Teaching and Community Education
Fashion Resistance to Militarism
I’ve participated in staging several versions of Fashion Resistance to Militarism, first created by Women of Color Resource Center to explore a serious, intense, and sometimes very controversial topic in a creative way.
The show’s debut was a one-night, standing-room-only event in an Oakland community theater on May 31, 2005. Each outfit was paired with an informative script. Together they told a wider story about militarism and “counter couture” for peace and justice, as described in Why War is All the Rage. Christine Ahn and Gwyn Kirk wrote: “this unlikely genre is a highly effective way to discuss the militarization of culture in accessible terms and to get the audience thinking about heavy topics like the military budget or sexualized military violence.” Read the full story.
Various groups have staged versions of this show in Cambridge, Cape Cod, Eugene (Oregon), Guahan (Guam), Hawai’i, and Washington DC. It can be a “stand alone” event or part of a talk, workshop, or conference. Examples of outfits and scripts are available to help get you started. Much of the excitement of producing a show is in designing outfits that are relevant to your community and that tell the story you want to tell. This is a great way to involve local artists and designers, art students, yard-sale and thrift-store bargain hunters, and anyone who is handy with a needle, glue gun, stapler, or duct tape.…
Living Along the Fenceline
This film tells the stories of seven grassroots women leaders from across the Pacific to Puerto Rico whose communities are affected by the US military presence in their backyards. Although not considered war zones, these strategic locations are part of a global network of 1,000 bases that allows the United States to go to war anytime, anywhere. These women are not four-star generals or White House strategists. Their expertise comes from living with the hidden costs of militarism to life, health, culture, and the environment.
Introduced by narrator Deborah Lee, each woman’s story is a separate segment. This allows viewers to engage with each woman’s distinct personality and geographic context, to learn her viewpoint, to witness her truths.
The filmmakers hope this movie will open people’s eyes to realities of living alongside US bases, and the possibility of a very different kind of security centered on respect for people and the land.
Director and camera: Lina Hoshino; co-director: Gwyn Kirk; producers: Deborah Lee and Gwyn Kirk. Available for rent or purchase from Third World Newsreel. Live streaming coming soon.