There is pretty much only one thing wannabe punkies and feminasty ne’erdowells ought to be up to this august (hehe) weekend, and that’s Combat Latent Inequalities Together at this year’s C.L.I.T. Fest in Chicago, August 2nd-4th! We are writing this statement to voice our clear and unequivocal endorsement of the show and to encourage all who are able to ditch your original plans and “yolo” your way to CLIT Fest.
A few words about why you should stop practicing for international couch potato championships and come joins us:
“Intersectionality” may be the word of the day, but as many of us know, so often it can be an empty refrain. To us, CLIT Fest is exactly the opposite: a truly intersectional, deeply intimate experience designed to address the effects of patriarchy and colonialism in the everydayness of our social spaces and scenes. It is a body-positive, anti-racist, anti-ableist, femme-positive, guitar-wailing-zine-and-skill-sharing romp of a good time, with a heavy focus on supporting women/yn of all stripes and all gender configurations. There are kids, crayons, and parents. And food. And smiling (let’s be honest, the “show scowl” is harder to pull off when everyone is being so nice to you).
And it is because of this attentiveness to the minute details of oppression, and the linking of the scene to political ends, that we feel a strong resonance with CLIT Fest. We understand, as do the CLIT Fest organizers, that resistance does not begin from abstract commitments to causes, but from creating concrete spaces where we can congregate, gather, come to know each other, and find each other in the darkness. It comes from acts of reclamation, and from defending what we have reclaimed. It comes from connecting the embodied, local politics we create to the global systems that seek to oppress and divide us. We need to support each other across these lines, not only out of ‘solidarity’ but out of a mutual need for survival–and we can’t imagine anyone better to have our backs than the CLIT Fest team.
We also recognize, more specifically, the feminist/womanist/trans vision of gender justice that is central to CLIT Fest and its inspiration. We understand that it is through gendered, sexualized narratives that the voices of colonized peoples are silenced and that in this vein, the bodies of Palestinians, Bedouins, African migrants, and other groups targeted by the Israeli state have been ranked in a hierarchy of value as less-valuable—less worthy of having, breathing, and giving life. We understand that it is specifically on the backs of and through the labor of the women of all of these groups that so much resistance has historically rested, at the same time as it is in their name that the colonizer claims to come to the rescue—in other words, “ white men saving brown women from brown men”. And we see the parallels in how the State—and as a consequence our communities—proliferate misogyny and racism here in the heart of empire by internalising these narratives. The root is always the same: worldwide colonialism, occupation, and white supremacy. At CLIT Fest, we dream a dream where we’ve obliterated them all and are still dancing.
So in the wake of draconian anti-abortion laws and mass sterilization plans, worldwide hunger strikes from California prisons to Israeli jails, and so much more that we don’t have the room to name, we feel more than ever the need to express our support for the coolest DIY political thing on our plate right now—at least, until the 4th Annual Black and Brown Punk Show—and to link our struggles across the latent (and explicit) inequalities that keep us from seeing the centrality of gender, race, and total makedestroy liberation to all our efforts.
This year, proceeds raised by CLIT Fest will be going to the always-phenomenal Transformative Justice Law Project, bringing a much-needed focus on trans issues and a critical angle to the originally body-centric/reductive politics in the fest’s name. TLJP is a prison abolitionist organization that provides “free, zealous, life-affirming, and gender-affirming holistic criminal legal services to low-income and street based transgender and gender non-conforming people targeted by the criminal legal system”, name-changing services, and all sorts of other stuff we would suck at without people who’ve passed the bar to help us.
In conclusion: go. We’ll be there with bells on.
UP THE PUNX//viva palestina libre,
~Punks Against Apartheid