993

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 SP«=ial Co]Iecti0ns s^ia,  may 1993 Women In Focus no more...pL4       cmpa $2.25 KINESIS  #301-1720 Grant Street  Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6  Tel: (604)255-5499  Fax:(604)255-5511  Kinesis welcomes volunteers to work on  all aspects of the paper. Our next  Writers' Meeting is May 4 for the June  issue at 7 pm at Kinesis. All women  welcome even if you don't have  experience.  Kinesis is published ten times a year by  the Vancouver Status of Women. Its  objectives are to be a non-sectarian  feminist voice for women and to work  actively for social change, specifically  combatting sexism, racism,classism,  homophobia, ableism, and imperialism  Views expressed in Kinesis are those of  the writer and do not necessarily reflect  VSW policy. All unsigned material is the  responsibility of the Kinesis Editorial  Board.  EDITORIAL BOARD  Shannon e. Ash, Lissa Geller,  Fatima Jaffer, Anne Jew, Sur Mehat,  Kathleen Oliver, Gladys We  PRODUCTION THIS ISSUE  Winnifred Tovey, Faith Jones, Shannon  e. Ash, Kathleen Oliver, Agnes Huang,  Fatima Jaffer, Lynne Wanyeki, Gladys  We, Diane Dupuis, Dorothy Elias,  Carolyn Delheij-Joyce, Sarah Evans,  Theresa Beer, Katherine Miller, Lisa  Marr, Lea Ord, Asria Ord, Anjula  Gogia, Tien, Frances Suski, Cathy  Stonehouse, Carla Maftechuk  Advertising: Cynthia Low  Circulation:Cat L'Hirondelle, Jennifer  Johnstone, Tory Johnstone  Distribution: Yee Jim  Production Co-ordinator: Anne Jew  Typesetter: Sur Mehat  FRONT COVER  Photo of Sunera Thobani  by S. Howard  PRESS DATE  April 27, 1993  SUBSCRIPTIONS  lndividual:$20 per year (+$1.40 GST)  or what you can afford  Institutions/Groups:  $45 per year (+$3.15 GST)  VSW Membership (includes 1 year  Kinesis subscription):  $30 per year (+$1.40 GST)  SUBMISSIONS  Women and girls are welcome to make  submissions. We reserve the right to  edit and submission does not guarantee  publication. If possible, submissions  should be typed, double spaced and  must be signed and include an address,  telephone number and SASE. Kinesis  does not accept poetry or fiction.  Editorial guidelines are available upon  DEADLINES  All submissions must be received in the  month preceding publication. Note: Jul/  Aug and Dec/Jan are double issues.  Features and reviews: 10th  News: 15th  Letters and Bulletin Board: 18th  Display advertising  (camera ready): 18th  (design required): 16th  Kinesis is produced on a Warner  Doppler PC using WordPerfect 5.1,  PageMaker 4.0 and an NEC laser  printer. Camera work by The Peak.  Printing by Web Press Graphics.  Kinesis is indexed in the Canadian  Women's Periodicals Index,  the Alternative Press Index and is a  member of the Canadian Magazine  PublishersAssociation.  ISSN 0317-9095  Second class mail #6426  News  New NAC president: Sunera Thobani 3  by Anjula Gogia  Vancouver loses Women in Focus 4  by Larissa Lai  BC budget plays it safe 5  by Faith Jones  Features  Thobani interview: And here's....Sunera! 9  as told to Fatima Jaffer and Anjula Gogia  Women's press makes herstory 10  by Lynn Giraud and Sheila Gilhooly  Conference for Indigenous people in the arts 14  by Lynne Wanyeki  Centrespread  Desh Pardesh: Festival of South Asian culture in the West .  by Sur Mehat, Farah, Urvashi Vaid, Shani Mootoo,  Regina Fernando and jam. ismail  Next president of NAC Sunera Thobani 3  Arts  Performance review and interview: Mary Medusa 15  by Kathleen Oliver  Film and lecture review: Looking Like Dykes 16  by Alice Swift  Journal review: SamiYoni 17  by Sur Mehat  Review: Musical performance by Lee Pui Ming 18  by Laiwan  Regulars  As Kinesis Goes to Press 2  Inside Kinesis 2  Movement Matters 6  by Anne Jew  What's News 7  by Lissa Geller  Letters 20  Bulletin Board 21  compiled by Theresa Beer  Photographers, see your  work in black andT  Call 255*5499  white  Looking for volunteer  women to teach  PageMaker 4.0 and/or  WordPerfect 5.1  for Windows  Please leave message  for Anne at 255*5499  Shawna Dempsey in Mary Medusa w^  s          t  ^No news would toe"  j  o          p    r    e    s  s  \8  o  e  It's been another crazee month and, horrors, it wasn't too different from the usual  scramble to get the paper out. .this means, stories fell through at the last minute—from a hardhitting interview with Clayoquot Sound activist Valerie Langer, to making the connections  between racism and foreign aid cuts, to looking at South Africa after the killing of Chris  Hani, to a report on NAFTA from Nicaragua, to...to... then there's all that late-breaking stuff,  that there isn't time to cover (the federal budget came out as we were going to press), gossip  we haven't heard yet, (but we jus' know we will tomorrow), and that conversation we  eavesdropped on last week...but what was it they were talkin' about...?  This means we'll be running these stories next issue...or the next, next issue...so much  to write, so little time, energy, resources...Speaking of which, we just heard that NAFTA IS  PROBABLY DEAD in the US. Before you celebrate, hang on...this is not confirmed as we go  to press. The story is that Ross Perot, the rich, independant wanna-be-president is spending  millions on a personal Anti-NAFTA campaign across the US. An aide close to Bill Clinton  says NAFTA is dead. We never believe those guys but...maybe, just maybe...  Speaking of teasers, first up for this month is that Big Bad Fed Budget...we don't know  much at this time but ....we heard Mazankowski sold his shoes the day he announced the  budget, instead of buying a new pair. We didn't get it either, so we asked. Turns out it's a  reference to finance-minister-stuff; they buy new shoes everytime they announce a budget...we  still don't get it. The only concrete info we have so far is...three-quarters of the $1 billion in  deficit reductions in the federal budget for the upcoming year will come from delaying  payment of next January's planned GST credit to low-income earners until April.  Translated, that means don't count on getting a GST cheque in the mail in January '94.  So then we thought about the other nice things that are happening right now, like about  that Big Bad NAC president-to-be, Sunera Thobani. Actually, we think it's great news  and...but she's certainly 'Bad,' according to folks. There's been an incredible backlash over  her status—is she Canadian, landed...or, the racist thing they're saying about her, gasp, an  "illegal immigrant" [for more on this, page 3]... the phones have been ringing, people are calling  in and saying she should be, well, no, not lynched, and yeah, OK, so she's not "illegal" but,  couldn't we have a real Canadian as president?  What's a real Canadian? we ask.  Well, seems like they've got a problem with an immigrant woman heading a national  feminist organisation and..."Judy Rebick is a what? Judy Rebick is, gasp, a self-confessed  American?"...except she's a Canadian citizen now so...but, funny, no one asked her about  whether she was an immigrant during the referendum on amendments to the Canadian  constitution. Hey, now that's...scary.  Anyway, point is, write a letter to the MP (John McDougall, PC-Timiskaming) and let  him know what a @#$%! he is. And write to Brian and Mary Collins and anyone else you can  think of. It's free. Things to note are: John M. says he got his info in a brown-paper envelope  slipped under his door—there has to be a public enquiry about how that into got there. Why  did John M. raise it on the floor of the House of Commons without bothering to check if the  info was true? Is he really that stupid? Don't answer that one.  Meanwhile, if you know someone who's really mad at some immigrant woman running  for national office in this country, don't tell her to call us—we're real mad too...hey, don't  people know it's against the law to discriminate against immigrants...? Anyway, we think  it's the most fitting thing for a national feminist organisation to have an immigrant woman  as Pres. Think about it.  Another question: what do provincial governments think about when they're drafting  up budgets? No, not deficits. No, not their asses. No, not new shoes. Actually, it's a real  puzzle. If you know, call us. We're trying to figure out why the NDP government: in Ontario  cut refugees off free medical coverage? A cruel move, (we put it mildly,) coming on the tail  of the fed's new immigration act that essentially forces refugees onto welfare (under the act,  it's illegal for them to work).  April was a bad month in lots of ways.. .Cesar Chavez, who organised the Farmworkers  Union in the US, died. Also last month: the assassination of Chris Hani of the Communist  Party of South Africa and the African National Congress (ANC). Later, Oliver Tambo, a co-  founder of the ANC, died in Johannesburg. Meanwhile, 300 women got together for the first  ANC Women's League conference, and struck some resolutions. One is to fight for 30  percent of the ANC's seats in upcoming elections to be occupied by women. We're hoping  to have more on this in an upcoming issue.  In all the coverage South Africa got over the last month, "appealing for calm" was  probably the most popular phrase. Sound familiar? It's used to undermine anti-racist  struggles against peoples of colour everywhere, from Palestine to Los Angeles. Yeah, the  Rodney King thing. Hey, things were calm. The other day we found a small story on yet  another person of colour (the term is Black in the UK) who was stabbed to death in  Greenwich, a southeast London, England suburb. It was the third racist killing by groups  of white youths in the area. The headline said "Police appeal for calm in killing of Black  student." Ring a bell? Oh, okay, let's be calm.  Speaking of calm, it's anything but outside abortion clinics across the country. Not that  it's ever been "easy" to go near a clinic without some anti-choicer getting very uncalm. The  Ontario government recently filed for a court injunction to ban anti-choice protests outside  abortion clinics, hospitals, doctors' homes and offices...after the news of this hit the streets,  three anti-choicers barred entrance to the Everywoman's Health Clinic in Vancouver for  five hours...legal charges will be laid, last time we heard, but we don't know what they will  be. Feminists are calling for a national injunction (versus individual injunctions for individual clinics) against anti-choice harassment. We'll bring you more on that later.  On a happier note, the March on Washington in the US drew huge crowds of lesbians  and gay men—the national daily in the US cites 300,000, while everyone else says 1 to 1.4  million. The high points—one intrepid Vancouverite who was there tells us—were the  numbers; the tremendous energy of the crowd; the large numbers of lesbians of colour; and  that it was a really hot, sunburning day. The low point was the big focus on the military—  "groups of gay men from the Marines, Air Force, Navy, etc. coming from all over the country,  the crowds cheering them on... Quote: It was scary.  A rumour: the final report by the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies will be out in June. It'll be Fact when it's out in print...in our hands... Another rumour:  that the Royal Commission is going to recommend sex selection for "family completion."  Fact: feminists working on the issue of NRTs have just formed the National Alliance on  NRTs and are working to address the impact NRTs will have on women/women of colour.  Rumour/Fact: feminist activists are going to have a busy summer.  Speaking of which, it's almost June—though sometimes it doesn't feel like it—and we've  got a few things for you to do if you're not booked up already [see Bulletin Board]. A last  minute addition is the June 5th fundraising dance by the Committee for Domestic  Workers' and Caregivers' Rights from 8 pm to 1 am at the Mount Pleasant Community  Centre, 3161 Ontario Street, $8 per person and for info call Cora at 874-4306.  Just as we thought we were done, we heard NAC launched its national childcare  campaign today. And at the same time, in parliament today, the Tories finally introduced  their legislation on stalking. Guess you'll be picking us up next month to find out more...?!  ^Thanks  Our thanks to Vancouver Status of Women members who support us year 'round with  memberships and donations. Our appreciation to the following supporters who became  members, renewed their memberships or donated to VSW in March:  V. Comensoli • Carolyn Delhey-Joyce • Val Embree • Sima Farhoudi • K. Heinrich •  Beverlee Hubler • Catherine Kerr • Dorothy Kidd • W. Krayenhoff • Sheila McFadzean •  Daya Mcintosh • Anne Miles • Rebecca Raby • Antoinette Warren  We would also like to take a moment to thank our office volunteers who have helped us  through the past few months by answering the referral line and dealing with the chaos: Olivia  Anderson • Elizabeth Kendall • Karen Mahoney • Shamsah Mohamed  In Vancouver spring has sprung, the  roads are pink with flower petals, and it's  still raining, just like it was last issue. However we're pleased to report that no one is  leaving Kinesis this month (although who  knows how many want to.)  But we're happy to welcome Lizzie,  oops, we mean Cynthia Low, a potter who's  been in the feminist community for a long  time. She's also organized a number of local  events and benefits as well as promoted  several international and local artists. We're  glad that she's agreed to work with the  unpredictable schedules and the incredibly  bodacious gals at Kinesis as our new advertising co-ordinator. She'll be out and about  selling ad space, which is so cheap you'll  think you're dreaming!  Also new on board is frequent volunteer Yee Jim as the distribution co-ordinator.  She'll be bombing around town in a borrowed car (which may be yours) spreading  the feminist word! Yee, if you get a parking  or speeding ticket the best thing to do is tear  it up, but don't tell anyone we told you that.  Anyway, we'll deny it. Better tear this paper  up too.  We have one new writer this issue.  Anne Jew, our production co-ordinator for  the past year (She just yelled across the  room, "It seems more like ten!"), got tired of  waiting around for Movement Matters and  decided to write it herself.  Our new production volunteers, those  brave souls, were the mother and daughter  team of Lea and Asrai Ord. Lea has also  offered to sort our disastrous and now legendary photo file. E.g. "I need archival photos of Press Gang." "Try under miscellaneous." "Oh, yeah, here they are."  And thanks to the Press Gang Printers  Benefit for the yum my leftover desserts which  weconsumedlikevacuumsoversand. We're  still riding off the sugar high!  Other Kinesis news includes our  upcoming benefit in June, guaranteed to  dazzle you like no other benefit for a nonprofit organization desperately in need of  money can. So far our line-up of fabulous  feminist acts includes the always witty and  stimulating band cub, featuring Kinesis volunteer Lisa Marr and raffle prize donator  Robin Iwata, fresh (or dead tired) from their  cross Canada tour; the bound-to-be-explosive combination of singer/Kinesis volunteer Kathy March and guitarist/video  game wizard/VSW community programmer Miche Hill; the not as explosive, but  equally entertaining pairing of our prod co /  beginning guitarist Anne Jew and typesetter/assistant Sur Mehat with an inspiring  sing-a-long, although right now their repertoire only includes Four Strong Winds and  portions of various Beatles' songs so you  might want to take a pee break at that time;  and arts writer/ ed boarder/ more accomplished guitarist Kathleen Oliver, perhaps  playing her oft-requested country rendition  of Stairway to Heaven.  Our marvellous mistress of ceremonies  Cynthia Low, will also delight you with her  unpredictable antics. Oh, wait, maybe we  should have told her that was part of her job  description. We're also planning our version of Star Trek, complete with collective  committee on the command deck, which  will last 3-4 hours and separate into several  caucuses by the end. Oops, have we given  away too much? Of course, we do need  volunteers for this event, for everything from  food to (fanfare!) selling raffle tickets! If  you'd like to donate a prize, we'd also be  happy to talk to you and give you a tax  deductible receipt. Call Anne at 255-5499.  Other volunteer activities include the  (always fascinating) world of production  weekends. Learn how to unjam the waxer!  Find out about the fascinating world of exacto  blades (especially when you drop them on  the floor by your feet and Anne sees you  doing it!) Find out what happens when Anne  sees you near the final flats with a pen! Find  out what all of this means! We also have  brand new volunteer feedback forms to get  your reactions to the volunteer process at  Kinesis—what you'd like to see, what you  don't want to see—we'd like to hear itall and  promise not to cry.  We also ahvays need writers, so if you've  got a great story idea that you've been wanting to put to paper or want to see something  that we're not covering, call Fatima at 255-  5499. She would love to hear from you.  Well, until next time, have a good month  of May, thanks for reading the paper and for  all the support. We really appreciate it. News  From Rebick to Thobani:  NAC gets new head  by Anjula Gogia  Women across the country celebrated  when it was announced that BC-based South  Asian activist Sunera Thobani is to be the  next president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC).  Thobani's two-year term asPresidentof NAC  comes into effect on June 7 at NAC's Annual  General Meeting, when she will take over  the post from Judy Rebick.  The news was announced one day after  the deadline for nominations for executive  positions. Like most past presidents of NAC,  Thobani will be elected president by acclamation. NAC isa feminist organization with  a membership of about 550 women's  groups—or three million women—across  Canada. Rebick, the organization's first full-  "Her insistence that  women of colour voices  be heard, that their  issues be front and  centre, and her  persistence, are  responsible for the  maturity of the abortion  rights movement in BC  today."  —Joy Thompson  time, paid president, is stepping down after  three years at NAC's helm.  Thobani has been a NAC executive  board member for the past two years, where  she chaired the reproductive technologies  and violence against women committees.  She has also been actively involved in the  grassroots women's movement in Vancouver, is a founding member of the South  Asian Women's Action Network (SAWAN),  and sits on the coordinating collective of the  Vancouver Status of Women (VSW), which  nominated Thobani for the position.  Thobani is the first woman from BC to  head the national women's organization.  Vancouver-based feminist historian Frances  Wasserlein says it's an important recognition for the women's movement in BC. "Over  the years, BC feminists and activists have  been making strong statements to NAC to  take care of women outside Central Canada.  Political life in BC is different, and women in  BC have a different view of things than in  central Canada," says Wasserlein. "Sunera's  presidency will bring those concerns to the  forefront and get them attended to. It's an  exciting time."  Part of Thobani's vision for NAC is to  strengthen it at the regional level, and to  make NAC more accountable to its membership. "We need to note that Canada is a  much bigger country than just Toronto—or  Ontario and Ottawa," says Thobani.  She adds that, while there has been a  large BC presence on the board of NAC for  some time—at least four of an executive of  23 are from BC—it is important that the most  powerful position within the organization  be held by a woman from BC, and particularly, by a woman of colour from BC.  Joy Thompson of the BC Coalition for  Abortion Clinics (BCCAC) agrees. "The abortion rights movement in the past had viewed  abortion as a woman's personal control over  her body. Sunera's involvement in the  BCCAC created a whole new understanding  of community and collective reproductive  rights for women. Her insistence that women  of colour voices be heard, that their issues be  "It's important to realize this is not an  individual achievement, but is very much  part of a new political thinking in the women's movement," says Khosla.  Many are predicting that, with Thobani  as president, groups that have been reluctant to work with NAC will now become  members. Raminder Dosanjh of the India  Mahila Association (IMA) says the IMA,  which works on issues of violence against  South Asian women in Vancouver, has not  Sunera Thobani  front and centre, and her persistence, are  responsible for the maturity of the abortion  rights movement in BC today," says  Thompson.  Cenen Bagen, from the Committee for  Domestic Workers and Caregivers (CDWC),  says she believes Thobani's appointment  will give NAC's regionalization process an  added push. "It will make constructive links  between the West and the East of Canada."  However, Mutriba Din at the Calgary  Status of Women says Thobani's appointment is only one of the things that has to  happen to ensure a stronger regional base  for NAC. "It's a good direction, because this  has been one of NAC's weaknesses," says  Din. "But we need a paid position in the  regions, because it's difficult for women to  be completely active because of limited time  and energy."  There had been a resolution at NAC's  AGM last year that called for a paid NAC  field worker to coordinate regional activities, but the membership opted instead for a  full-time Ottawa-based staff person.  Thobani is also the first woman of colour president of NAC. "We think that it is  high time that a woman of colour be president of a national organization like this,"  says Miche Hill of VSW. NAC has been  traditionally viewed as white and middle  class.  "This is absolutely vital for women's  organizations all across Canada," says Hill.  After hearing that Thobani was planning to  run for the NAC presidency, Hill decided to  seek a seat on the NAC executive as member  at large.  In Toronto, community activist Punam  Khosla says she sees Thobani's presidency  as a reflection of "the fact that the key leadership in the women's movement in this  country is coming from feminists of colour.  previously joined NAC because, "we've  never been approached. There has really  been no connection between [NAC's] work  and ours."  The IMA will be considering joining  NAC because they have been approached  by Thobani and other women of colour active in NAC. "Sunera encouraged us to participate in the round-table discussion on  violence against women last year, and we  felt good about that. If she's able to bring  more women of colour into NAC, that's  what will make it more accountable."  Dosanjh says she hopes Thobani maintains her comm itment to working with grassroots organizations in various communities,  like the IMA and SAWAN. "That contact is  important," she says.  Meanwhile, the media's response to the  announcement of Thobani's acclamation  mainly focuses attention on the fact that she  is a woman of colour. "It wasn't well presented in the newspapers. Her qualifications  should have been up front," says Noga Gayle  of the Congress of Black Women.  Bagen of CDWC agrees. She says the  media has "down-played" Thobani's contributions, her role in NAC and her qualifications, and "that's being racist. Thobani did  earn that position. Itwasn'tasif white women  handed it to her." Bagen is referring to stories in the media that have set Rebick up as  being solely responsible for Thobani's presidency.  However, Khosla says that's the media's interpretation and not one that many in  the women's movement hold. "There's no  question that Judy Rebick's presidency had  an enormous positive and progressive impact on bringing labour feminists, feminists  of colour and Aboriginal feminists into the  central decision-ma king processes of NAC,"  says Khosla.  "[Rebick] is a woman who's stuck her  neck out for her principles, and she deserves  credit for her courage in learning to change  not only her own perspective but the perspective of the women's movement."  Dionne Brand, an Ontario-based Black  writer and activist, says Thobani's presidency ultimately comes as a result of the  work women of colour have done in the  women's movement in Canada, in terms of  race. "It's a watershed for women of  colour...and I am confident she will bring a  clear perspective of all the issues to the job."  Thobani's presidency also comes at a  time of increased backlash against people of  colour in Canada, Brand points out. "She has  come at a point where the mood against  people of colour is really grim. It's a hard  time to be in front out there."  That racist backlash hit the floor of the  House of Commons a mere two days after  Thobani's presidency was announced when  a Tory MP, John McDougall, questioned the  Deputy Prime Minister about why the government funds an organization that has just  elected an "illegal immigrant" as its president. McDougall claimed he received information about Thobani's immigration status  in a brown envelope. Thobani, who is not an  illegal immigrant, responded to the attack at  a press conference held the same day: "It's a  racist, deplorable attack, clearly meant to  undermine my incoming presidency...to  undermine NAC under my leadership,  and...to undermine the women's movement  in this country...This is going to have a chilling effect on other immigrant women who  choose to seek national office."  "It's a watershed for  women of colour...and I  am confident she will  bring a clear perspective  of all the issues to the  job."  —Dionne Brand  Thobani is now a landed immigrant,  but was in Canada on a student visa for four  years.  Since then, racist attacks on Thobani  have continued. VSW has received numerous calls complaining about the fact that  Thobani is "only an immigrant, and not a  Canadian citizen" and shouldn't be head of  NAC.  Says Jennifer Johnstone of VSW: "We're  asking the callers to call NAC with their  opinions if they are members of NAC, and  reminding all callers it's against the law in  this country to discriminate against immigrants."  Rebick has since been quoted in the  mainstream media as saying she was never  questioned on whether she was Canadian  throughout her presidency. Rebick is American-born, but is now a Canadian citizen.  The attacks are an indication of the uphill battle Thobani will face as the leading  figure in the country's largest feminist organization.  Anjula Gogia lives in Vancouver, and, like  Sunera Thobani, will miss the mountains  and her friends when she moves to Toronto  later this year.  MAY 1993 News  Feminist art centre closes:  Vancouver  loses Focus  by Larissa Lai  Vancouver's only feminist, community-  run art gallery and video/film distribution  centre has ceased operation. After nineteen  years, Women in Focus (WIF) succumbed to  financial pressures and burn-out, and closed  down its office and gallery space.  The decision to close was made at a  membership meeting on April 26, after the  Canada Council did not renew its funding to  the WIF's distribution side. The organization was already $30,000 in debt, and sources  of operating funds have dried up in recent  years. All members of the board resigned to  avoid being held personally liable for the  organization's debt.  "It's not a forgiving economic climate,"  former board member Lorna Boschman said.  While it may have been technically feasible  to drum up funding to continue the organization, morale and community commitment  have bottomed out, says Boschman.  Although the Canada Council grant for  distribution amounted to only about 20 percent of WIF's budget last year, Boschman  says it's a crucial percentage because it enables the organization to earn more money  through rentals of films and videos.  Susan Ditta, Head of the Media Arts  Department of the Canada Council cited  Council's own 10 percent cutback from the  federal government and lack of strength in  WIF's proposal as reasons for WIF's loss of  distribution funding. Decisions over who  gets Canada Council funding are made by  juries, made up of individuals with expertise in the competition field, and selected to  ensure representation on the basis of gender,  race and media.  "WIF's application was looked at seriously in a national context," says Susan Ditta  of the Media Arts branch of the Canada  Council. "You have to remember that it's the  Canada Council/or theArts.[ WIF was] looked  at as a distribution house first."  She adds that WIF's mandate as a women's organization was taken into account,  but it was not the primary focus of the  competition.  After the Board resigned, WIF was told  by the Visual Arts branch of the Canada  wa.Qk, kcmih&ocmyv, Iff \)icu job^t iwid to  trie- 'wkt aw) cPose- to \k& vwocp. Com kefox  cwrj. £MJoq.cWcwm happidii u)e5corvi£/!  §SS~70/rvAt (udWgs good bwkktfit)  u(g-10tuomy0  CHEAP ADS  255-5499   Council that its application for gallery funding had been approved. However, the funding was granted in confidence to the board  which had applied for it. Because the board  has disbanded, that grant is lost.  Boschman points out that, even had  they known they would get the funding, the  outcome would have been no different.  "$20,000 will not even cover the rent and  basic needs like photocopying for a year,"  she says. Rent of their Beatty Street gallery  alone costs them $2000 per month.  Ex-board member Kim Blain says that  one of the most unfortunate things about the  closure of WIF is having to lay off a  new distribution coordinator, Margaret  Gallagher, whom they had just hired.  Before resigning, however, board members made sure that no member will be held  financially liable for the organization's debts.  They moved the assets of the organization  out of the Beatty Street location to avoid  more debts in the form of rent owing. These  assets have been inventoried and stored to  avoid misplacement, which has been a problem in the past.  As stated in the contracts between WIF  and individual producers, the film and video  collection does not technically belong to WIF.  They are on loan from the producers. Thus,  creditors cannot consider them assets of WIF  and repossess them.  The distribution centre at WIF is gone  for good. However, the videotapes will be  available a t Video Out, and the films either at  Video Out or Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution West. Both are Vancouver-based distribution houses.  "It's not over until it's really over," says  Ditta. "There is nothing to stop them from  applying for funding next year. Council is  responsive to the needs of artists. It's a question of whether they want to wear their  [funding] history as a burden or as a badge."  If, however, WIF members decide at some  future date to set up a new organization,  they will have to go through the Explorations program in the first year, before they  can be eligible to apply for operations funding for distribution.  If WIF goes down the tubes, Blain says  it will be difficult to start an entirely new  organization.  She remarks that it is difficult for  marginalized groups, who are just starting  up, to compete with well-established organizations tha t have been in existence for 10  or 20 years. Recent cuts to Council and the  threat of merging it with the Social Sciences  and Humanities Research Council, make  competition stiffer than ever.  "That," says Blain, "is racism and sexism that's really well built into the system.  That is what we need to challenge."  EI A Book About Menopause  Q  50 pages of complete and factual information on  menopause, including body changes, health  issues, sexuality in women's middle years. Deals  clearly with hormone therapy, pros and cons.  * All for only *4M *•  Published by The Montreal Health Press, a  women's collective producing quality books on  health and sexuality for 20 years! Send s400 to The  Montreal Health Press, C.P. 1000, Station Place  du Pare, Montreal, QC, Canada H2W 2N1, or  call 514-282-1171 for bulk rates.  El   »0% DISCOUNT WITH COPYOFTHISAD   f^j  by Sarah Evans  No Taste For Charity  About 120 people braved chill winds to participate in a rally against legislated  poverty in front of the VAG on April 15th. Demonstrators cheered as speakers  denounced the government for relying on band-aid solutions to poverty. The  rally, held as part of Hunger Awareness Week, featured Sandy Cameron from End  Legislative Poverty, Jennifer Fagan, a single mom who uses food banks, Gael  Marriotte, a handicapped low income advocate from Maple Ridge, Cecilia Diocsin  of the Philippine Women's Centre, and Jim Sinclair of the BC Fisheries Union.  After the speeches, protesters marched around the Hotel Vancouver where a  group called The Taste of Nations was holding a charity dinner for $85 a plate.  The demonstration, organized by End Legislative Poverty, centred around the  motto, "Put justice into hunger awareness."  "We were thinking at one point," Blain  continues, "of changing the name as a way  of starting with a clean slate. It seems silly in  a way but I think it's important to remember  that it was two completely different groups  of women who were caught up in the trouble with Sue Jenkins and those with Diana  Kemble. The problems are with the system  in which we live. Getting rid of WIF is not  going to make them go away."  Blain is referring to WIF racism-related  troubles since 1991, when its then Board  expropriated funds from the women of colour film and video society, InVisible Colours (IVC). After a legal battle that cost IVC  almost $20,000 [see Kinesis, Feb. 1992,] the  members of WIF finally managed to wrest  power from the hands of then director Sue  Jenkins and her appointees: Dorothy Tinkley  and Pat Martin. It was then that WIF issued  a public apology to IVC.  These events had barely a chance to fall  into the past, however, when WIF reopened  its gallery a year later with white artist Diana  Kemble's show, Memory's Body. Kemble's  depiction of brown-skinned women offended many members of the board and  gallery committee, particularly women of  colour. Many resigned [see Kinesis,Noi>.  1992]  "There is no question," says Blain, "that  the whole thing was poorly handled. There  should have been a panel to discuss the  problems, but it never happened." Many  white women also resigned. In support or in  fear? "People are afraid of the 'R' word.  They learn to say nothing, do nothing," says  Blain.  Her comments echo local artist Persimmon Blackbridge's remarks in a letter  to Kinesis following the IVC incident.  Blackbridge refers to "white flight...That's  when liberal white people try to disassociate  themselves from a white person who's been  criticized for racism, in order to 'prove' that  they themselves are not racists. This doesn't  fight racism. It usually ends up leaving people of colour to deal with stopping the racist  behaviour."  "The cuts from Council are extremely  unfortunate," says Blain, "because WIF is  the only women's distribution centre west of  the Rockies. When it's gone, we all lose." She  explains that in the past, WIF had a strong  position within the women's community, in  terms of distributing women's films and  videos, offering screenings, showcases, panels, workshops and educational materials.  "It's really important for us to look at  the bigger picture," says Blain, "and to remember who the enemy really is. Women's  organizations such as WIF become «  flashpoint for society's ills to manifest themselves ina big way, because we're so strapped  for money. The way the system is set up, we  all have to compete with each other. There's  too much work, and not enough people to  do it. Those that do the work are always  either un- or under-paid. When we're under  that kind of pressure, it's all too easy for the  racism that is present in Canadian society as  a whole to make itself apparent in a really  big way. This feeds right into the hands of  the tokenistic system. All they need to do is  wait."  Ex-board member Andrea Fatona says,  "Because we are political, when we see problems, we try to act on them. Unfortunately,  at WIF, people jumped too quickly, without  doing their homework, and the damage was  tremendous." She cautions against using the  same strategies that we use against the white  patriarchy against other women. "We have  to make more room."  Sur Mehat, one of the Gallery committee members who resigned over the Diana  Kemble show, is not unhappy to see WIF go.  "It's important to have organizations that  work," she says. "WIF never resolved their  internal problems. How could they be of use  to the community? It was a white girls'  organization. They didn't provide anything  positive for women of colour.  "When [women of colour] joined WIF,  the white women passed the responsibility  for doing their homework onto us. There  was something intrinsically wrong with the  structure. I was ashamed to be part of it."  Lorraine Chan, one of the co-founders  of In Visible Colours, says she feels sad that  it has come to this. "Even with all the stuff  that's happened, I still think it's real ly unfortunate."  Says Chan, "I have the greatest respect  for [ex-board member] Kim [Blain] and Lorna  [Boschman]. They are really committed. It's  too bad they couldn't make a go of it. It's a  grim situation for women film and video  makers."  Lan  a Lai also writes to her mother. News  The NDP in BC:  A play-it-safe budget  by Faith Jones  While the mainstream media barks frantically around the west-side-of-Vancouver's  "tax revolt," progressives are quietly organizing their responses to the 1993 provincial  budget.  "We'd like to see that kind of fast action  when we say the government has done something wrong," Pam Fleming of End Legislated Poverty (ELP) says of BC finance minister Glen Clark's abrupt change of heart  over his controversial new property tax. The  new property tax would have applied to  houses valued at $550,000 or more. The  majority of such properties in BC are located  in Vancouver's west side. After two weeks  of intense media pressure, Clark removed  the tax from the budget.  While ELP did not advocate more property tax, Fleming does feel there's something  wrong with a government that responds so  promptly to the concerns of home owners  who would have been affected—five percent of the population—but not to the concerns her group has put forward on beha If of  thousands of poor people in British Columbia.  The media hype surrounding the property tax has effectively eliminated all other  budget news.  "I really feel the public didn't get an  analysis of what happened," says Christine  Micklewright of the BC Federation of Labour (BCFed).  What we'll pay  The most regressive item in the budget  is the increase in the sales tax. Sales tax  increased from six to seven percent, and is  now applied to formerly exempt items, such  as car and appliance repairs.  "Sales tax is a punitive tax on the poor.  Like the GST, it's not the way to raise money  to cover the alleged deficit," Micklewright  says.  Sales tax always hits the poor—most of  whom are women—the hardest, because  they have to spend their entire income on  survival. The middle-class and the Wealthy,  who spend only a portion of their income on  necessities, pay a smaller percentage of their  income on sales tax on those items. To offset  this, the provincial government is introducing a tax rebate for low-income people. This  will be a maximum of $50 per person which,  Fleming points out, is not a realistic estimate  of the additional amount of sales tax people  will pay. Fleming likens the new sales tax  and rebate program to the GST.  CUA& ^SS^w^m, 2m, ZGvyMUib^j^ *&  There was also an increase in the corporate income tax, from 16 to 16.5 percent.  Fleming says this increase should have been  larger. The 0.5 percent increase will only  generate $17 million in new revenue (the  sales tax increase will generate $385 million). Even if a larger increase had made  BC's corporate sales tax the highest in  Canada, Fleming thinks the NDP should  have done it because "we expect them to  show some leadership."  Because of increases to personal taxes  such as the sales tax, the higher corporate tax  does not shift the tax burden away from the  individual. Corporate income tax accounts  for only 3.5 percent of provincial general  revenues—as opposed to 58.7 percent from  personal income tax, sales tax and other  taxes on the individual. Clark's rationale for  not increasing taxes for corporations—it  would lead to the flight of capital out of the  province—sounds suspiciously close to traditional right-wing excuses for not taxing  corporations.  Fleming says ELP has suggested to  Clark's Ministry that they initiate tax measures to shift the tax burden among individuals from middle and lower-income, to higher-  income people. Fleming acknowledges that  the province would have to lobby the federal  government for permission to establish an  inheritance tax, becauseof the taxagreement  between the different levels of government.  However, she says, "They could easily put  in place a speculation tax," which would  apply to real estate transactions in which  people buy and immediately sell property in  areas which are increasing rapidly in value.  There is one new taxation measure  Fleming is completely in favour of: "We  applaud them for the high-income surtax."  The existing high income tax will be increased to 30 per cent for those earning over  $60,000 and 50 per cent for those above  $86,500. (The provincial surtax is calculated  as a percentage of the federal income tax an  individual pays.)  What we'll get  There are a few changes to the health  care budget, but there is already confusion  over how these changes relate to the large-  scale restructuring of health care currently  taking place in BC. Several of the budgetary  items are self-contradicting. For example,  health care premiums will be lowered or  eliminated for over half a million "low-income" people. However, everybody else  will actually see an increase—even single  people earning only $19,000. Fleming points  out that this will divide the poor from the  lower-middle-class and reinforce the  scapegoating of people on welfare and the  working poor.  "If the government doesn't want to take  responsibility for full employment, it's to  their advantage to have a scapegoat," says  Fleming.  There have also been fee increases to  seniors living in care homes. Seniors with  incomes of $17,000 or more will see their  housing fees raised by 48 percent. Health  minister Elizabeth Cull has said she approved  the increase because those who can afford to  pay should do so. A senior with an income of  $17,000 will now spend $12,410 of it to live in  a care home—the full cost of their care.  Subsidies will still be available to those with  under $17,000.  "Sales tax is a punitive  tax on the poor."  ■—Christine Micklewright  The government plans to spend less  money on prescription drugs this year. The  deductible for Pharmacare is increased in  the budget from $400 to $500 per person,  except for seniors. This means the provincial government will reimburse only the  amount over $500 a person spends on prescription drugs in a year. (The high deductible on this program makes it so inaccessible  that most people don't know it exists.)  At the same time, the NDP's "New  Directions inHealthCare" program is changing many forms of treatment, so they can be  done on an out-patient basis, as opposed to  requiringhospitalcare. Out-patients pay for  prescription drugs which would have previously been covered as part of a hospital sta y.  The Ministry of Women's Equality has  received money to improve the wages of  childcare, transition house, women's centre' , and sexual assault workers, all of whom  have their wages set essentially by the provincial funding available in those areas. So  far, the Ministry has not announced how this  money will be allocated, or when the workers affected can expect to see an increase.  The budget does not address the availability of childcare or its cost to parents. "I  would love to see women have gotten a  break on childcare costs," Micklewright says.  Fleming says she's disappointed that  the budget does not reflect the NDP's own  stated goal of increasing welfare rates to  1982 levels in today's dollars. While that  would still not meet the poverty line, it  would be significantly higher than the welfare rates are now. There was no increase to  welfare rates in the new budget.  The budgets for health, education and  social services have been increased by al-  mostexactly the rateof inflation. The BCFed,  in its budget summary, points out that this  may actually result in a decrease in spending  per person because of BC's population  growth.  The overall plan  The government refers to this budget as  a "balanced approach," in which social service needs are balanced against the need to  reduce the deficit. However, people on the  left are somewhat skeptical of the seriousness of the deficit.  Mickelwright says she doesn't think the  NDP's decision not to expand the budget is  a great achievement. "I don't have a problem  with the deficit growing a bit more if it  stimulates the economy." Fleming agrees.  "We expect the government to operate at a  deficit. They're just buying into the right-  wing excuse (for cutting social spending)."  And reducing the deficit may end up  hitting those with less already. "There are  always trade-offs and women don't get their  fair share," says Micklewright.  Where progressive groups agree with  the NDP is that the reduced federal contributions to social services (throughcuts to transfer payments) are playing a major role in  how the province can fund and structure  services.  "The Tories have escalated the debt  and then stopped transfer payments,"  Micklewright says. "If I were in government, I don't know how I'd deal with that."  Fleming feels the NDP needs to develop  a plan to deal with the cuts—which will only  get worse every year.  "There's nothing in the budget that says  sustainability," she says. "What's missing is  a strong, effective plan."  Another problem is the legacy of many  years of Social Credit administration. "What  we have to remember is that they're inheriting the massive gutting from when the right  was in power," Fleming says.  She says the government should deal  with this by rebuilding the areas left devastated by the Socreds. "To make an economy  work, you invest in your public service."  The theme of this year's budget is  "Choices and Challenges." Fleming says:  "They are making choices and the choice is  to stay in the centre and get back in power  next time."  "They're trying to give the impression  that they're balancing the budget and being  responsible, fiscal-conservative politicians,"  Micklewright says. "They fear a backlash  from the right wing and business—who they  spend too much time kowtowing to... I think  they've lost sight of the policies of the party  and who they were put in power to represent."  To deal with this, Fleming says, the left  needs to build a stronger lobby and new  coalitions.  "A lot of people organized to get the  NDP elected and are asking now 'What's  next?' I think what's next is making the  government do its job."  And while Micklewright acknowledges  the BC budget is nowhere near as bad as the  conservative-style restraint budget just  brought down by Ontario's NDP government, "that doesn't mean I should be grateful/^   Faith Jones is a Vancouver childcare ivorker  who is limiting for her pay raise from the  province. Movement Matters  listings information  Movement Matters is designed to be  a network of news, updates and information of special interest to the women's movement.  Submissions to Movement Matters  should be no more than 500 words,  typed, double spaced and may be  edited for length. Deadline is the 18th  of the month preceding publication.  by Anne Jew  Indian lesbians  come out  Sakhi is a new support network for lesbians in India. Based in New Delhi, they  have, to date, set up letter writing networks,  a resource centre and a guest room for travelling lesbians.  Although being gay or lesbian is still a  crime in India, it is not known how rigorously the law is enforced or how this might  affect the group's status. Last year, Sakhi  protested homophobia at an "official" AIDS  congress, along with other Asian lesbians  and gay men. Their handout was widely  published in the press and they also had an  interview on television.  Sakhi operates with limited funds, so  any help would be appreciated. For more  information or to send donations, write:  Sakhi, PO Box 7032, Srinivaspuri, New Delhi  110065, India.  Saving Clayoquot  Sound  The Friends of Tofino, a new environ-  menta 1 group, ha s formed in an effort to save  Clayoquot Sound from logging. Clayoquot  Sound is an area about 220 kilometres northwest of Victoria on the west coast of Vancouver Island, containing the second largest  portion of old growth temperate rainforest  in the world.  The group is fighting the BC government's decision to log 85 percent of its productive forest, with restrictions banning  clearcuts and limiting road construction.  Julie Draper, a Friends director, explains  that environmentalists will be non-violent  and non-destructive at any blockades, and  will not use tree-spiking, which can injure  workers when spiked trees are hit by saws.  A broader campaign will be aimed at  Canada's international markets, where they  believe the impact will the greatest. A  slideshow has just toured Europe and will  be shown at an event entitled Visions of  Clayoquot, also featuring speakers Valerie  M@MllM@ME!MIlJlIiSMJ@raiIlJ@MMMfaa  1 WOMEN'S WORK!  ! SCREEN  PRINT I  j Starprint Design Studio, j  Your "Community' Shirt Printer  (604)980-4235    &Desi9ner  ] 261 East 1st Street • North Van.. B.C. V7L 1!  i Women owned & operated since 1984 j  Langer and Garth Lenz of Friends. Thisevent  takes place on May 3, 7:30 pm, at the IWA  Hall, 2859 Commercial Drive, Vancouver.  Admission is $5.  Another fund-raiser for the group,  Clayoquot's Last Stand, will be hosted by  Vicky Husband of the Sierra Club, and features David Suzuki, at the Vogue Theatre,  918 Granville Street, June 24 at 8 pm, in  Vancouver. Admission is on a sliding scale  of $10-$25.  HIV positive  women's group  A support group run by HIV-positive  women for HIV-positive women has been  formed in Vancouver by the Positive Women's Network.  Meetings are held on alternate Wednesdays, from 6:30-8:30 pm, in the downtown  Vancouver area. Food, beverages, funds for  transportation and childcare, and wheelchair access are provided.  For women new to the group, an initial  interview will be arranged to talk about  what the group offers and what your needs  are. The intent of this process is to preserve  the sense of safety for women already in the  group, and to ensure women are being referred to services that are appropriate for  them.  Contact EvelynHildebrandtat the Positive Women's Network, 1107 Seymour Street,  Vancouver, BC, V6B 5S8, or call (604)893-  2200 for more details.  Conference of the  poor postponed  The Canadian Conference of the Poor  has been postponed to October 15-17 because of financial restrictions imposed by  the Minister of Finance's mini-budget last  December and other factors, according to  the Conference Planning Committee and the  National Anti Poverty Organisation's Executive Committee.  October 17,1993 has also been declared  by the United Nations as the international  day for the elimination of poverty.  The conference will review Canada's  public assistance programs and the need to  build stronger links between anti-poverty  groups.  For more information, contact National  Anti Poverty Organisation, 316-256 King  Edward, Ottawa, Ontario, KIN 7M1.  Northampton  lesbian festival  The 4th Annual Northampton Lesbian  Festival will take place July 23-25 in  Cummington, Massachusetts. Performers  include Mrs. Fun, Lesbian Lounge Lizards  and Girls in the Nose, while activities range  from hiking and fly-fishing to an after hours  cafe.  The Festival offers scholarships, work  exchanges, childcare, American Sign Language interpretation, and is wheelchair accessible.  Passes rates are as follows: one day/  $30, two days/ $55, three days/ $75  (postmarked by June 25); one day/$35, two  days/$62, three days/$85 (postmarked by  July 18); one day/$38, two days/$68, three  days/$90 (at the gate). All prices are in US  funds.  For more information, write: WOW Productions, 160 Main Street, Northampton,  MA, 01060 or call (413)586-8251.  Spare Rib  closes  VANCOUVER  WOMEN'S  BOOKSTORE  Monday-Saturday  10:00 am-6:00 pm  315 Cambie Street Vancouver, BC  V6B 2N4 (604)684-0523  CCEC Credit U  Loans available/<  • a well-deserved  vacation ^  • spring a   >r  home renovations   n>  or...  or..  • a car  or recreational veh  icu  • reasonable rates  ■ flexible terms  1 automatic deductions  ■ free life insurance on loans  1 no pre-payment penalty  Try us first  Let's talk about it... call us at 254-4100  CCEC Credit Union  150 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C. V5N 5P9  The festival is searching out works which  present a wide range of women's experience, and is a forum for emerging and established artists.  To be considered, all film and videos  must be directed, written, or produced by a  woman, and original soundtrack or subtitles  must be in English. There is no entry fee and  a nominal artist fee may be offered.  Entries must be accompanied by biographies and publicity photos, and be shipped  pre-paid by June 30 to: St. John's Women's  Film & Video Festival, c/o National Film  Board of Canada, 80 Water Street, St. John's  Nfld., A1C 1G4. For all other inquiries,  write: St. John's Women's Film & Video  Festival, PO Box 984, A1C 6C2, or call  (709)772-0358 or fax (709)772-4808.  Women  and taxes  Although no official notice was released,  Britain's pioneering feminist magazine Spare  Rib has closed down after 22 years of publishing.  The political and cultural magazine campaigned for and highlighted women's issues  on a national and international basis, its  readership spanning Britain, Europe and  North America.  In 1981, members of its collective formed  the Older Feminists Network (OFN), which  will continue to publish its bi-monthly newsletter combating ageism and sexism. The  newsletter welcomes contributions from all  women and is volunteer assembled.  Canadian subscription rates are not  available, but the UK rate for six issues is £3-  £5.  For further information, include a SAE,  and write to Older Feminists Network, c/o  54 Gordon Road, London N3 1EP, or call  081-346-1900.  Atlantic film and  video festival  The St. John's Women's Film & Video  Festival is celebrating its 4th year in St. John's,  Newfoundland, October 14-17.  Tax Facts: What Every Woman Should  Know is a new booklet published by the  Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of  Women.  The booklet attempts to deliver several  messages concerning systemic discrimination against women. Included are: that the  federal tax system fails to acknowledge  women earn less and therefore are able to  save less than men; and, on average, women  earn 30 percent less than men as a result of  job ghettoiza tion and disproportionate family responsibilities. A review of the tax structure and the introduction of features, such as  full indexation of income tax benefits and  credits, are suggested changes to the current  tax system.  Writtenby economist Monica Townson,  the booklet can be obtained by calling Ellen  Adelberg at (613)995-2781.  ACTION  miimii  OH tHE SJA1US DF WOMtH  Fed up?  Show up at  the Parliament  Hill rally  in Ottawa  May 15  For jobs,  justice and  equality  STOP FREE  TRADE  Organized by the Action  Canada Network-BC in  conjunction with the canadian  Labour Congress and the BC  Federation of Labour  Info 1-800-363-9005 What's News  by Lissa Geller  Common law  spouse ruling  A recent court ruling marks a shift in  traditional thinking on housework, feminists are saying. The decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in March is the first  to recognise that work traditionally done by  women at home has value regardless of  whether her relationship is marital or common-law.  The ruling dismisses traditional attitudes in courts towards women's labour as  those that "...systematically devalue the contributions that women tend to make to the  family economy...[that] has contributed to  the phenomenon of the feminization of poverty."  The ruling says that a British Columbia  woman, Catherine Peter, is entitled to half  her common-law partner's assets after she  left their twelve-year relationship. During  the relationship, Peter and her four children  lived with William Beblow and his two children. She took care of the six children, built  a pigpen, kept and slaughtered chickens and  worked part-time as a cook. Beblow's lawyers argued that Peter performed these duties only out of a sense of "natural love and  affection." But the Court disagreed.  Courts have only recently begun to assign value to unpaid domestic work, and  only a handful of cases exist where judges  have ruled that families are entitled to compensation for the death or injury of unpaid  housekeepers.  Tanis Day, an economics professor at  Queen's University, says this latest ruling  amounts to "saying that 'motherly duties'  are worth half of [Beblow's] savings...that's  a real affirmation of the value of household  work."  This ruling could serve to protect the  rights of about 750,000 women in heterosexual common-law relationships in Canada.  But the ruling will also likely result in a move  towards more "cohabitation agreements,"  where men will try to protect "their" assets  from the women they live with.  Welfare decision  ignores needs  Anti-poverty groups across Canada say  welfare recipients, many of whom are single  moms, have been struck yet another blow,  this time by the courts. They refer to a Supreme Court ruling in March that allows  provinces to deduct overpayments from  welfare cheques, even when the errors are  the fault of the social security administrators.  The case involves a Winnipeg man who  had received about $1,000 in overpayments  before the Manitoba government realized its  mistake and began deducting the overpayment from his regular cheque.  Robert Findlay took the province to  court, arguing that the province's administrative error and subsequent rollback were  slowly starving him to death, and that the  province was failing to meet his basic needs  as defined by the Canada Assistance Plan  (CAP). He won his case in a federal court of  appeal, but the Manitoba government appealed the case to the Supreme Court.  The Court disagreed by a slim five-to-  four majority. The justice writing the majority decision, said "basic needs" do not have  to meet with an 'exact fit' and that, once  The Tribune  The Tribune, Canada's left news weekly, has two full-time  openings in Toronto.  The Marketing and Outreach Coordinator will oversee  implementation of business and marketing plan and coordinate outreach to labour and social movements across the  country. The goal is to significantly expand the paper's  subscription base and revenue capacity. Links to progressive movements, knowledge of Canadian publishing, and  excellent financial, promotional and marketing skills essential.  The Associate Editor will be part of the team to plan and  produce the weekly. Responsibilities: writing, copy editing,  proofreading, photography, and layout. Journalist training or  experience and knowledge of social movements essential.  For part-time work The Tribune seeks someone with excellent bookkeeping, computer, and organizational skills to  manage circulation and office finances. The position may  evolve to full-time. Full-time salary: $34,000 plus benefits.  Send resume and covering letter by May 14 to Tribune Hiring  Committee, 606 Shaw Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 3L6.  Only short-listed candidates will be notified.  by Faith Jones  Stopping Free Trade  Women from the BC chapter of the National Action Committee on the Status of  Women joined the "On to Ottawa: Stop Free Trade" Caravan as it travelled from  Vancouver to Hope on April 18. The caravan will stop in 50 towns and cities  across the country to give out information and collect messages to take to the  politicians in Ottawa. It arrives in Ottawa on May 15 where a huge rally is planned  on Parliament Hill to let the government know people oppose the North American  Free Trade Agreement. Pictured above from left to right are Cenen Bagen,  Sunera Thobani, Jennifer Whiteside, Jackie Larkin, Joy Thompson and Kim  Zander.  overpayments were deducted, Findlay will  have received exactly what he was entitled  to. Thus he will have received an amount  consistent with basic requirements."  Findlay's lawyer pointed out that welfare recipients "...are not camels—they can't  store it up in their hump". An overpayment  at one time does not mean that a recipient  will be able to keep the money for later use,  especially if they don't realize it's an overpayment.  At theheartofthisdebate lies the fundamental question of whether what lawmakers intend to do when making a law is relevant to the current status of the law, and the  current court hearing a case.  Anti-poverty groups point out the Court  chose to go with conservative views of the  1990s rather than the more liberal views of  the 1960s. Under the CAP, passed by the  Liberal government in 1966, provinces must  take into account basic needs of welfare  recipients, such as food and shelter, when  developing welfare programs.  Anti-poverty activists point out that  current moves by the Tory government to  "reform" welfare and UI have contributed  to a hostile climate for welfa re recipients and  made it easier for courts to attack people on  welfare.  Justice Beverley McLachlin, in writing  the minority dissenting decision, drew heavily from parliamentary transcripts of debates at the time CAP was passed. She cites  the 'adequacy principle,' saying that "where  social-welfare laws are unclear, courts should  interpret them in a way that best assures  adequacy of assistance."  But the five majority judges refused to  examine the parliamentary transcripts, calling them "less reliable guides" of basic standards than the actual wording of the legislation. This refusal by the court to examine the  intent of the original lawmakers in 1966  enabled the justices to dismiss Findlay's  claim.  The debate over whether to use parliamentary transcripts when determining cases  may continue for some time, especially since  judges can use or not use them at their  discretion. In another recent Supreme Court  ruling, justices ruled against a gay man,  Brian Mossop, because the intent of parliamentary lawmakers when including family  status as prohibited grounds for discrimina-  Our ad rates are so  cheap you'll think you're  dreaming!  2555499  tion in the Canadian Human Rights Act was  not to offer protection to lesbians and gay  men [seeKinesis,Mar. 93]. Oneof thejustices  who insisted on looking at parliamentary  intent in the Mossop case, insisted on the  irrelevance of such intent in the welfare  ruling.  DDT and breast  cancer  A scientific study has found tha t women  with the highest exposure to the pesticide  DDT have four times the likelihood of developing breast cancer as women with the lowest exposure levels.  The study, released April 21, measured  levels of DDT in the blood of 58 women with  breast cancer and 171 women without. They  found that women with levels of DDT in the  top 10 percent had four times the risk of  developing breast cancer as those in the  bottom 10 percent.  Mary Wolff, of the Mount Sinai School  of Medicine in New York where the study  was conducted, points out this may explain  why breast cancer has been on the rise in  recent decades and is the most common  cancer among all women. The rise in breast  cancer following the increase in use of DDT  in North America suggests there may be a  link.  DDT and its derivatives were banned in  North America in 1972 because of the presence of cancer in animals exposed to DDT  and its tendency to concentrate as it moved  up the food chain, ending in toxic concentrations in meat and dairy products. Nonetheless, DDT can be stored in the body for  decades and most North Americans still  have DDT residues. As well, after it was  banned here, pesticide companies sold their  stocks outside the Western world and DDT  is still commonly used in Latin America,  Asia and Africa.  The US National Cancer Institute, which  funded the Mount Sinai study, has recently  proposed a series of studies that would examine the potential relationship between  breast cancer and the environment, instead  of only looking at hormonal causes.  Another recent study also links the  chemical atrazine,currentlythemost widely  used pesticide in the US, with an increased  risk of ovarian cancer. It notes "...growing  concern that chemicals are causing cancer in  adults and adverse health and reproductive  effects in the offspring of both humans and  wildlife." What's News  Taxing child  support payments  North Vancouver single mom Brenda  Schaff appeared in court last month to appeal a ruling to the federal Tax Court of  Revenue Canada which makes child support payments taxable for those who receive  them (mostly women) and gives a deduction  to those who pay them (mostly men).  "I have all the responsibility for the  children and it's like I'm getting penalized  for it," says Schaff.  Schaff received a tax assessment in 1989  that indicated she owed $1,100 of the $3,600  she had received from her ex-husband for  the support of their two children. She appealed the assessment and lost. The Tax  Court is the next step in the appeal process.  A decision is expected by June 23.  Jeanne Watchuk, Schaff's lawyer, argues that the current Income Tax Act is  unconstitutional sinceitdiscriminatesagainst  single parents, a group that by definition is  poor. Watchuk says the law violates Schaff's  children's guarantee to life, liberty and the  security of person.  "The Schaff decision could have far-  reachingimplicationsforprovidingadequate  support for children in single parent families," Susan Milliken, director of SCRAPS  (the Society for Children's Rights to Adequate Parental Support).  A similar case is being heard in Quebec  where single parent Suzanne Thibaudeau  has appealed her assessment forcing her to  pay taxes on child support payments. All  other such appeals are on hold pending the  outcome of these two cases.  Poverty committee  boycotted  Almost every anti-poverty and social  group in Canada is boycotting a Tory government's parliamentary sub-committee on  poverty, which is trying to redraw the poverty line in Canada. The boycott is one of the  largest to hit a parliamentary sub-committee  in recent years.  Lynne Toupin of the National Anti-  Poverty Organisation (NAPO), says NAPO  joined the boycott because it didn't want to  give credibility to the Tory poverty research.  "They're trying to move the poverty line so  they can say they've done something about  poverty."  Other groups refusing to appear before  the sub-committee include the Canadian  Council on Social Development, the Social  Planning Council of Metro Toronto, the  YWCA, and the Child Poverty Action Group.  As well, Liberal and New Democratic party  representatives, who normally sit on the  sub-committee, are refusing to attend meetings or public hearings.  A spokesperson for the Toronto Daily  Bread Food Bank says the sub-committee is  a waste of time. "I have 40 percent less food  to give out, per person, than I had two years  ago. If there's anything that isn't needed at  this time, it's another study and another  useless debate."  The sub-committee was struck to partially fulfil the Conservative government's  promise to end child poverty by the year  2000. What became clear to those participating is that the Tories intended to "eliminate"  poverty by redefining the problem out of  existence. In 1991, the sub-committee produced a report, then began to split when the  Tories focused on a study that said poverty  has been over-exaggerated in Canada. Since  that time, Liberal and NDP members have  refused to attend meetings or public hearings.  As a result of the boycott, the committee  hearing rooms are virtually empty, with  only Tory MPs and government officials in  attendance. The sub-committee chair, Conservative MP Barbara Greene, says she considers herself a champion of poverty rights  and that the boycott "is not in the interests of  poor people."  The Tories are continuing its work and  have voted to pay Revenue Canada for special taxation data to help establish a new  definition of poverty.  Looking at  the cops  Women's groups from across British  Columbia have formed an ad hoc coalition  that will present proposals to a BC commission looking into the role of the police. Statements will be delivered to the Oppal Com  mission on Policing in British Columbia on  May 4.  The Commission was set up in June,  1992 by the provincial government and was  given the mandate of developing a blueprint  for policing in BC through public consultations and research. It began hearings in December last year and is holding 16 days of  public hearings in 12 communities throughout the province.  In addition to examining municipal  police forces, the Commission will examine  the role of the RCMP in smaller communities and in rural areas. The Commission is  headed by Justice Wallace Oppal, a judge on  the Supreme Court of BC since 1985.  Groups in the women's coalition include the Vancouver Status of Women,  Women Against Violence Against Women,  Vancouver Rape Relief/Women's Shelter,  Vancouver Lesbian Centre, the DisAbled  Women's Network (of Canada and of BC),  the Native Women's Council of BC, and  POWER (Prostitutes and Other Women for  Equal Rights).  The women's groups decided to present  their briefs together in an effort to share  knowledge and increase their impact on the  Commission.  The coalition has decided on a broad  four-point plan that will frame their discussions with the Commission. These include:  • not calling for more police or more  policing, but rather demanding that funds  and resources be redistributed to better serve  the needs of women;  • stating their solidarity to women who  are traditionally criminalized by the justice  system, including prostitutes, women convicted of welfare fraud, and women who  defend themselves against male violence;  • focusing on how women's groups,  feminists, Native groups, and women in the  community are treated by the police, espe-  wm  ^^ / Breads Bakery  All natural ingredients  Hot Cross Buns  1697 Venables at Commercial 254-5635  Mon-Fri 8am-5:30pm Sat 9am-5:30pm  J  daily when making or supporting complaints;  • focusing on the policing system in BC  and its racist, sexist and classist impacts on  the community, and in particular, lesbians,  First Nations women and women with disabilities.  The women's groups have also asked  Gwen Brodsky of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre to investigate mechanisms for  independent community reviews of police  and police activities.  Lee Lakeman of Rape Relief, who will  be collating the coalition's brief, says it is an  opportunity for groups across BC to share  information, tactics and analysis. "We expect a full hall of 150 or more women who  will come together to hear one another and  learn from the experiences of other women,"  she says.  The Commission will be hearing from  women's groups on May 4 for the full day.  Only the morning session will be open to the  press. In the afternoon, women will make  statements and presentations that they may  not think appropriate to make in front of the  media.  Inaddition to the coalition's brief, women's groups are encouraging individual  women to participate in the hearing.  The Oppal Commission hearing will  take place at the Native Friendship Centre  on E. Hastings (at Commercial) and lunch  will be provided.  Lakeman is cautiously optimistic about  the outcome of the Commission. "Change  won't happen in one fell swoop, there's  work to be done on the complaints process  as well as reversing the trend of the Socred  government which Americanized and militarized the policing in BC." Nonetheless,  she sees this as a great opportunity for women's groups to come together and share their  concerns, strategies and stories.  B. 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Free next-cIay dflivHRy. Featurf  Sunera Thobani and NAC:  As told to Kinesis  as told to Fatima Jaffer and  Anjula Gogia   Sunera Thobani will become president of  the National Action Committee on the Status of  Women (NAC) at NAC's Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon in June. Kinesis spoke with  Thobani in Vancouver last month.  Fatima jaffer: How does it feel to be the  next president of the la rgest fem inist organization in Canada?  Sunera Thobani: I'm very excited, and  I'm looking forward to getting started. But  it's going to be difficult for my daughter,  because she resents me putting all of this  time into my work. We live in a society  where there aren't many resources available  for single women so the burden falls on a  woman alone to bring her child up. I'm  lucky I have my mother. She's been a tremendous support.  Anjula Gogia: The focus of the media  seems to be on Sunera Thobani, the "visible  minority woman" rather than on Sunera  Thobani, the political activist.  Thobani: That's a problem, because I  want to put the focus on the issues that I've  The fact that a woman of  colour will be president  of NAC is not something  I have achieved alone.  There have been women  of colour in the  organization for  decades, women  fighting to have their  voices heard, working in  isolation, marginalized  and without access to  the positions of power.  been working on and what I can bring, both  personally and politically. Some of the media, on the other hand, has wanted to come  into my home and find out how I eat breakfast!  It is important that I am the first woman  of colour at the head of NAC—this should  have happened decades ago. My political  positions are inseparable from the fact that I  am a woman of colour and come from a  working-class background. I don't want the  media to focus on my "otherness," and not  look at the work I've done.  jaffer: So will the real Sunera Thobani  please stand up? How have you worked  politically?  Thobani: I was born in Tanzania. I lived  in Britain, in the United States and now  Canada. When I was in England, I worked in  student organizations on women's issues  and also did anti-racist work. I worked with  organizations, like Third-World First and  groups like that were looking at communities of people of colour, on how to build  international solidarity on anti-racism struggles and women's issues.  When I started becoming active, my  involvement was kind of low key and on-  the-ground.  Since I've been in Vancouver, I've been  involved in a number of women's groups,  such as the Vancouver Status of Women  (VSW), and SAW AN (the South Asian Women's Action Network). I was also a member  of the India Mahila Association.  Gogia: I've also seen your name around  issues of reproductive technology.  Thobani: I've always been an advocate  for abortion rights. When I came to Vancouver, I joined the steering committee for the  BC Coalition of Abortion Clinics. When a US  doctor [John Stephens] came to Vancouver  and targeted the South Asian community for  sex selection tests, I had my first encounter  with new reproductive technologies [see,  Kinesis, Oct./92.] I thought it was a really  serious issue that no one in the community  seemed to be addressing at the time.  Once I started learning more about the  technologies, I was horrified at what was  happening. I still feel it's an area we haven't  really paid much attention to, and not only  as women of colour. The white women's  movement has still not taken this issue up as  a serious part of their work. I believe we  have to—it's alarming to see the growth and  kinds of technologies that are being developed, especially the eugenic aspect.  jaffer: What made you decide to put  your energy into NAC?  Thobani: I was working with VSW, a  member organization. I realized when I was  working on the sex selection issue, and when  we were demonstrating against the doctors'  presentations to the Royal Commission on  New Reproductive Technologies [see Kinesis, Oct. 92] that NAC was an organization  with a strong national voice and presence  and that, as women of colour, we need a  stronger national voice.  It's really important for us to have a  national voice to put our concerns on the  national agenda. The other thing was that,  with Judy Rebick at its head, NAC has made  a commitment to anti-racist politics. And  there were women of colour who were very  active in NAC and who were on the NAC  executive. I respected them and wanted to  work with them on a national level.  jaffer: How do you propose to live down  the white middle-class legacy of NAC, open  up the organiza tion and welcome women of  colour into the organization?  Thobani: The fact that a woman of colour  will be president of NAC is not something I  have achieved alone. There have been women  of colour in the organization for decades,  women fighting to have their voices heard,  working in isolation, marginalized and without access to the positions of power. This  leadership is something women of colour  have worked collectively for. Therefore, my  position has to collectively benefit all of us.  The dilemma I face right now is that  white women have claimed to represent all  of us and we know that, to a great extent,  these have been bogus claims. Now, I find  myself in the interesting position of being a  woman of colour who has to represent an  organization which is still largely made up  of white women.  We have to make the connections between the issues on which we can really  unite and move away from this one-group-  benefitting-at-the-expense-of-another-group  mentality. For example, NAC has already  played a strong role working with Aboriginal women's groups and with groups from  Quebec and the rest of the country, creating  a sense of unity between women, and I am  committed to continuing that work.  We can build alliances and come together on certain kinds of issues—and new  reproductive technologies is one of those  areas. It targets every woman's body and her  sexuality and her control of it, yet the impact  and consequences are different for different  Sunera Thobani  women, according to race and class. It is  important to have a united opposition to  what those technologies are doing.  We also know NAC has a commitment  to anti-racism. If we look at the position  NAC took during the referendum—we came  out strongly in support of the Aboriginal  women who were fighting for representation [see Kinesis, May, jun., Sep., Nov./92]. If  we look at the government's panel on violence that was appointed—NAC said that if  women of colour were not going to be represented, then NAC would not participate in  the process. Those stands were taken by  NAC because of the women of colour within  the organization. This commitment by NAC  has been more than mere tokenism, and we  want to make sure that this commitment to  inclusion gets taken even further.  jaffer: What about lesbians?  Thobani: Certainly, within the South  Asian community, issues of homophobia  have to be addressed in a much stronger  way. In fact, all women's groups have to  make a commitment to addressing issues of  sexuality and homophobia, so that we may  move further in developing our political  understanding. The lack of recognition of  the destructive impact of homophobia has  got to stop.  Certainly, the work that's being done by  lesbians of colour has played a vital role in  developing our feminist analysis and practise.  Gogia: How are you going to make NAC  more accessible to poor women?  Thobani: Carol Ann Wright, who's on  the NAC executive right now, has just organized a conference on women and poverty. More representation is needed and finding the resources to do this work is crucial  NAC has taken the larger political battles on at the national level around employment equity, full employment, a national  child-care program. What we need is to have  build more alliances with groups who are  already doing this work, and to create the  mechanisms whereby organisations fighting poverty have more support. For me,  that's part of the whole restructuring of  NAC—we have to learn to share the resources we have.  Gogia: How do you see the structure of  NAC changing to become more accountable  to its membership?  Thobani: I am committed to an anti-  racist, feminist movement and NAC has the  potential to be that. It's true that NAC has  traditionally been a middle-class, white  women's organization. But the membership,  has been changing.  When I go to the NAC AGMs, there's a  powerful constituency there. The grassroots  groupsare there. Weneed to be claiming this  organization as our own instead of letting  the organization claim us as its own.  The regionalization that's going on  in NAC right now is very important.  Regionalization means making NAC work  at the base and we need a NAC that is strong  at the base. This requires members to have a  more active role and to participate in the  functioning of the organization—not just at  its AGM, which is held once a year. By  building networks and structures of accountability between the executive and the membership, NAC groups can start working together on the ground, in the regions.  Certainly in BC, NAC has had a strong  drive towards regionalization. The BC representative, Jackie Larkin, has done a lot  towards building a working regional structure. Larkin and others have set up a regional steering committee made up of NAC  member organizations as well as women's  groups that don't belong to NAC, but that  are interested in what is happening in NAC.  This drive for regionalisation has also been  taken in other provinces.  Women of colour in BC ha ve been working to change NAC—at the NAC regional  conference in Vancouver last month, a third  of the delegates were women of colour. Yet,  two years ago at the AGM, there were 32  I'm committed to an  anti-racist, feminist  movement and NAC has  the potential to be that.  delegates from BC at the AGM and I was the  only woman of colour.  Gogia: How does your style of "leadership" differ from that of Judy Rebick's who,  while she made NAC a more grassroots,  accountable and stronger organisation, has  also been criticised forher one-woman-show  style of leadership?  Thobani: NAC has developed as a hierarchical structure, but I am committed to  having a more collective style of leadership.  As the president, I see myself as a representative of a movement. I want to see women  on the executive have a greater external  presence and represent NAC on issues. The  women's movement has developed a collective process, that is inclusive and consen-  I want my presidency to move the movement, if you will, further along, but I don't  believe in this idea of individual leaders who  lead movements. Rather, the strength of the  See THOBANI page 14  MAY 1993 Feature  A herstory of a women's press:  Press Gang Printers  by Lynn Giraud and Sheila Gilhooly  Press Gang Printers is the only surviving women's print shop in North America.  Throughout the 1970s, many such collectively operated feminist printshops sprang  up, shaped by the vital political climate of  the women's liberation movement and the  new left. By the mid-1980s, there was even  an organization called the Alliance of Lesbian and Feminist Printers. Sadly, the 1980s  also saw the demise of the San Francisco  Women's Press, Storefront Press in Seattle,  UP Press in Palo Alto, and Iowa City Women's Press. Press Gang Printers remains, ha'  ing adapted and evolved throughout its 22-  year herstory as Vancouver's political press.  Press Gang Printers was not always  women-only. It was formed in 1970, and the  original collective of three men and six  women mirrored the politics of the time. All  work was volunteer, no one drew a salary,  and members contributed a small amount to  cover the rent. People worked elsewhere to  subsidize their Press Gang labour, and put  in long hours printing when they had the  time, or when they felt like it. Though some  of the first members had some experience in  the printing trade, press skills were very  rudimentary.  It was not unusual for a member to be  involved in a political organization, design  their poster/leaflet/pamphlet, do the camera-ready artwork, shoot camera negatives,  print the job, bind it and deliver the finished  product. Most groups that used Press Gang  were feminist, left or community groups,  though there was no "party line" in the  collective. Gradually, the customer base expanded to include community groups lucky  enough to have funding.  equipment as they could, both out of a sense  of responsibility and a sense of empowerment. Two women were the only members  who ran the large press and it seemed appropriate that the large press should go with  them. And then, logically, so should the  camera and the large collator. Itwasactually  a male member who suggested the men  Dorothy Elias  By 1974, tension between the men and  women at Press Gang was increasing. To  deal with the friction, women (the majority)  took over the day shift and the men worked  in the evenings. Finally, someone put "the  problem of the women" on the collective's  meeting agenda.  Sarah Davidson, a former member, recalls answering the phone one day and having a male voice ask for Schraeder. When  Sarahanswered he wasn't in, the caller asked  for Ed or Richard. When Sarah explained  neither of them were in either, the caller  hung up after telling her he "would call back  when someone was there!" These were the  political times in the 1970s in which the  "problem of the women at the Press" was  discussed.  Eventually, one male member left and  the remaining collective arrived at a reasonably amicable settlement. While the men  had brought most of the equipment and  some of the money into the collective, it was  the women who were the keeners. They  learned as much about the trade and the  Paula Clancy in 1986  leave and the women continue at the Press.  A male member got a press in exchange and  access rights to the premises. Though the  problem was settled amicably, stories of  how the "men were kicked out of Press  Gang" abounded in political movements in  Vancouver. Davidson once overheard a man  on a bus telling his companionhe was one of  the men who had been purged by Press  Gang. She had never seen him before in her  life.  The remaining women at the Press  worked at improving their printing and trade  skills. Davidson was the first woman in a  Vancouver Vocational Institute printing  trades night course. The large press handled  newsprint and many issues of the Pedestal,  Mental Patients News and Gay Tide rolled off  the press and into the community.  Women were working six days a week,  caring for their children, doing their weekly  shifts at the Women's Health Collective and  Women's Bookstore and many other political organizations. Sometimes, customers  could pay for their printing bill in childcare  exchanges, or other work trades.  Press Gang worked closely with Makara,  a type and design collective which also published a monthly feminist magazine. Makara  made its camera and darkroom available to  Press Gang, and taught them its use. It was  the Makara collective's advance payment for  a year's worth of magazine printing that  gave Press Gang the necessary capital to  purchase the Solna, a large press that enabled the printers to move out of newsprint  and produce good quality printing. Anyone  who owns collector's copies of Makara knows  the quality that was achieved. Makara was  also a casualty of the 1980s. Through its  existence, however, it was an invaluable  sister collective to Press Gang, providing  knowledge, business, advice, sales work and  feminist energy.  By 1975, Press Gang became interested  in supporting local women writers by publishing books initiated by the collective. Their  first book, in 1976, was I'm not Mad, I'm  Angry: Women Look at Psychiatry, published  in hardcover and paperback editions. It was  initially thought that printing could subsidize the publishing efforts. For several years  the publishing work was done at night—  publishing a book took a long time. Eventually, one woman was assigned the publishing work as part of her work day, but a large  part of the work was still done by volunteers.  Pat Smith, a long-time contributor to  The Pedestal (the precursor to Kinesis), was  one of the women who started the publishing work at Press Gang. Her skills in design,  layout, editing, production and printing were  invaluable—Pat continued to volunteer her  time and skills at Press Gang until her death  in a motorcycle accident in 1985.  In 1982, the publishing collective began  to operate separately within Press Gang, and  in 1989 the two collectives formed separate  legal and corporate structures. The sister  collectives still share a close bond and work  out of the same space.  A move from the old space on Hastings  to its current location on Powell Street was a  big event. The Hastings street location had  a number of problems: stagnant water in the  open drainage gutters around the press room  and no windows. There were rats in the  building, mushrooms growing on the carpets, and overhead gas blowers, which  played havoc with the press room's ink and  water balance.  The move to Powell Street wa s a turning  point. Many collective members left but,  surprisingly, with fewer people the collective was more productive. Energy and time,  which had previously gone into disagreements, was freed up.  One shift in attitude involved the collective's perception of themselves as workers,  rather than political volunteers. Previously,  women worked elsewhere to save enough  money to work at Press Gang. Anyone who  really needed to, could draw a small salary,  according to need. Of course, everyone  drastically underestimated their expenses.  Supporters still gave monthly pledges to  keep the presses rolling. For many years  after Lou Nelson left the collective, she donated $50 per month with one stipulation: it  had to be given to a different collective member each month, and she encouraged people  to use it for the "extras"—new shoes, glasses,  etcetera. It was a real treat when your month  came up.  But for many women, the drudgery of  such hand-to-mouth living, combined with  the long hours, led to a collective decision to  pay everyone a salary.  Lynn Giraud, Helen Krayenhoff, Dorothy Elias, Halftone in the arms of  unidentified woman, and Chantal Laplante (left to right)  Press Gang at rest  As the customer base diversified, the  demand for higher quality printing grew.  The older presses were adequate for the  quick print posters and leaflets which were  the bread and butter of the early days. But  designers and customers began to want la rger  solids, multi-colour work, closer register.  Newer presses and increased skill levels  made this possible. Carmen Metcalfe produced some of Press Gang's finest work for  the National Film Board and Makara.  Press Gang has always had a significant  number of lesbians among its collective, often a majority of the workers. The lesbian  presence and ethic has been an important  strength of the collective. The Press has a  policy that it will not print offensive or oppressive material. On one occasion, some  gaymaleartworkcameupfordiscussion,as  being potentially offensive. When it became  clear that the issue was potentially one of  homophobia, lesbian collective members  argued that the material should be printed.  Eventually the other members agreed.  Community support for Press Gang  continued, no longer in the form of monthly  donations for rent and extras, but in the form  of benefits. Dances, pancake breakfasts, and  other "fun fundraisers" kept the press operations possible. Pat Smith's original "Stay  at Home Benefit," designed for political people who wanted to support the Press, but  couldn't stand going to one more event, wa s  a classic. For the price of a ticket, you got to  stay home and watch TV.  In the last 10 years, the entire press room  has been upgraded with four new presses.  Several of these purchases were made possible by CCEC credit union and Women Futures, at a time when other banks and credit  unions would have laughed at us.  As equipment was upgraded, so were  the printers' skills. Many Press Gang mem-  10  MAY 1993 Feature  Andrea Lowe  bers have gone through government apprenticeship programs at the Vancouver  Vocational Institute. Press Gang is one of the  few shops where women can be trained in  this non-traditional work in a supportive,  woman-centred environment. Consequently,  the Press is rarely in the position of hiring  previously trained employees from the industry at large.  With the decision to pay wages, it became easier to view other working conditions through workers' eyes. The members  women of Press Gang were delighted. Here  was a union actively seeking to organize  small shops. Over the next few months, the  collective worked closely with members of  the union executive and organizing committee, developing a contract which addressed  both union concerns and reflected who Press  Gang really was.  Press Gang has an unusual, but not  unique, union set-up. The collective is the  "boss." The collective agreement isbetween  the workers and the collective, and includes  all the usual provisions, including working  conditions and a grievance procedure. Collective bargaining is done with the help of a  business agent from the union. It is a goal of  Press Gang and the union to work toward  wages which are union scale. All workers  are paid the same, regardless of their job  description or length of seniority, except  that women with children are paid 20 percent more than women without.  To be a union shop connected Press  Gang in a concrete way with the labour  movement which we had long supported.  The collective had always honoured picket  lines, boycotts, attended pro-labour rallies  and conferences, and printed for the "women's" unions—AUCE and SORWUC. This  was the type of work that was exciting to do.  It was not unusual for printers to work late  into the night to supply an emergency strike  leaflet or flyer. During an AUCE strike at  Simon Fraser University,  Margaret Matsuyama on the job  of Press Gang wrote an internal "worker  contract" in the late 1980s: the workers at  Press Gang also own the business. So the  contract spelled out the rights and obligations of collective members for the assets  and debts of the collective. As well, the  collective spelled out the rights, responsibilities and benefits of beinga member. Gone  were the days of endless overtime. It still  had to be done, but at least it was acknowledged. Many friendships were formed while  collating or folding late into the night. Sick  days, vacation times, and special leaves were  formalized along with expectations for health  and safety. Though workers still worked at  poverty-level wages, the understanding of  each person's relationship to the whole was  vastly improved.  This process led logically to the discussion of unionization. The collective approached several trade unions, but none  seemed to know what to do with this anomalous workspace. The Press hires only women,  and all workers are paid the same wage,  rather than the industry standard of paying  according to seniority and journey tickets.  And of course, the Press Gang wage was  paltry compared to most unionized workers  in the trade.  When an inquiry came from Communication Workers of America, Local 226, the  emergency strike support issue of the student paper The Peak overnight.  A worker-owned, unionized workplace  is an exciting model for the labour movement as well. There are other workplaces in  Canada with a similar structure, and Press  Gang receives inquiries about itsexperience.  Sarah Davidson  Paula Clancy in 1993  In 1990, when collective member  Dorothy Elias, who had just attended an  unlearning racism workshop, brought up  the fact that Press Gang had never hired a  woman of colour, the collective members  decided to evaluate their hiring practices.  That year, Margaret Matsuyama, the first  woman of colour (who identified as such),  became a permanent member of Press Gang.  The bulk of the responsibility for reminding  us of our racism, and keeping an anti-racist  agenda alive fell on Matsuyama.  Shortly after the hiring, we held an  unlearning racism workshop, and agreed to  develop an affirmative action hiring policy.  Three of the current seven collective members are women of colour. We have a continuing commitment to representation of  women of colour at Press Gang. However,  we have notbeenable to deal with accessibility issues for women who have movement  restrictions, because the Press has many stairs.  Press Gang is not immune from the  economic forces in the printing industry.  Free trade has meant that the biggest print  jobs are now being exported out of Canada.  In turn, "bigger" print shops are now bidding on "smaller" jobs. And there have been  dramatic technological changes over the past  10 years, from desktop publishing to faster  xeroxes to printing presses that print two  sides at once.  In the summer of 1992, Press Gang faced  and survived a financial crisis much bigger  than the usual fiscal tightrope and, for a  while, it looked as if we might fold. But with  the help of the community and a wildly  successful community auction—which generated $8,000 in one evening—the Press  squeaked through. A loan of $10,000 from a  generous supporter made it possible to begin to recover from the near-disaster. Workers contributed to the recovery by buying  equity shares in the Press.  Press Gang has been an early leader in  developing environmentally respectful options for its customers. Its own recycling  policy included a (finally successful) two  year search for a way to dispose of its stockpiled hazardous waste. We have researched  and offer recycled paper and vegetable based  inks.  The Press continues to survive. It is a  testament to the resilience of the people in  . the collective over the years, and the ongo-  ingcommitmentandsupportof the progressive communities, that Press Gang has been  able to change its structure, focus, operations and technology, to meet the changing  needs of its members and the communities it  serves. It is astonishing that the collective  has never been closed down from internal  friction, stopped dead by collective process  issues, defeated by a collective loss of interest, or overcome by financial disaster. Why?  In part, because Press Gang is supported by  the progressive communities of Vancouver,  who understand the importance of a politically committed printer.  Sarah Davidson, Morgan McGuigan  Nancy Pollak, Carmen Metcalfe and  Pat Smith (clockwise)  Press Gang continues to reciprocate the  support of trade unions, feminist, environmental and other progressive movements in  Vancouver by offering free or reduced printing costs to groups which cannot always  afford to set their message out. Information  technologies are becoming more and more  expensive, with computers and modems and  faxes speeding up the form and access to  information—but only for people who can  afford the equipment and technology in the  first place. It will be more and more important to preserve a way to produce quick,  cheap ways for poor and progressive groups  to communicate and organize.  With the support of the community that  we support, Press Gang will survive and  thrive.  Lynn Giraud has been a printer at Press  Gang for the last ten years.  Sheila Gilhooly  is a 41-year old, white lesbian printer at  Press Gang, who was raised working class.  MAY 1993  11 Festival organizer  Punam Kholsa  LOVE  by Sur Mehat  The third annual "intra-national" Desh Pardesh conference and festival, exploring the  development of Diasporic South Asian arts, culture and politics in the West, took place from  March 24-28 in Toronto.  The festival was made up of five days of panel discussions, workshops and caucuses,  while performances, readings, film and video screenings, presentations, an opening night  reception and three parties took up the evenings and nights. A South Asian women's art  show was also organized in accordance with the festival.  Many who attended were from Toronto, but a significant number came from across  Canada, the US and the UK. Noticeable was the large representation of lesbians from  Vancouver, New York and smaller communities in Ontario.  Programs were structured around a central theme. Some of these included art and  Jj politics, working class culture, fundamentalism and communalism, racism and coloniza-  TM tion, lesbianism, feminism, and coalition building with of colour and Aboriginal communi-  J ties. There was a feeling throughout, as participant Shelina Velji of Vancouver put it, of being  S "thoroughly indulged to be with so many South Asian people who were so politically and  ■° artistically strong."  2 According to Desh organiser Punam Khosla, this was one of the intentions of the festival.  i."But we have to make active use of political spaces," says Khosla, "not only taking that space  for ourselves, but also creating useful strategies by which to work together within them."  The efforts of this year's working committee, a group of Toronto based artists and  activists—Amita Handa, Vinita Srivastava, Sheila James, DeborahBarretto, Amina Sherazee,  Shyam Selvadurai, Saeed Khan, Kalpesh Oza and Sudarshan— and the festival's coordinators, Punam Khosla and Steve Pereira, culminated in a well-put-together conference.  According to objectives and principles drawn up by the Desh Pardesh Working  Committee and ratified by the membership of Desh at the closing plenary at the festival this  year, Desh Pardesh (home away from home) is "lesbian and gay positive, feminist, anti-  racist, anti-imperialist and anti caste/classist...[and] exists to ensure that the voices and  expressions of those constituencies in the South Asian Community which are systematically  silenced are provided with a community forum."  Desh Pardesh developed this year from its origins as an idea sparked by Salaam Toronto,  a 1988 festival celebrating gay South Asian culture, into a permanent organization with a  membership that is committed to bringing forward the issues and voices of women, seniors,  people with disabilities, working class people, and lesbians and gays.  Despite the effort of organizers and committee, it appeared to leave many people  wanting something else, something more. Some of the participants Kinesis spoke with felt  that a space for women to get together, to meet and talk, outside of mainspace events, might  have increased the opportunity for further dialogue.  Not surprisingly, some of the best acts, readings, work and panel presentations were by  the emerging performers, writers,  film /video makers and com munity  workers as opposed to the more  established presenters. Deserving  special mention are AnurimaBanerji  (a 20-year-old Montreal student  who dances in the Odissi tradition),  Regina Fernandos (of the South  Asian Women's Community Centre in Montreal who told of her  experience as a garment pieceworker trying to get her rightful  pay), Farah (a young South Asian  woman who presented a paper on  the experiences of growing up fe-  •.•vm-mv.ViN'  in Toronto,) Meena Nanji (a videomaker from the US whose video Voices of the  Morning premiered at Desh), and many of the writers who read at the writers'  cabaret.  The following are excerpts of some of the presentations made at Desh  Pardesh.  "Arranging the Marriage of Art and Politics"  Panelists: Shani Mootoo, Sonali Fernando, Ratna Roy, lan Rashid, R. Cheran and  Sadhu Binning.  The following is an excerpt of one of the six speeches made at a panel discussion on  art and politics. Shani Mootoo is a videomaker, visual artist and writer of Trinidadian  nationality living in Vancouver.  by Shani Mootoo  ■  H = I assume that everybody who's taking part in Desh has some...level of  H g awareness of their "politicalness." Yet I'm always amazed when I still hear a lot  H >- of People say that they're not political beings. I hear artists say that, and artists of  ^B ■= colour.  ^B 5 In my life, there hasn't been a more important time than now when I feel that  H E just about every action I make must be a political statement in my own defence.  H| Firstly, as a woman; more importantly, as a woman who is not white—and I  Hi purposely phrase it this way—; and—the place where I feel most marginalized  and obliterated—as a woman who prefers the company of women far better than  the company of anything else.  Sometimes I feel as though there is nothing else in my life but political  activism, which is absolutely necessary simply to ensure that Idon't exist in this chosen home  of mine, Canada, a s a powerless living corpse. Politics is a matter of survival for me...but my  first love is making things and using words and images that come together in what we  categorize as art.  I came across a quotation from Albert Camus in a short story by Nadine Gordimer and  t goes like this: "that which has prevented you from doing your work has become your  work."  All I have as a record of my existence as a passionate being is my artwork. I can't stop  being political—every action, whether I'm making art or not, just walking down the street,  is a reminder of so much about myself—not just my colour, which is visible, but my  lesbianness, which is sometimes very invisible, and that's a-knowing, and sometimes very  visible, which is also a-knowing...for different reasons.  My life has been...too squeezed for me to make art that speaks only in academic ways...I  recognize that my work has my communities at heart. I've chosen not to beg to present from  the outside, but to make wherever I am the centre. By doing that,  I'm combining the insistence on not being the passive victim.  The use of art forms as a political tool, my love of telling lies and  cluttering up the world with not so useless objects, I've found  ways to be at the center through my work, to assert my point of  view, to seat myself, a brown woman, a brown lesbian, represented doing and saying things that I and people like me do and  say, to choose whom I address and the message that that choice  sends out.  Too often programmers fall into the trap of giving the  audience what it already knows. They continue to sell ethnicity  to perpetuate the myth that ethnicity is colour. Don't talk about  being Trinidadian, talk about being brown. Homosexuality  equals sexual practice. It's fine to want to climb mountains but  what about the sex, where is it? That's what they want to see in  lesbian and gay films, and so on. For me, there's so much more  to life than just being brown, or lesbian or a woman.  "Running From the Family"  Panelists: Meena Alexander, Sharmini Peries, Urvashi Vaid, Kalpesh Oza and Farah.  The following are excerpts of speeches made at the panel on diverse South Asian family  experiences. Urvashi Vaid is alesbian/gayactivistfrom the US. Farah is a young South Asian woman  who speaks from her particular experience as a young girl at odds with her family pressures,  expectations and repression.  by Farah  Amita Handa from  Toronto  Eun-Sook Lee, Nada El Wassyr and Marilyn  Kaney from Toronto  Most young South Asian women face many problems on a daily basis within their  household and society. The best way to get an idea of how it feels to be a young South Asian  girl is to picture yourself trying to reach for a star but you can't, because something is holding  you back. Until you break loose from it, you can never ever truly reach that star.  Most young South Asian girls have invisible chains that mentally hold them back—  some even have physical ones. So, as the cliche says, "opportunity knocks," yet many of us  are neither allowed nor permitted to open that door. I feel like I'm on the edge, but never  allowed to look over.  Family is an important part of South Asian culture. Much is centered around it. Girls are  supposed to be passive and live up to the high expectations of their parents—being a good  housewife, a good cook, speaking the language well. These all lead to the girl getting a good  marriage and starting a family of her own and instilling these values into her own children.  However, the boys get away with a hell of a lot more than the girls do. This double  male in a South Asian family standard within the family causes lots of problems. The other problem many girls have is  trying to conform to Western society and its ideals, while keeping her South Asian values.  Anjula Gogia from Vancouver  with Sabina Chatterjee from  Kingston, Ontario  Many girls grow up with a strong South Asian culture—surrounded by the dress, food and  language—but once they go to school, they see a  different world. Some forget their own culture,  [but] most are trying to find a balance between the  life at home and life at school. In most situations,  the girls are different at home, acting like the  "typical South Asian girl." But once they walk out  that door, many girls not only change their physical appearance but also their mentality. Most are  hiding a part of themselves away from their fam-  ily.  This leads mostgirls tobeconfusedand lonely.  However, many do not know where to turn. Most  will not go to their parents because they know how  they'll react, and feel distanced from them in family conflicts. Next, most would turn to their friends  and counsellors, but most high school counsellors  are not equipped enough to talk to them, because  they don't know anything about the South Asian  culture. They can't get adequate and sufficient  advice.  This isolation and build-up of emotions is  dangerous. Some girls are suicidal, but most end  up just confused. Although family structure may  look strong from the outside, many do not have  good communication lines with their parents and  this leads to bad results.  Every time I think about reaching up at that opportunity and grabbing that star, I think  of the consequences and get frustrated. I want to be free from the chains that are holding me  back from finding my own voice. Is it possible to balance my South Asian culture in a western  society? Can I meet my parents' expectations and still be accepted by the western world? This  feeling of questioning myself is all too familiar to me—I carry it with me every day of my life.  by Urvashi Vaid  I came out in college. Immediately, I came out to my sisters...they were very accepting.  But their fear was "the parents," don't tell the parents. So I didn't tell the parents. When  I...extended what had begun as feminist activism into gay and lesbian activism, I realized I  couldn't have my parents reading about my gay activism in the paper—I didn't want to come  out that way. So I came out to them.  They went through a period of denial, even though I brought home my activism to them  in letters and eventually started sending them press clippings. When I started working with  the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 1986, they didn't want to hear about it.  It felt horrible to me and my reaction was—I ran from my family...I made family  elsewhere. I found my home in political communities. I have to say I think I was saved by  the political movements I worked on. It gave me a strong sense of self and gave me the  strength that I had to keep developing a sense of self and eventually coming full circle and  start the integration process with my family which is where I am today.  It has taken me 13 years to come home to them. In the past year or two, we have come  full circle and begun a process of really talkinghonestlyaboutwhattheirfearsareabout me—  they range from AIDS, to the other fear they have—the fear of themselves having to come out  as the parents of a gay person. It isn't just our own coming out we live through, it's their  coming out to the community.  I want to live my life openly as a lesbian everywhere I am. I don't want to be lesbian in  a lesbian and gay ghetto. I don't want to just ha ve my gay life over here, and my Indian family  in India, and then maybe in my sisters' homes, we can all come together. I'm seeking much  more of an integration of all these parts of myself and I think that many of us who are gay  and lesbian South Asians living in this country want that.  "A Class Act - Zindabad!"  The following excerpt is one of five speeches  given during a program ofpresentations about  creating a working class culture of resistance.  Regina Fernando is with the South Asian women's Community Centre in Montreal.  by Regina Fernando  I work as a bookkeeper and community worker in the South Asian Women's  Community Centre [in Montreal]. I have  been in Canada since 1976, when my daughter and I came to join my husband.  I started doing piecework at home to  supplement my husband's income. At the  time, I was quite busy with my three children and with managing the household. I  was good at sewing, so when I heard about doing piecework, I thought it would be suitable  for my needs. Although the extra money helped around the home, I felt myself feeling  isolated. The nature of piecework is such that one is discouraged from integrating into society  because the work must be finished in a very limited time. Sometimes, I had to stitch  throughout the day to finish that work.  Dolores Chew and Nilambri Ghai  from Montreal  BUTTER LAMP (writer's cabaret,  28mar93, toronto, desh pardesh) as to how it  feels being in this company, it feels great &  inspiring, to be among familiar mixes, really,  my arteries thank you. i can't say it any better  than urvashi vaid did last night, when she said  that being at desh has been a 'very clarifying  experience', nice turn of phrase, eh: some of  the new americanism? i wondered, somewhere along the walk that night from the  euclid to art metropole, i started to feel hungry, the next day it occurred to me. i think,  you know, it has to do with ghee.  jam. ismail  [At one point] I felt that I needed to give up sewing for the  summer months so that I could be with my kids [for the  holidays]. I informed my employer about my decision and,  when I completed my job, I asked him to come and pick up the  material I had done. When he came, he didn't bring me the  cheque for the work I had done. I was assured I would receive  the payment within a week. One month later, I had made  several calls to have the cheque delivered to my home—he kept  saying they had sent the cheque by mail to my house; he told me  that the delivery man had come to my house several times and  rung the bell but no one had answered. I had been home most  of the time, so this could not be true.  At this point, it became clear that the employer had no  intention of paying me the money. I decided to contact the  South Asian Women's Community Centre because I didn't  know what else to do. When I saw I had support from someone,  I didn't fear to face my ex-employer. Together, we went to the  ex-employer — he  showed his true colours  and told me I had no  proof I had not been  paid already. He called  me a liar.  I felt angry. If I  didn't get the money at  this point, I decided to  get legal advice. Many  employers of pieceworkers think they can  use them for cheap labour, that pieceworkers can be easily exploited because they are  usually ignorant of their  rights. This is true—  pieceworkers are a hidden and an ignored  workforce.  I went to the Joint Commission for the Garment Industry  for Women and was told this was a clear case of exploitation  and that I had been paid only one-third of what I had been  guaranteed. The commission contacted the ex-employer, and I  finally got my full payment.  It was this incident that led the South Asian Women's  Community Centre to write a research proposal for a grant to  produce a pamphlet on the rights of women working in the  garment industry. It was published in different South Asian  languages so tha t all the South Asian women can read their own  writing in their own languages. One can be exploited because  of their ignorance and language barrier. I am proud of my  contribution ...in producing this pamphlet.  From this discouraging experience, I determined to overcome my ignorance and upgrade myself. One course led to  another and now I'm going for my degree in social work. If no  one had reached me, I would have stayed as the same insecure  and dependent person for a long time. Now I try to help women  who are in situations such as I was once in. I want to be a small  instrument in helping them to build their self esteem and come  put of their shell...I hope of the women 1 help, at least one will  travel in the path I did and encourage others to do the same so  that we, all the women, can come out of ignorance, know our  rights and come out of our ignorance.  Anita Nayar, Gayatri Gopinath  and Radhika Balakrishnan  from New York City from left  to right  MAY 1993  MAY 1993  KINESIS Feature  Conference for indigenous peoples in the arts:  Beyond  survival  by Lynne Wanyeki  The first international conference for  Indigenous peoples in the arts took place  April 16-18 in Hull, Quebec. Called Beyond  Survival: The Waking Dreamer Ends the Silence, the conference drew about 300 participants from all over the globe, over half of  whom were women.  Indigenous peoples, coming from places  as far apart as Greenland and Tasmania, Zimbabwe and Canada, Bolivia and  Vanuatu, met and shared strategies for the  promotion of Indigenous art forms and artists under colonial and post-colonial conditions.  The three-day conference opened with  presentations. Participants addressed ques-  tions of authenticity, cultural appropriation,  and the commodification of Indigenous art  forms from a variety of perspectives.  Workshops were held during the second and third days of the conference. Workshop coordinators shared strategies for dealing with many of the issues brought up in the  previous day. Ground plans were made for  the establishment of an international nongovernmental organization for the promo-  SOUNDS LIKE..  BECADWAY BAECCLE  quirky love songs  B. Cosar, L. Kaario, S. White  June 7,1993  Ma QAJbftfcs  potent chamber music  Artemis Trio & A.K. Coope  Jon 14, 1993  VILLAGE TO CITY  Slavic soul  Zeelia - a cappella  June 21, 1993  KATHY KIDD&  KONGO MAMBO TRIO  afro-latin jazz  JUNE 28, 1993  AN ALLITCEy LEAST  presented try  Wcmen in Music &  Community Arts Council  of Vancouver  All shows: 8 nm  CAC 837 Davie St  Tickets: SIC & $6  Series Pass: S35/S2C  CALL 683 4358  Haunani Kay-Trask, Hawaii,  speaking on the commodification  of indigenous culture as seen in  tourism.  Miriam Yataco, Peru and Marta  Orozco, Bolivia in a workshop on  education, literacy and the arts.  Both women are members of the  Quiche Nation.  Women featured strongly at the international conference of Indigenous  peoples and the arts. Shown here are Pure Fe, an Aboriginal women's  acapella group based in New York, USA.  tion of indigenous arts an dfor advocacy  around issues affecting the production of  Indigenous arts. An international database  for Indigenous artists, cultural producers  and arts organizations was also set up.  Participants also had an opportunity to  share their work with conference delegates  during two evenings of performance. Readings took place throughout the gathering.  Beyond Survival was organized by the  EnowkinSchoolofWriting,runbyJeannette  Armstrong of the Okanagan Nation in BC.  Lynne Wanyeki is of the Gikuyu Nation in  Kenya and Scottish Canadian.  Freedom Nyamveaya, Zimbabwe,  presenting on the maintainance of  indigenous expression under neo-  colonial conditions. "Culture is the  one area of life not directly controlled by the IMF and the World Bank  in Africa."  THOBANI from page 8  women's movement has been in empowering all women.  My presidency will only be effective  and successful if I am clear about listening  and interacting with women's groups all  over the country, learning how the issues are  different and what our points of unity are.  Because, at the end of the day, that is where  itcounts—at the grassroots level and in women's lives.  Gogia: What do you see as the upcoming  hot issues for NAC?  Thobani: The first thing will be the mobilizing for the election campaign. Childcare,  employment equity, violence against women  and new reproductive technologies will also  be hot issues. The government panels and  s on NRTs and violence against  women are due to come out with their reports and we have our own ongoing campaigns and committees on these issues.  Also, in terms of violence against  women, the NAC committee has been developing our own policy position on this  and we're launching a national campaign.  There's the issue of refugee women, who are  facing deportation or have been deported,  and the issue of recent changes in immigration policy—those are going to be big areas  of work. We have much to do in the area of  domestic workers rights. And NAC is committed to fighting for a national child-care  program. And in the process of working on  all these issues, we'll be working on finding  better ways of working together.  jaffer: What kind of support are you  looking for from member groups and from  individuals?  Thobani: In terms of the membership of  NAC, I'd like to encourage groups to take a  much more active role, to own the organization.  I know a lot of women of colour don't  join NAC and I would like more women of  colour groups to join. If not, we can build  coalitions, not just between women of colour, but between all women who feel that,  even though they support NAC's work, they  don't themselves want to join NAC. I want to  make myself very available for input because we can find ways of working and  supporting each other's work—and it can  only strengthen the women's movement.  Fatima Jaffer and Anju Gogia are members  of the South Asian Women's Action  Network and regular contributors to  Kinesis.  1988 W 4th & Maple  Vancouver, B.C.  DR PAULETTE ROSCOE  NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIAN  HOMEOPATHY  COUNSELLING  DETOXIFICATION  HYCROFT MEDICAL CENTER  108-3195 GRANVILLE ST.  VANCOUVER, B.C. V6H 3K2  731-4183  Subscribe to Volume 4 of   OLlVEt  A' 2uGAte/dq> jjowmai o£ Mcudk Atiau U/wneM,  Issue 1 Cfp^u,  Our Reproductive Rights  199*   Abortion Rights, New 'Reproductive' Technologies,  Choice, Women's Health, Links Worldwide  Special Issue      9lU«j. 1993        Proceedings of the Conference on Sexual Violence  Issue 2 #..fi/S.Pi 199s  Issue 3    CW^.c 199.1  ISSUe 4 #«n/9ll««l!l9  Publishing & Art by Women of Colour  Our Creative Expressions in the  Histories of the Women's Movement  Sex, Sexuality & Desire  Crossing the Boundaries, Identities,  Repressions, Fighting Back Together  Dynamics of Colonization: Realities Today  k Internalized Colonization, Tracing our Hi-stories,  New Ways of Relating, Sharing Our Struggles  Subscription Rates: Volume 4 - Individual: $25  Volume 4 - Organization: $45  diva 427 Bloor St. W.  Toronto, Ontario M5S1X7    CANADA Tel: 416-921-7004 Arts  Review and interview: Mary Medusa  An appetite for power  by Kathleen Oliver  MARY MEDUSA  by Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan  Western Front Lodge, Vancouver  April 2  "Is a woman without a body in fact a  woman? Does a woman without a body in  fact exist?"  These questions open and inform Mary  Medusa, the latest project from Winnipeg-  based performance artists Shawna Dempsey  and Lorri Millan. With all of the attention  that women in contemporary patriarchal  cultures are trained to give to things like  weight, size, diet, fertility and reproductive  control, food, PMS, and sex, what exactly  constitutes femaleness if not the female body?  Dempsey and Millan, best known for  their short film, We're Talking Vulva, which  has screened to over one million people  worldwide, have been artists in residence at  Vancouver's Western Front Lodge throughout the month of April. One part of their  residency wasa multi-media presentation of  their most recent performance project, Mary  Medusa.  The work incorporates a video component, Medusa Raw, slide-tape sequences, and  several live performance pieces which show  the Medusa head (complete with toy plastic  snakes) "embodied" in a variety of contemporary guises.  In Greek myth, Medusa was one of the  Gorgons, three sisters with snakes for hair,  who (the legend goes) were so terrifying to  look upon that their beholders were instantly  turned to stone. Medusa, the only mortal  Gorgon, was beheaded by Perseus, who subsequently used the head as a weapon against  his enemies.  As a woman with power, the Medusa  figure was an irresistible one for Dempsey  and Millan. "The question we were dealing  with," says Dempsey, "is how can women in  our society have power? How are we allowed to have power, and how can we take  power?"  TheMary Medusa performanceexplores  variations on this theme, presenting Medusa  as bride, mother, and corporate businesswoman. In each, the woman possesses a  different type of power, and a different relationship to her appetites.  Appetite is one of the themes that recurs  throughout the piece. At one point, the bride  character confesses, "Beneath this demure  feminine exterior lurks a dark side...an animal nature...that wants to sell you a weight-  loss program thatreally works." The bride's  dress becomes a screen onto which is projected an image of a woman's mouth locked  shut with steel braces and wires. "Never has  controlling what goes into your mouth been  so easy," trills the bride, "or for that matter,  what comes out."  Women's socially constructed obsession  with our weight is only one of the tools that  serves to keep us from speaking out on far  weightier matters, but women's silence is  also valued in a patriarchal economy. The  "locked jaw" weight loss program has the  added bonus of giving a woman "a little  mystery...a little je tie sais quoi...a little je ne  sais rien..." and ultimately turning her into  "a little woman."  Dempsey recalls her own experiences  with dieting and denying herself pleasure, a  pattern that many women can relate to. As  Millan notes, "if more women could only  put someof the energy, resources and money  that they put into dieting into other things,  can you imagine what it would be like?"  Food is certainly a fertile image for the  discussion of appetites, but it also ties in  with sex and with women's hunger for  power. And along with appetites are the  inevitable themes of control and containment. Among the "design flaws" the bride  identifies in her new home are windows and  doors—anything that prevents her from being fully contained. Later, the mother figure  talks about her inability to contain herself—  and damned if you don't have a body." At  least, if you're a woman.  It's worth remembering that most of  what we've been taught about Greek myth  draws on the patriarchal versions of the  various gods and goddesses, but many goddesses had a strong pre-patriarchal following. In many cases, myths were created in an  effort to contain the power of the matriarchal goddesses.    The Medusa image, for  Shawna Dempsey in Mary Medusa  which she equates with female ejaculation,  from everywhere—and begins to bare her  breasts. Her "self," she tells us, has begun to  escape from her, and "each time she oozes  away, she stays away longer."  "There's this interesting duality," says  Dempsey, "whereby we're defined by our  bodies and completely alienated from our  bodies at the same time. We're judged by  how we look, but we're not given information about our bodies, or invited to experience our bodies."  This duality is beautifully embodied by  the J/s-embodied head of the Medusa. Interspersed with the performance segments are  slide-tape sequences in which Medusa interacts with Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom.  Although Athena has a body, her mythical  fame is associated primarily with her mind,  and, as one of the "virgin goddesses,"  Athena's possession of a body is almost  incidental. As she says to Medusa, "You get  your head cut off: I never get fucked."  And while a woman without a body  may or may not be a woman, she certainly  can't be the sort of woman who is obsessed  with her weight. As Medusa reflects: "Being  without a body is the closest I've come to a  perfect figure, and still I feel inadequate."  Her conclusion: "You're damned if you do  instance, "has been around thousands of  years longer than the Greek story from which  we all know her," says Millan.  "When we were travelling in Greece  and Turkey, we saw her image in some very  ancient settings—from about 20,000 BC—  and it became apparent that she was a powerful and ancient icon that the Greeks were  subduing in some way. In the story, they cut  off her head and use her head—that is, her  power—as a weapon against other armies.  So it seemed like an interesting metaphor for  the so-called switch from matriarchy to patriarchy."  The various themes culminate in the  image of Medusa-as-businesswoman who,  with her "challenging job, stunning apartment, and a retirement plan that's nothing to  sneeze at," has achieved a measure of power  in a man's world. But at what price?  "A woman out of control is a frightening thing," she muses, using the example of  "wen-do murders...women stalking the  streets of Kitsilano in search of victims on  whom to practice self-defence." She talks  about her appetite, which is "huge" and  "inappropriate," until, at her command, a  chocolate cake begins to slide across the  stage. The businesswoman's pursuit of "sex  and food—for what else is there?" leads her  to—wett,fuck the chocolate cake. It's quite a  closing image.  "We're not even sure, intellectua lly, why  it works," says Dempsey, "but I'm clearly  doing something for my own pleasure that  involves appetite, both in terms of eating  and in terms of sex. But there's no room in  the picture for a man; I'm not doing it so a  man can get off watching me, and the cake is  not personified as male." She adds with a  laugh, "It's a very female thing...all that  whipped cream..."  This last sequence has generated some  controversy: in Winnipeg, Dempsey performed it live on television last fall during  the Festival du Voyeur, Winnipeg's celebration of queer culture and the arts. The on-air  personality who hosted the show was subsequently fired as a direct result of the performance. Millan relates that the station  manager was unable to explain the grounds  for dismissal: "The station manager's reaction was sort of to inarticulately splutter and  say,'Need you ask? It's—the cake! The cake!  The cake!'"  But, like other lesbian artists, Dempsey  and Millan are no strangers to controversy  or to the peculiar sorts of attention their  work generates. The success of We're Talking  Vulva, the five-minute film in which  Dempsey, dressed as a giant vulva, raps out  a "wear and care manual" for this previously unsung heroine of female anatomy,  has led to all sorts of strange encounters.  Viewers have offered unsolicited "testimonials" (for example, "I used to wipe from  back to front, but then I saw your film..."),  and Dempsey once had a stranger approach  her at the Sudbury, Ontario bus terminal  and say, "Hey, you're the giant cunt."  Recently, Dempsey and Millan travelled  to the Third International Istanbul Biennial,  where the film was one of seven entries  chosen to represent Canada at a "high art"  event where many of the audience were  "dripping with jewels," according to Millan.  Unconventional venueshave become part of  the package for the Vulva piece, which has  screened throughout the world in such diverse settings as a United Church Conference and opening for a thrash band in a punk  club.  So what's next for Dempsey and Millan?  During their residency at Western Front,  they have been working on a video adaptation of an earlier performance piece, Object/  Subject of Desire. In May, Mary Medusa continues on its cross-Canada tour and in September, it's off to Berlin to perform in the  Angry Women festival. And Dempsey and  Millan are at work on some new costumes,  including an arborite housedress, which they  hope to bring to life within the next year or  two.  Women's bodies are clearly a fertile  place from which to explore the relationship  between women and the power that has  been taken away from us for so long. And it  appears that there is no shortage of ideas for  Dempsey and Millan to tackle in their increasingly sophisticated game of dress-up.  Mary Medusa closes with a statement that is  at once a reflection on the mythic past and a  rallying cry for the present: "A woman with  power makes people nervous. A woman  with power stops people dead in their tracks.  So take it all back, sisters, take it all back."  Kathleen Oliver first became aware of Shawna  Dempsey and Lorri Millan's work three years  ago, when she received a postcard with a  picture of a woman dressed as a giant vulva on  the front and some inexcusably florid prose on  the back. Her mailbox lias never fully  recovered.  MAY 1993  15 Arts  Review: Looking Like Dykes;  Looking like  academics  by Alice Swift  LOOKING LIKE DYKES: PARTS  THREE AND FOUR  Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver  April 1 and 15  The Looking Like Dykes series, presented  by a Vancouver independent theatre, the  Pacific Cinematheque, wrapped up in April  with two very different perspectives on  "issues of lesbian representation and  spectatorship."  Part three featured a presentation,  "Tropical Butch," by Ali Mcllwaine and the  screening of the 1968 British film, The Killing  of Sister George.  The film stars Beryl Reid as "George"  (real name: June) and Susannah York as  "Childie" (real name: Alice), two women  trapped in the histrionic confines of a relationship that could be described, at best, as  dysfunctional.  George is an aging soap opera actress  whose star is fading and who takes out her  control-freak tendencies on Childie, whose  role in the relationship has been moulded  into one of unqualified dependency. It isn't  hard to figure out who's the "butch" and  who's the "femme": George wears the same  tweedy suit throughout the film, makes  crude jokes, and rides a motorcycle. As  Childie, Susannah York minces around the  flat in skimpy teddies, can't uncap a bottle  without a lot of trouble, and has such wide  eyes that she appears to have perpetually  just been stabbed.  Their relationship involves lots of yelling, lots of drinking, and not much left of  what must, at some point, have been love.  When George discovers she's being  writtenout of her soap opera, she becomes at  once contrite, prankisnly rebellious, and  suspicious and abusive of Childie. At the  same time, Childie begins to grow more  assertive, to the point where she is clearly  outgrowing the relationship.  Even dressing up as Laurel and Hardy  and going out to a way-too-groovy queer  nightclub (London's Gateway, a real-life  hangout for lesbians, gays, and other  "freaks") can't save them. Especially when  Childie gets "friendly" with Mercy Croft,  the same station executive who has delivered George's death warrant. The friendli  ness culminates in a truly unforgettable sex  scene between the two women. As Mcllwaine  pointed out, the sex is presented in such an  elusive way (due largely to Susannah York's  having refused to do the scene; she was shot  solo and spliced in later) that you have to  know an awful lot about lesbian sex in order  to figure out what they're doing.  This is hardly a lesbian vision of lesbian  life. Directed by Robert Aldrich, who also  created Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte and  Whatever Happened to Baby jane? (neither of  them particularly kind to their female protagonists), the film shares the sort of  anaesthetically bleak outlook that seems to  characterize so many British films of the 60s.  The film screening provided Mcllwaine,  a graduate student in Communications at  SFU, with a starting point for her discussion  of butch-femme roles, and she confessed her  "psychic investment," based on her own  Susan Polling and Jennifer Watkins in Lest I Burn by Shani Mootoo  lent about the image of Sister George, drinking herself into oblivion and lashing out at  everyone around her as she realizes how  little control she has over her situation. Even  her efforts at resistance are ultimately more  self-destructive than revolutionary—as one  audience member pointed out, her rebellious pranks add up to "cutting off her nose  to spite her face."  And, as another audience member  noted, there is very little about George that is  expressed in a sexual way. It is almost as if  the repression of her sexuality forces it to be  Still from Body Hair by Carla Wolf  socialization and role-identification, in the  reality of butch. Role-play indicates a permanently ironic stance, says Mcllwaine,  which parodies the very notion of an original set of genders. The image of masculinity  that butches are trying to live up to is every  bit as unattainable to men as it is to dykes—  but at least the dykes know that it's a game,  she says.  Mcllwaine maintains that all images of  butches—including Sister George—are empowering. Frankly, I'm a little more ambiva-  Susannah York and Beryl Reid at left in 777e Killing of Sister George  channelled into the histrionic violence and  tongue-lashing that are her primary activities (besides drinking) throughout the film.  Sister George is certainly a compelling  cinematic text—but I have to wonder how  much we lesbians have to gain from directing our energy toward ana lyzing and understanding less-than-sympathetic male visions  (obscure ones at that) of who we are.  (Mcllwaine's was the only presentation in  this series to feature a film that was not  lesbian-made.) While there is much food for  thought in The Killing of Sister George, is any  of it really nourishing? Or is it more likely to  poison us?  Which doesn't mean there aren't dangers in the study of lesbian-produced images, too. While the range of films comprising the final presentation in the series was  more appetizing, Silva Tenenbein's April  15th lecture suffered from a few troubling  ingredients.  Tenenbein's presentation, "Are Lesbians Ugly?", was an examination of the ways  in which "beauty" and sexual attractiveness  are constructed, represented and perceived by lesbians. The starting point for  Tenenbein's discussion was that if, in the  hetero-patriarchal world, female beauty (as  defined by men) equals "fuckability" (i.e.  with a penis), then how do lesbians reshape  this male-defined concept of beauty? What  is it that makes lesbians attractive to other  lesbians?  Standouts among the six short videos  and films screened were Barbara Hammer's  Hot Flash, a playful, arty video in which we  join a group of older lesbians sharing the  experience of menopause, "the most liberating time of a woman's life"; Body Hair, Carla  Wolf's quick, powerful and extremely affecting (ouch!) examination of the politics of  plucking, shaving, waxing, peeling, and  depilation; Shani Mootoo's Lest I Burn, a  defiant stride along Vancouver's unofficial  dyke neighbourhood, Commercial Drive;  and Lorna Boschman's Butch and Femme in  Paradise, a radical take on the "siren-on-the-  rocks" theme that blows up every mainstream preconception about what is an "attractive" body size for a woman.  With the exception of American Barbara  Hammer, all of these film and video artists  come from Vancouver's lesbian community,  and their works present an impressive range  of styles and visions. Unfortunately,  Tenenbein's lecture tended to gloss over that  complexity to some degree. For one thing,  her discussion relied on a rather simplistic  equation of "difference" with "deviance."  It's true that, as with sexuality, differences in  race, ability, age, size, and so on are primarily socially constructed in terms of the values that are attached to them. However,  social norms are constructed in a variety of  ways, and it is dangerous to put every form  of difference into a big pot labelled "deviance"—difference and deviance don't have  the same values or mean the same things.  And while it's true that women as a  class are significantly oppressed by the male  construction of the ideal feminine body  weight, I don't think that the obsession with  thinness which affects so many women is  really the worst and most universal form of  oppression—as Tenenbein suggested early  in her lecture, citing a survey in which over  25 per cent of US women ranked weight loss  as a more significant concern than nuclear  war—certainly not "worse" than racism, lesbian-bashing, elder abuse, and the many  other limitations on the freedom of women  of all sizes.  Tenenbein's conclusion was that, for  lesbians, it is not beauty that makes us powerful, but power that makes us beautiful—a  conclusion that seems overlyglib when there  are still so many problematic power differences within the lesbian community.  Such as the difference between academics and non-academics.  I may be harping here, but one of my  concerns about the Looking Like Dykes series was that so much of the discussion  makes so little sense outside the hallowed  halls of the university. While I do think it's  important that lesbians are working toward  inclusion in the curriculum, we can't ignore  the ways in which the curriculum is still  inherently exclusive.  Is this really a place  where we want to be and be seen?  Alice Swift is still recovering from too much  post-secondary education and bristles at the  sound of post-any thing rhetoric. Arts  Review: SamiYonhA Journal for South Asian Lesbians:  ii  The power is now mine"  by Sur Mehat  SAMIYONI: A JOURNAL FOR  LESBIANS OF SOUTH ASIAN  DESCENT  Edited by neesha dosanjh  Toronto, Ontario  I have to admit it—I didn't think it  would be even fractionally as impressive as  it turned out to be. SamiYoni: A Journal for  Lesbians of South Asian Descent, launched  during the third annual Desh Pardesh conference and festival in Toronto in March,  was nothing I expected it to be.  What I expected was a thin stack of  photocopies held together by a single staple  at the upper left-hand corner with no cover.  What it turned out to be is a magazine (that's  two staples), 38 pages of prose, poetry, essays and visual images laid out in the most  readable format that this reader has ever  come across. The work of 18 South Asian  lesbians is featured along with a directory of  resources.  Why didn't I expect a magazine? Why  didn't I expect a well put together publication that gave respectful and thoughtful treatment to good work during a festival where  South Asian women are in the forefront?  Part of my reactions and expectations have  to do with being an out lesbian in a region of  the country where there are few out South  Asian lesbians. That is not to say that sheer  number could ever replace quality of interaction, but the projects undertaken are, by  necessity, of a certain type, scale and number  to maximize effectiveness and make the most  of the energy at hand. And along with that is  my every day experience of invisibility as a  South Asian dyke. An experience which,  though I'm not complacent with, I have  certainly grown accustomed to.  The word SamiYoni is a combination of  two hindi words—sami translating as the  same and yoni, female fertility. It is an attempt to name lesbianism (a word that does  not exist in many Indian languages) from a  cultural perspective. The publication is an  attempt to provide a space for us, as South  Asian dykes, to dialogue and see each others' work and, as such, it is meant to be one  drop into an immense well.  As such a drop, it is not only unique but  also groundbreaking. Although other publications exist that speak to our realities as  South Asians in the diaspora, such as Montreal's Serai and Rungh Magazine from Vancouver, none exclusively address South  Asian lesbians. SamiYoni is the first publication in Canada exclusively about South Asian  lesbians.  Based in Toronto, the journal—according to neesha dosanjh, the editor for this  issue—would ideally be a collective production. The intent is to publish twice yearly and  have an international readership and worldwide contribution. Currently mail-outs have  been made to India, Fiji, the Pacific Islands  and the US, for the upcoming "international  forum."  As it stands, several women, in various  ways and capacities, assisted in the production of the first issue; a formal collective has  yet to form. Eighteen South Asian lesbians  contributed to SamiYoni. And there are plenty  more where we came from. There is more  than simple strength in numbers here; there  is the possibility of solidarity, the inevitability of shared experiences and excitement.  SamiYoni is about us and our experiences  with each other, with family, with communities and society and the wealth of talent  that none of us could deny the existence of.  And that is significant.  The premiere issue of SamiYoni: A Journal for Lesbians of South Asian  Descent  The "enormous strength and spirit" that  dosangh acknowledges of us is-as undeniable in this collection as it is in our political,  as well as cultural collectives, collaborations  and gatherings. But this is different. This  journal is solely about us as South Asian  dykes, and, as such, raises compelling questions about our social needs and desires.  As affirmation of our existence, and a  site of potential interaction and communication, correspondence and claiming/creating space, SamiYoni is an important political  statement of the value we place on ourselves  and each other and our right to a space for  our voices. But, aside from the political significance of SamiYoni, there is the social  function tha t it could potentially play should  we decide that there is a need for it.  "There is a need," contributor Manisha  Singh says, "to actively engage in working  on a project instead of simply talking about  doing things." Singh is the contact for  SamiYoni in Vancouver. The question is can  we establish a sense of community based on  this act of bringing together our individual  work? And what role does this journal have  in that community-making when the readership of and contribution to it is worldwide?  The production of this journal by South  Asian lesbians working at the grassroots  level cannot succeed unless we believe in its  value and right and need to exist. As Sabina  from Kingston, puts it: we have to believe  that it is "...really important to have a forum  for South Asian dykes." We have to believe  that it is equally important to voice our  support of each other and engage in activities that prove and strengthen that commitment.  We have to believe that our work deserves the 'professional' treatment of considerations around such things as layout,  design and typeface. We have to believe that  we have a right to expect that our work  should be available in several forms, not just  the cheapest (even though that doesn't mean  the cheapest is not valued). And we should  understand the monetary value of our labour and the work we produce.  The social potential of Sami Yoni isbased  on how much we are willing and prepared  to work towards. As it stands, with this first  issue the journal plays an important role as  a forum for the work of South Asian lesbians. Whatever types of communication it  provides—debate, correspondence, support,  etcetera—is really up to the contributors and  collective alike. If nothing else, it reassures  us tha t, no matter how isolated we may be or  feel at times, there are others out there and  that there is a place where one can engage  interactively or just take up space, an important social—as well as political—strategy in  itself.  As for the work reproduced in this first  issue, there is an undeniable richness and  depth. Poetry is the dominant form of expression followed by prose, artwork and  herstories. The contributions a re consistently  strong. Subject matter ranges from the experiences of being of mixed race, and writing  the real Canadian anthem, to attempting to  deal with the "sense of loss" in the lesbian  community from AIDS-related deaths, and  expressing the anger we feel at the racism  and homophobia we encounter.  It is this sheer variety of subject matter  that strikes the reader. It makes a refreshing  change from the theme-oriented issues of  other publications.  Though the majority of the writers and  artists are Toronto-based and only a handful  come from across Canada, there is little that  makes this issue of SamiYoni purely  Torontonian. Lezlie Lee Kam's humourous  exploration/reflection on the attempts of  others to 'peg' her racially, aptly titled "what  kind of Indian are you ?," is an essay that takes  the reader through her labyrinthine experience of dealing with people dealing with her  mixed-race identity. After describing some  of her experiences she writes "[m]y life and  way of living in this crazy world has been  enriched by my varied racial and cultural  background. However, please do not allow  YOURSELF to be so politically correct you  forget that...".  Nila Gupta's poem, "oh canada," is a  correction of the national anthem that tells it  the way it is—white supremacy, exploitation, racism, homophobia—without pulling  any punches. Diane Srivastava's drawing, a  visual representation that makes the familiar experience of growing up being called  every name in the book, makes physical (in  the experience of reading) the emotions of  coming to a place of taking control. The text  winds around and around, finally into the  central image, where it ceases to spiral, instead winding its way carefully around a  solid-colour figure. It ends in the assuming  of the power to name oneself—"the power is  now mine, boy."  One prose piece, by Vancouver-based  writer Manisha Singh, is an excerpt of an  interview tha t the writer did with her mother.  The piece is short but engrossing for the  images it creates of a woman trying, through  memories of her mother, to create, to no  ' avail, "any satisfactory image."  Another interesting piece was a poem  by Natasha Singh, a Jasper, Alberta-born  Montreal resident. Entitled "in loving Ravi,"  the poem methodically lays out the terms of  Singh's relationship with her brother. The  work succeeds in portraying the complexity  of her relationship with him and her exhaustion from frustrated attempts to get him to  acknowledge and accept her as a lesbian.  The painof homophobia and family is something that most of us face and, in her poem,  Singh conveys that pain, frustration and  anger, as well as the exhaustion they bring  on.  She writes: "I'm tired today my  brotherX tired of worrying aboutXyour  comfort zoneXtired of censoring my  womanXwhen you don't yoursXtired of being consciousXof taking up too much  spaceXtired of feeling guiltyXfor loving  herX tired of your inabilityX to draw parallels  between the racismXwhich exploits you\  and the ho.mophobiaXwhich exploits  usXtiredof extending a considerationX when  you won'tXtired of extending my handX  alone it shakesXalone it clenches into a  fistXthen unclenchesXalone it reaches  outXfalters, then fallsXfor my brother, I'm  tired nowXI'm tired from loving you."  Also featured in this issue are the works  ofVashtiPersad,ShahnazStri,Nalina Singh,  Kaushalya Bannerji, Sharon Fernandes, Gita  Saxena, MarilynFernandez, neesha dosanjh,  Geneffa Popatia, Sunita, and one anonymous contributor.  The future of SamiYoni depends on the  involvement of as many South Asian lesbians as possible. At a time when we continue  to struggle to be seen and heard, it is important that we take stock of what and who is  really worth our efforts and I, for one, firmly  believe in the value of our supportive collaborations and the production of tangible  work.  If you want to get involved in SamiYoni  and/or wish to contribute to the next issue  (deadline September 30, 1993), write to:  Sami Yon i, Attn: neesha dosanjh, PO Box 891,  Stn. P, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2Z2.  Sur Meliat is a local South Asian lesbian  artist living in Burnaby.  MAY 1993 Arts  Review: Lee Pui Ming:  Music to watch  by Laiwan  LEE PUI MING: TO VOICE,  TO COME TO POWER  Tom Lee Music Hall, Vancouver  April 10  Lee Pui Ming is a remarkable woman—  and an exciting woman to watch. She plays  piano, not only with her hands, but with her  entire body. In a complex juggle of tension  and release, everything about her reveals her  years of practice, of becoming friends, getting to know and arriving at an intimate ease  and companionship with her large, whimsical instrument—the piano.  In the slightly awkward setting of the  Tom Lee Music Hall—where the two largest  signs are the names 'Tom Lee' and 'Steinway  and sons'—Lee literally shook the dust off  the piano and the surrounding patriarchal  signifiers with her energetic, uninhibited  improvisations.  Exploring blends of jazz, Chinese classical and folk music and improvisation, Lee's  strength and humour come across in the  flexibility and accuracy of her body, hands,  fingers and keyboard techniques, as do her  passion and lack of pretension.  Now living in Toronto, Lee was born  in Hong Kong and lived there for 19 years.  Her mother, Hui Pui, was a singer trained at  the Shanghai Conservatory of Music,  who became one of the top vocal coaches of  China.  Lee Pui Ming  "Because my mother taught every day,  there was always lots of activity and noise  from morning to night, with people singing.  My mother put me at the piano when I was  between three and four and that is how it all  started for me," says Lee.  This early background of encouragement and creativity is reflected in Lee's brilliance at the piano. Her music conveys a  complex, intense emotional landscape—a  commitment to honesty of self, perseverance and a desire for discovery, and a modest maturity. She also has an understated  quirky sense of humour—in one wonderful  piece, she bends over into the body of the  grand piano and soulfully calls out in Cantonese: "Sui chair, nei hai pin do-ahl" ("Miss,  sister—where are you?") as if she were a  child, singing into an echoing well, calling  out a name, searching for a missing companion.  She also uses the piano as a percussion  box, playing the strings inside the piano  with her hands or mallets, as well as using  fists, arms and impeccable fingering on the  keyboard. Lee is adept at playing classical  pieces that become brilliantly twisted and  re-interpreted into contemporary improvi-  Getting Ready For Unity '94  New York  Team Vancouver  General Meeting  Saturday, May 8,1993  10 am  at the West End Community Centre  Bidwell Room  Everyone who has an interest or wants to help lauch Vancouver's teams to the games in New York is invited to attend.  sations that express the complexity of our  modern, inner lives.  In the week before her performance,  Lee rehearsed with the Vancouver Chinese  Music Ensemble and percussionist Sal  Ferreras to produce a much-anticipated compact disc recording.  "It's a wonderful collaboration, even  though, by writing the music, it is mostly my  project. I am composing original contemporary material for traditional instruments and  contemporizing traditional music. It's a real  challenge because, in Canada, Chinese music has never been contemporized before.  "...For so many years I denied that part  of my background [Chinese music] and  didn't want to have anything to do with it. I  had to grow and integrate everything of who  I am to be ready. I'm thrilled it has all come  together."  And it has come together—for me, witnessing Lee Pui Ming translate into music  her life, her passions, her humour, her soul,  against the staid backdrop of tradition in  both western and eastern contexts, is exuberantly inspiring. Her music embodies resistance to the stereotypes and confinement  that come from a modern society that stifles  creativity, innovation, identity and voice.  Lee is a woman to watch and listen to, a  woman voicing and already with power.  Laiwan is a Vancouver-based writer, born in  Zimbabwe of Chinese origin, who ivas inspired  by Lee Pui Ming's performance to write this  piece despite a hectic schedule.  HARRISON FESTIVAL  of the Arts  Western Canada's  Lesbian & Gay  Bookstore  Open Daily 10am to 11 pm  ANNIVERSARY  CELEBRATION  Join Us In Celebrating Our 10th Year  Serving The Community  Saturday, May 8th, 1993  at  Little Sister's, 1221 Thurlow (at Davie)  Shameless Discounts, Refreshments and Party Favours Galore!  10th  new and  gently used books  Feminist  Philosophy - Poetry  Native - General  Open daily 11am-7pm  Coffee Bar  1020 Commercial Drive  Vancouver BC V5L 3W9  (604) 253-1099  Bonnie Murray  Cynthia Brooke  >  The Most  Colourful  Beats Under  The Sun  • Afro-roots Music  3 stages featuring blues, gospel,  African and much more.  • Art Exhibit  Women and Their Environment;  solo exhibits and collaboration  pieces.  »Art Market  • Theatre  D.E.T. Boys High Sabikwa Players  from South Africa  Medicine premiere of award  winning play by Laverne Adams  • Lecture & Discussion Series  A chance to discuss issues such as  racism, human rights and global  development with performers and  guest speakers.  Featuring:  Faith Nolan  Melanie DeMore  Winsom  For information: Box 399  Harrison Hot Spring, BC V0M 1K0  (604) 796-3664 or Vancouver 681-2771  Super, Natural Southwestern BC  July 3 -11,1993  son Hot Springs, BC Letters  dear     reader  Kinesis loves receiving mail. Please  get your letter to us by the 18th of the  month.  If you can, keep the length to about  500 words.  (If you go way over, we  might edit for space.)  Hope to hear from you very soon.  Love,  Kinesis  Not news  Kinesis:  Maybe I'm just bitchy because it keeps  on snowing here but honestly, an entire page  of nasty infighting in the Vancouver women's community does not give us in the rest  of the country the impression that Kinesis'  priorities are clear [see Kinesis, Letters, Mar.  93].  Write us something concrete on Kim  Campbell for God's sake. Rise above the  other stuff for a while, okay? We don't really  care.  Thanks for consistently good articles.  Sincerely,  T. Middlebro  Ottawa, Ontario  Bi debate part 3  I want to respond to Marlene Wong's  comments about bisexuals Isee Kinesis, Letters, Mar. 93].  Wong writes about her opposition to  the inclusion of bisexuals on the masthead of  Angles, a lesbian and gay publication (this  has not increased its coverage of the bisexual  community, however). Because of this  change, she charges that we "...no longer  have a gay and lesbian magazine in Vancouver."  She also states that bisexual women  enjoy 'heterosexual privilege' and [they] cannot fully understand her own issues as a  lesbian of colour.  Comments such as these about bisexuals have created an open sore in the women's  community. I value the concept of lesbian-  only culture and space. I believe that our  ability to fight oppression is directly related  to the strength of our sisterhood. However,  the idea that the lesbian community can be  defined as women who have sex exclusively  with women is simply not true. We have sex  with men for pleasure, for procreation, and  for protection. Sometimes we are forced to  have sex with men. Have you ever asked a  bunch of friends: "do you fantasize about  sex with men?"  The fact that lesbians choose to have sex  with men blurs the line between lesbianism  and bisexuality. These labels are chosen by  women and cannot be tacked on to anyone  without their consent. Consequently, the issue arises that some bisexuals are more  woman-identified than some lesbians who  prefer not to belong to the women's community because of personal, social and political  differences with feminists and/or other lesbians.  Many lesbians equate bisexuality with  heterosexuality, and I believe we have to reexamine this prejudice. Our two communities co-exist and many women experience  sexuality in various forms over one lifetime.  The difference between lesbian culture  and bisexual culture will remain and should  be valued. To achieve the most vibrant les  bian culture possible, we need to listen to the  many voices who share our women's community and recognize that bisexuals are not  part of the straight world unless they choose  to be. Just as lesbians are not part of a lesbian  community unless they choose to be.  Sincerely,  Chantal Phillips  Vancouver, BC  IMA article lacks  Kinesis:  I would like to make some comments  about an article on the India Mahila Association (IMA) by Manisha Singh [see Kinesis,  Mar. 93]. I understand from the article that  Singh prefers to see herself in her interviews  with members of the IMA as sitting "at my  mother's table." Furthermore, she continues  with, "It is because of these women, my  mothers, that I stand and speak at all."  It's fine if she feels so strongly that her  relationships with the women at IMA are  only mother-and-daughter defined. However, Singh continues with this classification  of relationships between women as being  defined by mother-daughter contexts, and  then includes me within her very narrowly  defined notion of what relationships are  possible between women irrespective of age.  Specifically, she says tha t, as a "younger"  woman, I "came to the IMA to 'sit around  the kitchen table with their (meaning my)  mothers'." I would like to raise issue with  how the term "younger" is used and with  her clarification of what my relationship  was to other members of the IMA.  First of all, I would point out that Singh  does not know me, nor my work with the  IMA, so she can hardly speak for me or my  relationships with other women in the group.  Secondly, I reject her reducing my varied and numerous relationships with other  members over so many years into a mother-  daughter mould.  Thirdly, maybe Singh should try and  understand the heterosexual bias in how  words such as "younger" are used and also,  what are the implications of reducing relationships between women to only mother-  daughter configurations.  For example, it is amply clear that, if one  is not married in the South Asian communities and does not have a husband, children  and a household—and, if not all, at least  some of the above—then one is never quite  legitimate. After all, the only way one is  recognized as a "real woman" and taken  seriously, and given age recognition is when  one is married, and/or has children.  I worked with the IMA for over 5 years  and there were always women of my age or  around my age—younger and older than  me—in the IMA. Yet, how is it they are not  considered "younger" in the same way as  some of us are?  It seems that, because we are not married, we eternally remain "young," which  also implies we are immature and thus have  an insufficient understanding of what goes  on in our communities. So, of course, we  never know what is going on, and who is  doing what to whom. That is, somehow, only  the prerogative of the kind of women I have  described above.  To the point then: all this kind of business continues to deny lesbians/lesbianism  in South Asian communities.  As women can and do have many different relationships, it is short-sighted to  ignore the many dimensionsofusas women,  sisters, friends, lovers, comrades, aunts,  nieces and enemies into only mother-daughter ones.  Surely, our struggle in the IMA was also  about challenging how patriarchy has de-  WEDNESDAY     THURSDAY  FRIDAY  SATURDAY  SUNDAY  MAY 26, 1993               MAY 27, 1993  MAY 28, 1993  MAY 29, 1993  MAY 30, 1993  7:00 pc        7:°° pc  7:00   RS  7:30   RS  JlOO   RS  Viktor und                  ASIAN  Juggling Gender  Split  Women's  Viktoria                       PROGRAM  TBA  The Jane Show  Features  0:3O  PC              0:3O  PC  Q:30  RS  Q:30   RS  TBA  Nitrate Kisses           WOMEN'S  II Etait une fois  Q:30  RS  Sex Is  The Dead  SHORTS  Rosebud  (Once Upon a  Time in the East)  Thank God I'm  A  Lesbian  TBA  Transportations  MIDNIGHT PC  Boys Club  Bar Jeder Frau  Flaming Ears  MIDNIGHT PC  Safe Sex is  Hot Sex  Too Hot to  Handle II  Mens Program  Memberships: $1.00  Ticket prices: $6.00 general  $4.00 seniors & students  Festival Passes: $40.00  Advance tickets can be purchased at  the box office during the festival.  Passes will be available early May at Little Sisters, 1221  Thurlow St. and Book Mantel, 1002 Commercial Dr.  INFORMATION:  Robson Square Media Centre(RS)is located  at 800 Robson St. Pacific Cinematheque  (PC) is located at 1131 Howe St.  The program is subject to change.  Please check for final listings or call  ARTS HOTLINE 684-2787 for updated information.  A/(j Is  LESBIAN  «* g yv ^r  Locations: Robson Square Media Centre soo Robson st. & Pacific Cinematheque 1131 ho  For more information call: The Arts Hotline - 684-2787 Letters  fined our relationships to each other i  women.  Sincerely,  Prabha Khosla  Toronto, Ontario  Singh responds  Kinesis:  I am writing in response to a letter to  the editor from Prabha Khosla [see above]  regarding the article I wrote on the India  Mahila Association in the March 1993 issue  of Kinesis.  I appreciate and thank Khosla for her  insightful comments.  I would like to begin by providing some  personal context. I have been working on a  paper about the IMA—specifically—and  South Asian women organizing in general  for two yea rs now. I interviewed four women  from the IMA. It was from those interviews  that I received most of my information regarding the activities, politics and personal  relationships of this organization. I accepted  most of the oral testimony at face value. I  should have been more critical. I am very  well aware of the many different kinds of  relationships which are possible between  women and the whole range of relationships  which are possible between mothers and  daughters. It was not my intention to trap  my experience, and yours ( which I do not  know) within a one-dimensional and suffocating metaphor.  I embarked on this project precisely  because "I wanted to sit at my mother's table  again." At that time, I needed to see these  women as my mothers. For so long I wanted  to be white and for me these women became  mythic foremothers, who gave birth to my  new-found South Asian identity. I recognize  now the danger of romanticizing and putting  women on a pedestal. It was a learning  process which was joyous and painful and  always difficult. It still is. In the last month,  I have come to realize that while it is important to honour women's voices, we need to  be more critical. We have to find ways to  challenge each other and most importantly  ourselves.  Sincerely,  Manisha Singh  Vancouver, BC  Sage's project ends  Kinesis:  The Vancouver Lesbian Centre (VLC)  Collective has had to make an unfortunate  decision concerning the Sage's Restaurant  Project. We offer our sincere apologies for  the length of time it has taken to make this  decision and inform you of our decision. The  VLC Collective continues to operate the VLC,  but we are unable to proceed with our plans  to open and operate a women's restaurant.  The VLC began working on the Sage's  Restaurant Project in 1988. As part of a Community Economic Development Project, we  began to set about the work of opening a  non-profit restaurant in Vancouver. Our goal  was to operate a non-profit business through  which we would accomplish the following  objectives: provide employment for v  provide the VLC with a sustain  and provide another service to the community by offering women/lesbians a safe, comfortable place to socialize and enjoy cultural  events'.  We appreciate the support we received  from the 115 women who purchased Sage's  Restaurant Memberships ranging from $10-  $100. Thank you to the women who worked  on fundraising for the project and for sharing our vision.  However, the Collective accepts the fact  that appeals for further support, either financial or labour, for the project have not  been successful and indicate that the project  is not a priority for women in Vancouver at  this time.  Sage's Restaurant has remained in the  planning stages due to the high start-up  costs of operating a small business. The pre-  opening costs were estimated at $55,000 for  a full-service restaurant. An additional  $39,000 was required in order to ensure six  months operating expenses.  Our business plan was sound and responsible. Our fundraising efforts only allowed us to reach a ceiling of $20,000. The  VLC sold Sage's Restaurant Memberships to  115 women and raised $5,790. The remaining funds ($14,210) were raised through  coffeehouses, the Restaurant Food Booth at  the Folk Festival, raffles and dances.  The VLC Collective no w has seven members. Most of us have full-time employment  in addition to our VLC work. Several of the  founding members of the organization had  a very creative solution to the on-going problems of raising enough money to do the  service and political work of the VLC.  The restaurant project required a full-  time commitment and perhaps several more  years of fundraising work. This is not a  commitment the current collective is prepared to make at this time.  So where do we go from here...  The VLC Collective will return Sage's  Restaurant Memberships to women upon  request and we plan to do this without further delay. We want to make the process of  returning memberships to women as easy as  possible. However, we are not forwarding  cheques to addresses which were given to us  in 1988 as these addresses may be inaccurate  and we want to respect those women who  would rather not receive mail at theif homes  from a lesbian centre.  Should you wish to have your fee returned, please write to us at 876 Commercial  Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3W6, Attn:  Fundraising Committee or phone us at 254-  8458 and leave a message with your current  address. If you wish to donate your fee, we  will issue you a tax receipt.  Again, please advise us on which option you prefer. Fees donated to the centre  will go towards the cost of continuing the  VLC's work. Please let us know if you want  your fee returned by August 31,1993.  If you wish to discuss our decision,  please call the VLC and we will return your  call.  Thank you for supporting the Sage's  Restaurant Project.  Sincerely,  Maureen Mills for the VLC Collective  Kemble smarting  Kinesis:  Diana Kemble and I have known each  other in a nomadic sort of way over the  period of a couple of decades. We had a visit  sometime last year, after [the story] 'women  out of focus' by Agnes Huang appeared in  the November issue of Kinesis.  Regarding her part in the debacle: it was  dumb of her, Diana admits; and, "...but, no  one mentioned the painting"—that's how  she's smarting.  Sincerely,  Jam Ismail  Vancouver, BC  Canadian  Advisory Council  on the Status of Women  Conseil  consultatif canadicn  sur la situation de la femme  . Tax Facts: What Every Woman Should Know  . Young Women Speak Out: 1992 Symposium Report  ■ Fact Sheet on Sexual Harassment  . Re-evaluating Employment Equity  These are just a few of the titles recently published by the Canadian  Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) and available  free of charge.  The CACSW is an independent organization, funded by the federal  government to advise the government and inform the public on  matters of interest and concern to women. The CACSW produces  original research on social, economic, and legal issues affecting  women in Canada, including reproductive health, employment,  income security, and violence against women.  CACSW research is published as books, booklets, background  papers, briefs and fact sheets, For a complete list of free CACSW  publications, contact the National Office. (The Council reserves the  right to limit quantities.)  Western Office  900 West Hastings Street  Room 403  Vancouver, B.C. V6C1E5  Telephone: (604) 666-0664  Fax 667  2021 Union Avenue  Suite 875  Montreal, Quebec H3A 2S9  Telephone: (514) 283-3123  Fax: (514) 283-3048  National Office  DO O'Connor Street  9th Floor  Box 1541, Station B  Ottawa, Ontario KIP 5R5  Telephone: (613) 992-4975  Fax:(613)992-1715  CACSW/CCCSF  1973*1993 Bulletin Board  read     t h  i  Bulletin Board listings have a  maximum of 50 words. Groups,  organizations and individuals eligible  for free space in the Bulletin Board  must be, or have, non-profit  objectives.  Other free notices will be items of  general public interest and will appear  at the discretion of Kinesis.  Classifieds are $8 (+$0.56 GST)  forthefirst 50 words or portion thereof,  $4 (+$0.28 GST) for each additional  25 words or portion thereof and must  be prepaid.  Deadline for all submissions is  the 18th of the month preceding  publication. Note: Kinesis is published  ten times a year. Jul/Aug and Dec/  Jan are double issues.  All submissions should include a  contact name and telephone number  for any clarification that may be  required.  Listings will not be accepted over  the telephone.  Kinesis encourages readers to  research the goods and services  advertised in Bulletin Board. Kinesis  cannot guarantee the accuracy of the  information provided or the safety  and effectiveness of the services and  products listed.  Send submissions to Bulletin  Board, Kinesis, #301-1720 Grant  Street, Vancouver, BC,V5L2Y6. For  more information call 255-5499.  EVENTS  VSW WANTS YOU!   ^^^^^^  Want to get more involved but not sure  where to begin? Join us—become a volunteer at Vancouver Status of Women. VSW  volunteers plan events, lead groups, raise  funds, answer the phone lines and help to  connect women with the community resources they need, organize the library and  other exciting tasks! Come to committee  meetings: Finance/Fundraising Tues, May  18, 5:30 pm; Publicity, Wed, May 19, 5:30  pm; Programming,Thurs,May 20,5:30pm.  The next volunteer potluck and orientation  will be on Wed, May 19,7pmat VSW, #301-  1720 Grant St. For more info, call Jennifer  at 255-5511.  INTERNATIONAL MOTHER'S DAY  International Mother's Day is a time to support justice. A fundraiser for FEDEFAM  (Network of Latin American Committees of  Families of the Disappeared) will be held at  La Quena, 1111 Commercial Dr., May 9 at  7 pm. Featured are speakers from El Salvador, Chile and Guatemala with up-dates on  the situations in their countries and a  FEDEFAM video. Presented by the Vancouver Committee in Support of FEDEFAM.  Admission by donation.  WALKATHON AND PICNIC  The 15th Annual Vancouver Rape Relief  and Women's Shelter Walkathon and Picnic  will be held Sun, May 30. The 10 km walk  around Stanley Park, which is wheel chair  and bike accessible, will end with a free  lunch and entertainment. Call 255-4294 to  register or Regina Lorek at 872-8212 for  more info.  POLICE TREATMENT OF WOMEN  A Commission of Inquiry on police actions  towards BC women will be held Tues, May  EVENTS  4,10am to 4pm at the Aboriginal Friendship  Centre, 1607 E. Hastings. If you wish to  present a brief as a member of a women's  group or as an individual, please contact  Chris or Miche at 255-5511. Wheel chair  accessible, signer provided and lunch included.  LIGHTEN UP COLETTE  Come to Hot Flashes Women's Cafe, 106  Superior Street, Victoria, BC, May 14 between 8 and 11pmforthe event. Tix are $2.  FULL MOON POTLUCK  Women's full moon potluck and ritual on  Thurs, May 6 at 6:15 at Josephine's, 1716  Charles. Pre-register at 253-3142. Tix are  $2-$5 plus potluck dish.  HAGS, CRONES AND MENOPAUSE  A 3 week workshop for women wanting to  dispel myths about menopause and celebrate this passage of their lives. Begins  Mon, May 10 from 7:30-9:30pm at  Josephine's, 1716 Charles. Call Pat at  253-7189 to pre-register.  WOMYN'S OPEN STAGE  A monthly event at Josephine's, 1716  Charles, where poets, singers, dancers and  performers demonstrate their hidden, or not  so hidden, talents. Tix are $2-$5. Doors  open at 7:15 pm. If you want to perform,  sign up by calling 253-3142.  IN VISIBLE COLOURS  A workshop on "Identity and the Snapshot"  will be given by Emily Carr photography  teacher Chick Rice on Sat, May 8 at 9:30am.  "CenteringtheEye,"is a workshop by multi-  disciplinary artist Shani Mootoo on strategies of subverting the assumption of the  prevailing dominant gaze. Participants will  EVENTS  be asked to submit a project idea 2 weeks  before the workshop to be held Sat, May 29  at 9:30am.The workshops are at the Praxis  Film Development Workshop, 2-1142 Homer  St., and are limited to 15 participants. Preregister or pay at door. Phone 682-1116 for  more info.  ANIMATED READINGS  Christine Taylor, the producer and actress  of Man on the Moon, Woman on the Pill, will  present readings from "More Than One  Story" at Josephine's in Jun. Call 253-3142  in late May for date.  RESIDENTIAL WOMEN'S CAMP  BCWC is offering "Sappho," a camp for  pagan lesbians and allies to be held Jul 25-  31. Workshops on divination, magical herbs,  writing the healer with Jena Hamilton, sex  and magic, basics of ritual, maskmaking  and more. Includes vegetarian meals, lake  swims and hiking. Call 253-7189.  WELFARE RIGHTS WORKSHOP  The Vancouver Lesbian Connection, 876  Commercial Dr., is holding a Welfare Rights  Workshop on Tues, May 4, 7-10pm. Em-  powermentforthoseusingthesystem. Bus  fare and childcare (at $3/hr) reimbursed.  For info call 254-8458.  INCIDENT AT OGLALA  OH-TOH-KIN Publications presents a benefit screening of Incident at Oglala on Sat,  May 15, 7:30pm at Carnegie Centre, 401  Main St. Admission by donation.  PERFORMANCE POET  R2B2 Books presents Toronto performance poet Penn Kemp on Fri, May 7 at 8pm,  2742 W. 4th Ave.  WOMEN'S ALLIANCE  HER VOICE, OUR VOICES,  A WOMEN'S CAMP  CREATING PATTERNS OF RESPECT^  f  AUGUST 14-21 1993 $ BELFAIR, WASHINGTON  ANCIENTKNOWLEDGE  STORYTELLING  Crystal Clarity Bujol, Lakota Harden, Colleen Kelley, Olga Loya  INNER MOVEMENT  DRUMMING  SINGING  Barbara Borden, Lizanne Fisher, Adele Getty, Tasnim Hermila Fernandez  SACRED CLOWN S  SACRED THEATRE  Arina Isaacson, Naomi Newman  RITUAL GARMENTS  ROPES  WRITING  Rae Gabriel, Ann Linnea, Christina Baldwin  FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT  Women's Alliance, P.O. Box 21454, Oakland, CA 94620  510 658-2949  OR LOCAL CONTACT  Hilary Mackey 604 251-9057  47  1  J1 Bulletin Board  EVENTS  EVENTS  EVENTS  EVENTS  BOOK LAUNCH  Montreal writer Gail Scott will launch her  new book Main Brides at R2B2 Books, 2742  W. 4th Ave., Sun, May 16 at 2pm.  MAYWORKS FESTIVAL  The sixth annual Mayworks Festival runs  from Apr29-May 8. Film and Video Festival:  Independent directors including Pratiba  Parmar and Sara Diamond deal with subjects ranging from motherhood to wage  labour at the Pacific Cinematheque, 1131  Howe St., from May 4-8. Censored in BC:  Art by Kiss and Tell, Melva Forsberg, Katie  Campbell and others which has been censored for sexual, racial and political reasons, willbe on exhibit atthe IWA Hall, 2859  Commercial Drive. Censored Performance  Cabarets: Music and poetry performances  by Veda Hille & Her Band, Deirdre Walker,  Evelyn Lau, Heidi Archibald, Dana Claxton  and Ingrid Percy, Apr 30 & May 1 at 8pm,  IWA Hall. Dish Pigs and Wage Slaves: May  day youth afternoon at the IWA Hall with  videos and bands, including cub, May 1,  2pm, for all ages. Fiction .Fantasy and Fragmentation: Leila Sujir will present a lecture  and screening of "Fiction, Fantasy and Fragmentation" on May 6 at 8pm at Video In,  1102 Homer St. Visions of Clayoquot: Speakers including Valerie Langer of Friends of  Tofino will be at IWA Hall on May 3 at  7:30pm. Solidarity Cabaret: Yellowknife  Miners Solidarity Cabaret to be held at the  WISE Hall, Adanac & Victoria, on May 7 at  7:30pm. Call 874-2906 for Festival info.  GEIST EVENING  Susan Crean will talk on "Imagining life in  North America" on May 6 at 7pm at the  Grandview Restaurant, 60 W. Broadway.  Tix are $25. Reserve by calling 254-9155.  A STEP BEHIND  The Victoria Status of Women Action Group  and the UVIC Faculty of Law are sponsoring  a conference on stalking, threatening and  intimidation to be held at UVIC May 14-15.  For more info call SWAG at 381 -1012.  DAY CARE CONFERENCE  The third national conference of the Canadian Child Day Care Federation will be held  in Toronto May 26-29. For more info phone  (613)729-5289.  UNLEARNING RACISM  The workshop on Jun 4 at 7:30pm and Jun  6 at 3pm, will focus on safety, confidentiality  and communicating with respect. Cost:  $250-$85 sliding scale. To pre-register call  Celeste at 251-2635.  FREE LAW CLASSES  The People's Law School presents free law  classes on: "Separation and Divorce"-find  out how to get a divorce, what your property  and pension rights are, and if you need a  lawyer. At Champlain Heights Community  School, 6955 Frontenac, Mon, May 17 at  7pm. To pre-register call 438-4041. 'Welfare Rights and Gain"-at Gordon Neighbourhood House, 1019 Broughton, Wed,  May 19 at 7pm. Pre-register by calling 683-  2554. "Child Apprehension"-learnaboutyour  rights if a ministry social worker comes for a  home visit. At Carnegie Learning Centre,  401 Main St., Wed, May 19 at 2pm. Preregister at 665-3013.  WITT CONFERENCE  The Western Regional Conference of  Women in Trades and Technologies will be  held May 6-9 at Island Hall Beach Resort,  Parksville, BC. Registration deadline is Apr  28, however late reservations will be accepted if space is available.  TALES OF DESCENT  The Karen Jamieson Dance Company  presents Tales of Descent, a physical allegory about a journey to the underworld. It  will be held at the Waterfront Theatre,  Granville Island from May 20-Jun 5. To  reserve call 685-6217.  FORGED SUBJECTIVITY  Cornelia Wyngaarden will be showing a  multimedia installation of videos, photographs, paintings and text at Presentation  House, 333 Chesterfield, N Van, from Apr  14-May 30. Through her reconstruction of  the inner life of a 19th century woman, the  artist investigates feminist issues such as  gender difference and its public expression.  JUDY SMALL  Vancouver Folk Music Festival presents  Judy Small at the Vancouver East Cultural  Centre, 1895 Venables, Jun 6, 8pm. One of  Australia's best-loved singer/songwriters,  her music provides social comment that is  sharp, honest, and filled with humour and  pathos. Tix $18. VECC box office 254-9578.  PEGGY BAKER  Vancouver East Cultural Centre presents  Peggy Baker May 5-8, 8 pm at the VECC,  1895 Venables. One of Canada's most acclaimed dance artists, Ms. Baker will perform a "dazzling" program of dance and live  music featuring three Vancouver premieres.  She will be accompanied by dancer Janie  Brendel, and musicians Andrew Burashko  and Ahmed Hassan. Tix: $12 May 5, $14  May 6, and $18 May 7-8, available from  the VECC box office at 254-9578 or  Ticketmaster at 280-3311.  CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL  The 16th Annual Vancouver Children's Festival takes place May 31-Jun 6 at Vanier  Park, 1100 Chestnut St. This year's focus is  the Pacific Rim. Music, dance, theatre, comedy and storytelling from 10 different countries. Tix at Ticketmaster orcharge by phone,  280-4444. Info: 687-7697.  ALL GROWN UP  Vancouver actor/singers Lori Valleau, Ellen  Kennedy, and Bonnie Panych present their  celebration of 60s Girl Groups at the Arts  Club Revue Theatre on Granville Island.  Runs until May 15, showtimes 8:30 pm  Mon-Fri, 6 & 9:30 pm Sat, 2 for 1 matinees  Wed 5pm. Tix: Arts Club Box Office at 697-  1644 or Ticketmaster at 280-3311.  JEWISH THEATRE  Jewish Young People's Theatre presents /  Never Saw Another Suffe/f/y, May 30, 1 pm  & 3 pm at the Van East Cultural Centre,  1895 Venables. Drawn from the poems,  diaries, drawings and letters of the children  of Terezin concentration camp. Written by  Celeste Raspante, directed by Lynda  Goldhar-Smith. Tix $8 general, $5 children  (12 and under).  ANI DIFRANCO  Ani DiFranco returns to the Van East Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables, May 16, 8pm,  with new songs and a new recording, Puddle  Dive. Presented by the Vancouver Folk  Music Festival. Tix $18.  AMANDA HUGHES  In concert at the Van East Cultural Centre,  1895 Venables, May 22 at 8 pm, Amanda  Hughes celebrates the release of her new  CD. A unique blend of gospel, R&B, Jazz,  Funk and Reggae. Tix $15.  CENTRE FOR ECONOMICS  The 13th Summer Institute on Political  Economy and International Instituteon Economics will be held Aug 8-14 in Northfield,  MA. Designed for activists from labour unions, women's groups, anti-racist and community organizations. Fees: $475-$675 includes room & board and instruction. Some  scholarship money available, childcare provided. Info: Centre for Popular Economics,  PO Box785, Amherst, MA, 01004,(413)773-  5454.  LESBIAN & GAY FILM FEST  The Sixth Northwest International Film Festival takes place at Evergreen State College  in Olympia, WA, May 1-2. Pratibha Parmar  will be showing clips from her work and  sharing her personal process as filmmaker  in a presentation entitled "Framing Identities" on Sat, 8 pm. Call (206) 866-6000, ext.  6542 for info on free housing, childcare, and  other films. Tix $5 US per film/$8 US for  Parmar presentation.  NWSA CONFERENCE  National Women's Studies Association holds  its 1993 conference Jun 16-20 in Washington, DC at the Washington Marriott Hotel.  The theme is Reweaving Women's Colours:  Scholarship, CurriculumandOurLives. Also  featured are Saffire: The Uppity Blues  Women, the Reel World String Band, a book  fair, andthree days of films and video screenings. Fees: $45-$140 based on income.  Contact NWSA, University of Maryland,  College Park, MD, 20742-1325 or call (301)  405-5573.  7TH ANNUAL GOLDEN THREADS  Golden Threads, the worldwide network for  Lesbian women over 50 and their younger women friends, will celebrate in  Provincetown, MA, Jun 25-27. Entertainment, banquet, dancing, feminist videos,  raps, sing-a-longs, etc. Limited to 250  women. Info: Christine Burton, Golden  Threads, PO Box 60475, Northampton, MA  01060-0475,  (413)247-9936.  Spring Marathon   May 19-30  coop 12 Days in  May  l 0 2 . 7  Co-op Radio CFRO 102.7 FM  Listener Powered!  Community-Based!  Programming Highlights  Friday, May 21, 9am-noon: Blues & Jazz: A Womenvisions Perspective  Blues & Jazz in relation to women as listeners, as performers and as musicians.  Friday, May 21, 8-10pm: Women Who Shaped the 60s  Join Connie Kuhns for Rubymusic and an overview of the women who shaped the  60s and their music.  Thursday, May 27, 9am-midnight: Police, Power and People: In the Global  Village and in Our Village: To Serve and Protect... Who?  Featuring Barbara Ehrenreich, Bev Scow, Angela Davis and others.  Saturday, May 29, 8am-6pm: Generation Z... A Focus on Our Collective  Futures, Children  A day long presentation with segments about, for and by children. Bulletin Board  GROUPS  Vancouver Lesbian Connection, 876 Commercial Dr., is open Tues & Thurs 12-7pm  and Sat 12-5pm. Please call before coming  down because we are understaffed. Still  looking for volunteers for all areas of the  centre -fundraising, political action, outreach  and education, and centre staff is the most  needed. Thankyou to the women who have  called interested in volunteering. The numbers have been larger than expected (and  certainly welcomed!) so we're planning on  holding an information night soon.We need  a facilitator for the youth group on Sunday  eves. We are still taking names for the  Coming Out Groups, however, the next  group starting will be in September while we  strengthen the program; please call the  centre for more info or alternative groups in  the city. Free professional counselling by  appt. only. Mon 3-5 pm Free body massage  with Jo, no appt. necessary; 7 pm Survivors  of Incest Anonymous. Tues eves. Body  piercing by appt. only, call Book Mantel for  info. 30's and Up Social and Support Group,  1 st & 3rd Fri each month. Women's Writing  Group 6-9 pm 1st & 3rd Sat. For info, call  254-8458.  WOMEN'S LAND TRUST  Sky Ranch is a non-profit land trust for  women in a semi-wilderness area north of  Tweedsmuir Park. We are feminists aiming  for self-sufficiency and an ecologically sensitive lifestyle within a co-operative structure. We are committed to accessibility for  low income women and children, and are  involved in the politics and concerns of our  community. We invite women who are interested in joining or visiting to contact us:  Roxanne Sanderson and Judith Quinlan, C4  Site 20 RR 2, Burns Lake, BC VOJ 1E0  LEGAL ADVICE PROGRAM  The Law Students' Legal Advice Program  (LSLAP) is offeringfree legal advice tothose  who cannot afford a lawyer. The program  will hold 20 neighbourhood clinics throughout the Lower Mainland, including a specialized clinic for women. Advice offered on  small claims actions, landlord-tenant disputes, welfare, UIC claims and appeals,  WCB, wills, employer-employee relations  and criminal matters. LSLAP also offers a  Do-Your-Own-Divorce program which provides low-cost divorces for those seeking  uncontested divorces. For info call 822-  5791.  SUBMISSIONS  Cultural Centre, 50 E. Pender St., Vancouver, BC, V6A 3V6. Deadline: May21. Artists  will be notified by late Jul. Info: Beverly  Yhap, interim coordinator, (604) 687-0729.  CRIAW RESEARCH GRANTS  The Canadian Research Institute for the  Advancement of Women offers annually 8  grants of $2,500 for projects that promote  the advancement of women. The project  must make a significant contribution tofemi-  nist research and be non-sexist in methodology and language. Priority will be given to  emerging independent researchers, women's groups, and projects with Canadian  content. CRIAW does not fund research  which is part of the requirements for an  educational degree nor does it fund projects  foraidtopublication.TheMartaDanylewycz  Memorial Fund was established with the  primary objective of continuing, promoting,  and supporting work in women's history  from a feminist perspective. The Fund supports historical research undertaken in the  following areas: women and ethnicity, women  and religion, women and work, women and  social reform, women and education, women  and family. The Fund is administered by  CRIAW. The award consists of one grant of  $2,000. Masters or Doctoral students who  are in the latter stages of their thesis or  dissertation are eligible to apply. Applications forthe above grants are availablefrom  the CRIAW office and must be postmarked  no later than Aug 31. Candidates should  send four copies of their CV along with four  copies of their application. Applicants will be  notified of the results prior to the AGM and  conference, held in mid-Nov. Contact: 151  Slater St., Suite 408, Ottawa, Ont. K1P 5H3  Tel: (61 3) 563-0681. FAX: 563-0682. TDD:  563-1921.  ASIAN LESBIANS AND BISEXUALS  Sister Vision Press is publishing an anthology of writing and artwork by Asian Lesbians  and Bisexual women. Sexuality, activism,  racism, homophobia, relationships, immigration, identity, erotica, bi-culturalism, family  issues, art—in short, our lives. Send fiction,  poetry, essays, interviews, short plays, autobiography, journal entries, photographs,  prints, drawings, photos of sculpture orpaint-  ings, etc. Deadline is Sep 1. Send submissions with an SASE. Please write if you have  special needs or questions. Sister Vision  Press, PO Box 217, Stn. E, Toronto, Ont.  M6H 4E2  SUBMISSIONS  I      CLASSIFIEDS  RACE, CULTURE AND SEXUALITY  The Contemporary Cultural Projects Committee of Vancouver's Chinese Cultural  Centre is calling for work for Race, Culture  and Sexuality, a multidisciplinary series of  art events scheduled for Oct-Nov. It is  intended to showcase the work of artists of  diverse backgrounds and artistic practices,  actively engaged with how these issues  interact. If you have or are preparing work in  any media—writing, visual art, music, film,  performance, video—that deals specifically  with race and culture and sexuality—we  want to hearfrom you. Please send information about your project including: form of  presentation (film, dance, reading, etc.);  brief description and working title; number of  artists involved; technical needs; sample of  your work; your background as an artist  (brief bio or resume) to: Curatorial Committee, Race Culture & Sexuality, Chinese  COORDINATOR WANTED  Women Aloud!, a new Surrey feminist collective, needs a professional Counsellor/  Support Group Coordinator. As one of a  team of three women providing sexual assault services with the centre, the candidate  should have extensive experience and appropriate education. The position will include crisis work and training facilitators for  groups. Position is 28 hours per week at  $18/hour. Women of colour and of Native  ancestry are encouraged to apply. Fax  resume to 583-3271 by May 7, Attn: Women  Aloud!  SALTSPRING ISLAND RETREAT  A rural oceanview home on 1.5 acres is for  rent by the week or month. Includes all  amenities and sleeps five. Near the beach,  park and ferry, this retreat allows an affordable holiday great forthose who love nature,  smoke ficc cappuccino bar    fir   light vegetarian mcaJs  2^ art & crafts   (J  gifts & music ft   pool tabic  Open Tuesday -* Sunday  Womyn's Open Stage       0.  Friday, May 28th ^  Book your Special Event with Us  Theforecast is sun, sun, and more sun (we hope)f or this year's  Single Mother's Day Sunday, May 9,1-5 pm. Frolic, laughter,  free snacks, clowns, puppeteers and other endless excitement  will be on hand. Call Miche at 255-5511 for more info and  location.    CLASSIFIEDS CLASSIFIEDS  creative pursuits or biking. Call Donna 1-  537-1046.  ATTENDANT NEEDED  A personal care attendant is needed to live  at house 4 days/week. Call Mary at 254-  4026 before 10am or after 7pm.  ART THERAPY  The Canadian Art Therapy Association and  the BC Association will be holding a joint  conference in Vancouver on Oct 2. The  theme will be'lmages of Healingfrom Within."  Call 273-3451 with enquiries.  MEETING FOR UNITY '94  There will be a general meeting Sat, May 8  at 10am for anyone interested in helping  launch Vancouver's teams heading for the  Unity '94 Games in New York. It will be held  atthe West EndCommunity Centre's Bidwell  Room, 870 Denman.  HOUSE SITTER AVAILABLE  A house sitter is available from Jun 1 for 1  -3 months. Will care for plants and pets.  Stable and working—wants some time alone.  Call 254-5824 and leave a message.  GIBSONS ROOM AND BOARD  Are you looking for an opportunity to move  away from the city? A chance to live a ferry  ride away—by the ocean? A single parent  family—busy, friendly and political—is looking to provide board and your own space in  exchange for gardening, some yard work  and household duties. These tasks are part-  time and will leave you free to pursue your  interests in a secluded setting. Drop a line  to:  PO Box 1033, Gibsons, BC, VON 1V0.  CELEBRATE YOUR SEXUALITY  Rubyfruit Erotica is a Canadian mailorder  company operated by women for women.  Our catalogue offers an exciting range of  erotic accessories including massage oils,  vibrators, dildos, condoms, and sensual  lubes. Rubyfruit arises out of the conviction  that we are the best experts concerning our  own sexuality and by discovering it first on  our own terms. For your plain-wrapped full  fr^Mr^F^F^r^r^r^F^F^F^MF^r^rg  ROBIN QOLDFARB rm  Registered   Massage   Therapist  ^Jr^JpzJr^r^Jr^r^r^Jr^r^r^Jr^r^JTSr^  colour catalogue send $4 to: Martin Enterprises, Postal Station P, Box 386 K, Toronto,  Ont., M5S 2S9.  HOUSE TO SHARE  Roommate (female, N/S) to share bright,  beautifully treed home and garden in Dunbar  with professional N/S lesbian. Rent $600 or  $525 depending on size of bedroom. Available mid Jul or Aug 1. Call 263-7675.  CABIN FOR RENT  Sunshine Coast cabin by the water available  for monthly or weekly rentals. Itisfurnished  and sleeps 3-4 people. Phone 1 -886-4584  for more info.  SEX ADDICTION  Affordable counselling for exploring your  family issues and relationship conflicts and  concerns. As a registered professional  counsellor, I work with women overcoming  abuse, co-dependency, sex and relationship addiction and increasing their self-esteem. For a brochure or information call  Carol Vialogos, 731-0758. First session  free.  A WOMAN'S PLACE  Emotional Fitness Centre Counselling, education and consulting service of the North  Shore. Offers feminist and lesbian affirmative counselling, workshops, support groups.  Areas of specialization: low self-esteem,  depression, anxiety, communication, relationship difficulties, emotional, physical,  sexual abuse recovery, coming out. Call  Lou Moreau at 924-2424 RCC.  COUNSELLING NOW  Experiencing difficulties? Feminist counselling in a supportive, confidential atmosphere.  For crises, personal growth, parent/teen  issues, coming out and life passages. Individuals, couples, families. Sliding scale  fees. For free consultation call Eleanor  Brockenshire, BHEc, MSW at 669-0197.  NUCLEAR DANGER  Joanne Young's Nuclear Family: One Woman's Confrontation with Atomic Power is a  shocking, moving account of how family  tragedy bred activism for peace and environmental safety. $10 from Sykes Press,  90 Cambridge Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M3K  2L4.  BODY PIERCING FOR WOMEN  For decoration or sexual enhancementthere  is nothing like a piercing experience. New  sterile needles. Safe, competent work. Large  selection of jewellery available. By appointment only. Michelle St. Michel, 589-1257.  2? Revir and Rus are  standing under the  shadow of patriarchy  because they don't have  subscriptions to  Kinesis.  LIB1Z8GRL 4/94  LIBRARY PROCESSING CTR - SERIALS  £2Bb EAST MALL, U.B.C.  VANCOUVER, bC VbT 1Z8  Hurry!  Get a sub!  One year  □$20+ $1.40 GST  Two years  □$36 + $2.52 GST  Institutions/Groups  □$45+ $3.15 GST  Name_  □Cheque enclosed  □Bill me  □New  □Renewal  □Gift  □Donation  If you can't afford the full amount for |  Kinesis subscription, send what you can ^  Free to prisoners oc  Orders outside Canada add $8  Vancouver Status of Women Membership <»  (includes Kinesis subscription) J  □$30+ $1.40 GST .8  Address-  Country —  Telephone _  Postal code _  Fax   Published ten times a year by the Vancouver Status of Women  #301-1720 Grant Street Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y6

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