Three weeks together and we are finally starting to become comfortable with each other. This week we split into two groups to work on separate pieces. Each group worked together to produce material and some used pieces from our previous free writing. We each brainstormed different ways to perform effectively. Emotion, pace of speech and tone of voice in combination are very important when trying to get an idea or message across. We then performed these pieces and received feedback and suggestions. Through performing our work we had an opportunity to use the techniques we have been taught like emphasizing emotion and body language, echoing and repetition. Echoing is when each person starts a line of the piece one after the other but it is recited at the same time. It shows the mix of separate but similar messages. Repetition is also a simple but effective tool because it emphasizes an important word or phrase. It can also translate as unity if each person, though different, recite the same word. For example an entire group repeating “I” or “We” can show that although each girl is from a different culture or background they are united because of similar issues and they share a common thought as women.
At the end, we had a disscussion about honour after looking at a bristol board that had different meanings of honour. We looked at the way honour had a different signifance for men and women, with honour that emphasizes on good character traits, pride, courage or power being more associated with men and honour as chastity or sexual purity being more associated with women. There is a lack of equality in the way women are not usually allowed to uphold personal dignity, courage and self-will but that they are supposed to represent the honour of their families through keeping a reputation of purity. This can involve restrictions on young women. Our discussion also involved when parents impose restrictions to genuinely protect girls and when it can turn into something for the sake of reputation only. Lastly, Sheniz gave us a strip of paper with a headline written on it that was supposed to be related to honour-related crimes against young women. We are to write whatever we think of the headlines and share in the next workshop. — Mariah Carty
The fourth workshop started with Sheniz giving us pieces of paper with different words written on them. We put the words together to form poems. Then we wrote down the poems we had created in our books and changed spots so that another person changed the poem. After a few moments, we all read the before and after poems and reflected on why the changes had been made.
Next we moved on to the girls sharing their written pieces about the headlines that Sheniz had given them in a previous workshop and also what they thought the headlines were about. The three headlines used were “Shunned in Life, Remembered in Death,” “A canadian tragedy lost in “culture talk” and “Girl Interrupted.” The ones who wrote about the first headline were able to guess correctly that the headline was about Amanda Todd, a young woman in British Columbia who went on a video chat where a picture of her topless was taken and was used to blackmail her, shame and bully her to the point of suicide. The second headline was associated with the Shafia Case, in which a father killed his three daughters and his first wife with the help of his son because the eldest daughter was in a relationship with a guy. However, it was about the murder of Aqsa Parvez. It was also her father and brother who killed her because she did not wear a hijab. Unfortunately, Toronto Life also put an air-brushed and sexualized picture of her taken from facebook, blaming “cultural differences” for her death.
The girls shared their pieces and then worked on one piece about each headline. Their pieces were not supposed to be related to what the headlines were actually about but whatever they could conceive from the headlines. This was also a practice in learning how media writes about and influences stories. — Amna Siddiqui