IR 39 Silence Is Not An Option: Semira DubUmentry & Art Action
SEMIRA: ADRIAN SHERWOOD IR DUB MIX::SILENCE IS NOT AN OPTION
DUBumentary by The Dangerous Editor , with premieres in Jamaica, Brazil, Colombia and Uganda.
New IR Guerrilla Art Action Honors The Slain And The Missing: Sandra Bland, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Semira Adamu and Nelly Stharre. IR Indigenous Resistance is a global resistance collective creating music that is crucial to the Indigenous movement. IR, the music/art collective, could not stand silent after learning of three black and indigenous women who died at the hands of police when in custody. We decided on a guerrilla art action in Chia, Colombia. While we were recruiting the artists and scouting the locations for the art, we understood that it was important to take a different approach to a new IR film to underscore and add context to the police violence so prevalent in our society. At times, we wonder, if people have become anesthetized when they see images of police brutality, day after day, night after night. At the same time, for some, viewing the repetition of these images might also impart a disempowering effect. Instead, IR’s focus is on resistance and how to use knowledge and learning as a tool of resistance. In order to make this film even more subversive, we had the key narrative provided by two Brazilian black women who live in one of the favelas (ghettoes) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In our film, one of the Brazilian women is writing a placard that reads “nao somos fabricas de bandidos”, which is roughly translated as: “black women aren’t factories for producing criminals/bandits”. Black women in Brazil, especially from the favelas, aren’t usually associated by the general public or the media, with learning, books, actively seeking knowledge and continuing resistance against oppressive systems.Yet, in the film it is these women who provide life-affirming images of continued resistance as they passionately and subversively detail their relationship with knowledge and art as a tool of resistance. This is especially vital to young children watching this film. In the film, we gave scenes to Colombian graffiti artists Chite Yarumo, Agua Viva, Ana a Secas, Mono & Casomiso who teamed up to paint images of the slain women as an acknowledgement of the harsh and brutal reality that existed for them and others. Intercut is footage of Afro Colombian protest marches in Bogota, Colombia filmed by Santiago Ospina.
This is obviously resistance in another form, yet the key for IR is the focus on affirmation, resistance but pushing toward the positive as we push away from the negative. At the same time, we wanted to humanize the black women activists since one of the strategies of the system is to dehumanize the victims in order to facilitate their murders, or allow their murders to be forgotten. Sandra Bland was an activist when she died in police custody. Semira Adamu also had a family that mourned her when she died in police custody in Belgium. Sarah Lee Circle Bear was a mother with children when she died in police custody.
We pick up the threads and make the connections with Rosiane Cardosa and Francilene Cardosa, Brazillian women, who are also activists, also mothers, to erase the illusions and prejudices one might have when confronting activism from the other side of the barricade. The mural, and then our film, also honors Rastafari singer and humanitarian activist Nelly Stharre. Ms Stharre’s burnt body was found in what was said to be house fire on the island of Dominica. It’s been months now, and there is yet to be any completed investigation to rule out the possibility of foul play. IR wonders why the authorities are dragging their feet? Is it intentional? Nelly was a dear friend and coconspirator of IR. In the mural you can see alongside Nelly is a piece of text, written in Amharic, one of the ancient Ethiopian languages. Translated the phrase means “a true warrior” which is how we will always remember her.
The film is also specially sent out to all the missing First Nations women in Canada and those who struggled and fought over the years to prevent their cases being swept under the rug. Because these were indigenous women and for some that meant their lives somehow had less value. This film was created by Santiago “The Dangerous Editor” Ospina. This film and the mural were another of the totally self-sufficient, autonomous works of resistance organized by IR, InBASSion crew and Colombian Rebel Youth supported by an international network of conspirators. The many IR members work in the shadows and can be found in diverse locations such as Africa, Australia, Jamaica and Turtle Island. The soundtrack for this DUBumentary was provided by Asian Dub Foundation with their track Semira which was mixed by Adrian Sherwood and the IR track Sacred Dub for Nelly Stharre:Dr Das’ African Anarchist Mix. IR will be drop screenings and information sessions down in different parts of the world. Our initial event kicks off with Sankofa Sessions in Kingston, Jamaica. Then we will continue with events in Rio De Janeiro & Sao Luis, Maranho, Brazil and then in Kampala, Uganda with Maisha Film Lab, with more screenings to be announced in the future. [ Sankofa Sessions on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSankofaSessions/ ] [ Link to DUBumentary on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61UU2I0t6r4 ] These tracks can be found on the releases More SIgnal More Noise from Asian Dub Foundation and IR 36 Galdino Extension of Truth. Both are distributed by Believe Digital (France) and can be found on most digital platforms like iTunes ,Beatport, Juno downloads and Bandcamp. IR also means Resist Injustice. We are always cognizant of the big picture. The IR philosophy is clearly summarized by one of the phrases painted beside the portrait of Sandra Bland in Spanish; translated it urges “with love and resistance in our hearts we fight against Babylon system”. More IR at http://www.dubreality.com IR Press Contact: mtdublab (@)gmail.com
Big up to the Field Negro Blog and Dave Watts for providing information on Sarah Lee Circle and the title dub inspiration and Bobby Dubman for facilitating the musical dub , Dubdem for the original art that sparked all of this and Tapedave for the glorious dub art that is on IR site version of this press release.