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FFFFILMS! Thursday: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

14 Aug
As part of the Women’s Dept. free female-friendly fortnightly film sessions, we will next be showing ‘Pray The Devil Back To Hell’, the amazing story of the women’s peace movement in Liberia. Facebook event page here!


‘Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the extraordinary story of a small band of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country in 2003.

As the rebel noose tightened upon Monrovia, and peace talks faced collapse, the women of Liberia – Christian and Muslims united – formed a thin but unshakable white line between the opposing forces, and successfully demanded an end to the fighting– armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions.

The women of Liberia are living proof that moral courage and non-violent resistance can succeed, even where the best efforts of traditional diplomacy have failed. Their demonstrations culminated in the exile of Charles Taylor and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female head of state, and marked the vanguard of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world.

This remarkable chapter of world history was on its way to being lost forever. The Liberian war and peace movement were largely ignored as the international press focused on Iraq. Moreover, the women’s own modesty helped obscure this great accomplishment. Pray the Devil Back to Hell reconstructs the moment through interviews, archival footage and striking images of contemporary Liberia. It is compelling testimony to the potential of women worldwide to alter the history of nations.’

**For a film about civil war it is relatively not that graphic, however there are a few scenes where stories are told of physical and sexual violence. Please consider there to be trigger warnings attached to this film!

Hope to see you there!

– Belle O’Connor


Bluestocking Week: Networking drinks tonight at Tsubu!

9 Aug

Note: drinks won’t actually be blue – just stickin’ with the theme! 🙂

Part of combatting gender inequality is having role models and mentors.

As part of Bluestockings Week 2012, the UMSU Wom*n’s Department cordially invites all women students and academics to attend our networking event – tonight from 5pm at Tsubu!

We hope to build connections between the amazing women at our university and allow these connections to create opportunities for our university community.

Food and drinks provided. Event will run until 6:30, though I’m sure people will stay around to talk!

For more information about the rest of Bluestockings Week 2012 at Melbourne, click here.

Hope to see you!

Event: Storming Against Violence

1 Feb

The Victorian Women’s Trust is putting on an event called ‘Storming Against Violence’ on Feb 13-17th. From their website:

‘Domestic violence is one of the most complex, least visible and fastest growing areas of crime…We’re not going to solve it by locking people up….It needs urgent attention and a fresh approach.’ – Victorian Chief Police KEN LAY

Be the Hero! presents ‘Storming Against Violence’ – encouraging community dialogue & engagement around violence. Be the Hero! is proud to invite you to two key events, featuring Dr Jackson Katz (leading US violence prevention advocate).

Take a look – and save the date – this is an opportunity not to be missed!

Read more about ‘Storming Against Violence’ – and our speakers – here [PDF].

Show your support this Survival Day

25 Jan


From the Belgrave Survival Day 2012 website:

Come and join us for the fifth annual Belgrave Survival Day event, which celebrates the survival of the oldest living culture on the globe through live music, storytelling, traditional dance and craft.

The indigenous line up for the 2012 event is:

* Emerging hip hop act, Yung Warriors, comprising Tjimba Possum Burns & Danny Ramzan (D Boy). Very talented and both in their 20′s, they have recently been touring the nation with Coloured Stone and were the live acts at the 2011 ‘Dreamtime at the G’ AFL match between Richmond and Essendon. A second album, Standing Strong, is due out shortly.

* Lou Bennett – formerly a member of the band, Tiddas, she has been an integral member of the Black Arm Band as well as venturing into live theatre, a solo musical career and academia.

* Noted historian and academic, Dr. Gary Presland, who has written signficant works on Koori (and natural) life both pre- and post-colonisation.

* Rodney Augustine (Save the Kimberley) will speak about the imminent threats to his beloved lands/seas of the Kimberley.

* Jindi Worobak Dance Group- younger members of the Wurundjeri council peforming traditional dance.

* Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie – he hails from Roeburne in Western Australia and embraces both traditional and modern artistic mediums. Affectionately known as ‘Little Joey’, Gnarnayarrahe has appeared in film and stage. A man of many talents, he is as competent with guitar as didgeridoo, traditional dance to Elvis impersonator.

* Our MC for the day is Leila Gurruwiwi from the Marngrook Footy Show (ABC TV). A well entrenched member of the alternate Footy Show, she recently has turned her attention to co-producing a new ABC TV series shot in the Northern Territory. Leila is around the same age as the Yung Warriors and they represent a new wave of emerging indigenous performers for whom the sky is the limit.

Wurundjeri elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson, will perform Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies. Aunty Dot Peters will also speak on the day. There will also be a range of indigenous craft stalls and a bush tucker BBQ. The event is FREE and all welcome.

For further information or comment, contact us via email at

Working bee in the womn’s room!

23 Jan


As Amy mentioned on Facebook, we are having a working bee on Wednesday from 10am. A few lovely people put in a big effort today so there’s already a head start on the work. If you haven’t seen the room yet this year I think you’ll be surprised, it’s already looking totally different!

Something we started today was reorganising the small but awesome library in the room. All the books have been sorted chronologically, and we are working on creating a database of all the items we have so it will be possible to see the list online. Don’t forget to let us know if there’s anything you’d like that we don’t have – doesn’t matter if you haven’t read it yet – thats the point! 🙂

Hopefully see you Wednesday.


Fortnightly Feminist Films

18 Jan


This year the UMSU Wom*n’s Dept plans on showing a film on campus each fortnight that passes the Bechdel Test:

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man
* Bonus Points if the women characters have names! *
We hope to achieve a few things through this, first and foremost it will be fun and a chilled way to hang out! It may also be a good way to encourage more people to get involved with the department. And of course it will generally draw attention to the fact that women are badly, mis-, or underrepresented in many movies, especially mainstream/ultramegablockbustercinemaplex films – you know the ones – and the problem is not limited to what’s front of the screen: there also is an obvious lack of womn writers, directors, sound engineers, gaffers, etc. Maybe, just maybe, these two problems are related?
So without further ado, here is the first draft list of films (note: not all have been seen by the list composer!). Please comment on what should be added, or taken away, and any other ideas you have!

Margaret Cho Rightfully Loses Her Sh*t

15 Jan

Margaret Cho Rightfully Loses Her Shit

** Content warning ** I have some wonderful new tattoos on my ass by the incredible Cris Cleen, who I love, and I posted a picture of them on Twitter, which got many favorable comments — but there were two negative ones, and I blew a fucking gasket. I screamed out loud and tracked the perps down and blocked them, but not before really ramming it to them in the strongest language I could use. I was over the top and really kind of ridiculous, but I cannot help myself.

Some outside Facebook observer said that my “language” was too much and told me that I had “lost a fan” because she couldn’t condone my “language.” I am sorry for that, as I love my fans, and it sucks to lose one, but obviously she doesn’t understand that when you grow up the way that I did, with kids at school throwing rocks at my face because they hated it because it was so ugly to them and they wanted the blood from my wounds to cover it so it wouldn’t have to be seen and at summer camps stuffed dog shit in my sleeping bag because I was told time and again that I looked like shit — and that I had to empty myself in the dark forest and still sleep in smelling that shit all that night and for weeks after because my family was too poor to afford a new one — my “language” is on the strong side. I apologize for offending the former fan, but I am only myself. That is all I can be, and if I must apologize for that, I don’t mind. All I am trying to say is that no young girl should be told she is ugly. If she is, you kill her spirit, and she may grow up like me, and lose a fan.

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