Global Roundup: Indigenous Women March in Brazil, Afghan Women's #DoNotTouchMyClothes Challenge to Taliban, Sex Workers vs OnlyFans Ban,Queen of Afrobeats Tiwa Savage, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Compiled by Samiha Hossain

An indigenous woman from the Pataxo tribe is seen during a demonstration for the demarcation of indigenous land in Brasília on Thursday. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

More than 5,000 indigenous women, or guerreiras (warriors), have marched through Brazil’s capital to denounce the historic assault on native lands they say is unfolding under the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Representatives of tribes gathered in Brasília to oppose the government’s attempts to strip back Indigenous land rights to facilitate mining operations and agribusiness. 

One of the threats to Indigenous lands and lives is the “time frame” argument, which is a legal challenge championed by Bolsonaro that if successful would nullify all Indigenous claims to land they were not physically occupying when Brazil’s constitution was enacted on 5 October 1988. 

This is illegal. This is unconstitutional. They want to tear up our roots and we will not allow it… The time frame thesis indicates that we have only existed since 5 October 1988. But this isn’t true. The whole of Brazil is indigenous territory – all of it. Unfortunately, it has been taken away, bit by bit – and now they want to take away those pieces that were left for us. - Alessandra Korap, activist from the Amazon’s Munduruku people

The legal challenge is also backed by congress’s powerful ruralist caucus who are pushing a similar bill known as PL490, which would restrict indigenous land claims and permit infrastructure building and the commercial exploitation of native forests, without requiring indigenous occupants to be consulted. Indigenous leaders say that these are conscious efforts to open Indigenous land to exploitation and generate profit.

“Our march is about defending Mother Earth. More and more we women are taking the frontline in the defense of our sacred Mother Earth.” Sônia Guajajara, a prominent indigenous leader

Indigenous leaders and activists note that efforts to exterminate them are not new and they have lived through centuries of violence.

This government will last just four years – we have been resisting for more than 520. Our struggle is for survival, for life, for the forest and for our children. So we will resist. In spite of all the attacks from the government, we are resisting and we will continue to resist. - Alessandra Korap


Women pose in traditional Afghan attire, in Rotterdam, Netherlands [Instagram/@lemaafzal/via Reuters]

Afghan women have launched social media campaigns with hashtags such as #DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture to challenge the dress code under Taliban rule.

Wazhma Sayle is a 36-year-old Afghan youth rights activist based in Sweden who was shocked to see the picture circulating online of women dressed in black all-enveloping niqabs and gowns, staging a demonstration in support of the country’s new Taliban rulers at Kabul University. She later posted a photograph of herself on Twitter dressed in a bright green and silver dress captioned: “This is Afghan culture & how we dress! Anything less than this does not represent Afghan women!”

It’s a fight for our identity. I don’t want to be identified the way Taliban showed me, I cannot tolerate that. These clothes, when I wear them, speak for where I come from. - Wazhma Sayle

The authenticity of the picture in Kabul University has not been verified, but many women believe it was staged and that several people dressed in the black burqa were men.

It is good our women (overseas) were able to protest about it. The reality is, the burqa is not representative of women in Afghanistan. – Khatima, young woman in Kabul

The new Taliban regime has promised to allow women more freedoms, but there have been reports of women being barred from going to work, and some being beaten in recent weeks for protesting Taliban rule. Universities have also installed curtains inside classrooms to segregate men and women.

#DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture started when US-based Afghan historian Bahar Jalali tweeted to criticize the black garments worn by the university demonstrators, saying that women have not dressed like that in the history of Afghanistan. She followed by posting a picture of herself in a green dress with the caption, “This is Afghan culture,” and urged others to post too

Women fear that the Kabul photo is an indication of history repeating itself back to when the Taliban was in power two decades ago and women had to cover themselves completely. The hashtags #DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture are being used to highlight the threats the new Taliban regime poses to women’s rights.


GETTY IMAGES / ELLIOT ELLIS

31-year-old Taiwanese filmmaker, gay porn performer and fitness model Neville Sun was not surprised to hear that OnlyFans would ban adult content starting in October, he had been aware of the rumours for months. 

Since quitting his full-time job as a graphic designer in Taipei in January, most of Sun’s income has come from highly produced porn videos and behind-the-scenes photos posted to OnlyFans. With online platforms like OnlyFans being increasingly hostile to sex work, many like Sun are deciding to launch their own platforms. 

After OnlyFans’ announcement of banning adult content was met with backlash, they blamed it on banking partners and payment providers. The company reversed the planned policy change less than a week after announcing it, saying it had “secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community”. Still, many creators do not feel assured, as policy changes are ultimately out of their hands. 

I started feeling I want to have my own website. My heart was broken already. I don’t know if they will eventually or temporarily ban adult content creators. Next year it might happen again. - Neville Sun

Sun is looking to launch NVS.video, a website for his own content, in late-October where users can purchase individual videos. To get around potential frustrations from banking providers, Sun is looking into a “credit” system, where subscribers can buy tokens to purchase videos, as opposed to viewers buying content directly. His business plan also includes a clothing line and LGBT art gallery and studio in Taipei. 

Elena Michael, co-founder of campaign against image-based sexual abuse, #NotYourPorn says that there is too much responsibility placed on individual sex workers to find digital safety and stability. She also believes there aren’t enough accessible resources, especially as an increasing number of women are taking up sex work during the pandemic. 


Via Global Citizen

Tiwa Savage is often recognized as the Queen of Afrobeats. She started her career singing backup vocals for the likes of George Michael, Mary J. Blige, and Whitney Houston. Then she kicked off her solo career in 2013 releasing her debut album Once Upon a Time. Last year she dropped her fourth studio album, Celia, an homage to her mother and a body of music that seeks to shine a light on Black girls everywhere.

When I was creating it, I was thinking about celebrating women — strong women, women who are powerful, who are vulnerable, who are sexy, bossy, or whatever. I wanted a name for the album that could embody all that and I could only just think of my mum. - Tiwa Savage

She also talks about her struggles with self-love as a Black girl and woman. 

It’s hard being a woman and then being a Black woman, it’s like you have to be even stronger. I think it’s extremely important to value yourself, but then I also understand it’s not that easy in the society we live in, where you’re influenced by magazine covers, Instagram, and the world seems to celebrate women that look the opposite from what we look like. - Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage wants to use her platform to portray a realistic representation of what a successful Black African woman in a creative industry looks like. While she has struggled with colourism in the past, today she embraces her natural look and does not edit her blemishes from her images. 

I feel like women who look the opposite of what we look like seem to be celebrated more, and it’s not just in our community — it’s all around the world; this one-track idea of what a beautiful woman is. That’s why I want to try and encourage girls that are my complexion, and try to be part of the people that change the narrative to say that Black women are beautiful! – Tiwa Savage 

As a Nigerian native, Tiwa Savage uses her influence to advocate for the country's needs as well. She spoke on End Sars, police reform, health care, gender-based violence, and other important issues. She is a part of Global Citizen Live lineup which will take place later this month.


Actor Max Harwood and Jamie Campbell pose at the world premiere of "Everybody's Talking About Jamie", in London, Britain September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie premiered this week. It is based on the true story of Jamie Campbell, a 16-year-old boy from the small British town of Sheffield who dreams of becoming a drag queen. His relationship with his mother is important to the story. Max Hardwood plays the role of Jamie. 

It's important that queer stories also become universal and that they don't become sidelined as queer films. Everyone can relate to growing up and trying to find their place in the world. - Max Hardwood

The real-life Jamie who first told his story in a television documentary in 2011 is looking forward to his story reaching a wider audience. 

As gay characters usually, you may be a secondary character or something in the background or put in for jokes, whereas this film and show is about putting Jamie at the centre of it all and that doesn't happen very often. – Jamie Campbell

This is an uplifting story that many young trans people will certainly be inspired by. It is important to continue telling the stories of young queer people.  

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Samiha Hossain (she/her) is a student at the University of Ottawa. She has experience working with survivors of sexual violence in her community, as well as conducting research on gender-based violence. A lot of her time is spent learning about and critically engaging with intersectional feminism, transformative justice and disability justice.

Samiha firmly believes in the power of connecting with people and listening to their stories to create solidarity and heal as a community. She refuses to let anyone thwart her imagination when it comes to envisioning a radically different future full of care webs, nurturance and collective liberation.

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