1 in 3 women across the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. That’s ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. Every February through March 8th, thousands of Risings take place in hundreds of countries across the world and within local communities – to show the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors of various forms of violence face. People around the world rise through dance to express rage against injustices, and the power of global solidarity and collective action. They dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that together, violence can be defeated. They rise to show a determination to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.
IN 2016, WE ARE ESCALATING THE CALL FOR REVOLUTION.
It has been a most amazing THREE years of the campaign: One Billion Rising (2013), One Billion Rising for Justice (2014) and One Billion Rising: Revolution (2015).
Through our collective efforts we mobilised, engaged, awakened and joined people worldwide to end violence against women. We made violence against women a global human issue not relegated to country or tribe or class or religion. We revealed it as a patriarchal mandate, present in every culture of the world.
In our justice campaign we made visible, volatile and impacting connections between violence against women and economic, environmental, racial, gender injustice. We formed new and hopefully lasting coalitions between existing groups and individuals not only within the women’s movement but also between people’s movements covering diverse sectors. We showed that there is nothing more powerful than global solidarity as it makes all of us safer in our outspokenness, braver in what we feel willing to do. It inspires all of us to go further when we know the eyes of the world are on us. Through One Billion Rising laws were created, passed and enforced. Leaders were born, politicians were held to the fire, major and invisible injustices were highlighted and proven undeniable. Our cries for each of our particular justices rose and merged in a sea of cries and demands, creating a new collage, a new collective vision and radical landscape of what a just world might look like for women and girls. Everyone faced obstacles, attack, doubt, distrust, questions, lack of resources, impossible odds, family needs, and went beyond where even we thought we could go. So we have much to celebrate.
What we also did was show the power of art and dance and the astonishing and political alchemy that occurs when art and activism happen simultaneously.
Dance is one of the most powerful forces on the earth and we have only just begun to tap into where it can take us. The struggle of humanity is the struggle to return to our bodies.
Through trauma, cruelty, shame, oppression, violence, rape, exclusion, the body of the human species has been hurt, wounded, and we have been forced to flee our bodies.
This same cruelty, rape oppression, has been enacted on the earth and the consequences have been dire. We are verging on total catastrophe and collapse of life as we know it.
Dancing allows us to come back into our bodies as individuals and groups and a world, it connects our feet to the earth and inspires us to move to her rhythms. It allows us to go further, to include everyone, to tap into a revolutionary and poetic energy, which is inviting us to take the lid off the patriarchal container releasing more of our wisdom, our self love, our sexuality, our compassion, and fierceness. Dancing is defiance. It is joyous and raging. It is contagious and free and beyond corporate or state control. We have only begun to dance. This year we must continue to go much further. We must go all the way and make the change.
We must ESCALATE REVOLUTION.
One Billion Rising: Rise for Revolution 2016 is an escalation of the first three stages of our campaign – One Billion Rising, One Billion Rising for Justice, and One Billion Rising: Revolution.
We’ve danced. We’ve demanded justice. WE’VE DEMANDED CHANGES.
THIS YEAR WE ARE RADICALISING OUR ACTIONS – ENLARGING, DEEPENING AND EXPANDING THE REVOLUTION.
We need to continue to radically shift consciousness and be braver, bolder, more creative and determined with our actions.
AND WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE MOST MARGINALISED WOMEN AND GIRLS TO BRING ABOUT TRUE, LONG LASTING CHANGE.
Change can happen if…
GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS AND MARGINALISED COMMUNITIES ARE IN THE LEAD.
Change can happen if…
WE DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY – MAKING SURE OUR JUSTICE CALLS ARE REALISED
We will continue to demand justice, and we will continue to highlight the issues surrounding the social injustices inflicted on women, and to keep highlighting where these issues connect. We will continue to challenge institutions, governments, policies, laws – and make these systems, which are responsible for creating situations of poverty and violence, accountable.
Change can happen if…
WE HARNESS OUR CREATIVITY AND ENERGY
We will keep highlighting, creating and envisioning new, brave and radical artistic initiatives to bring in the new revolutionary world of equality, dignity and freedom for all women and girls. THERE IS NOTHING MORE POWERFUL THAN ART AS A TOOL FOR TRANSFORMATION.
Change can happen if…
WE ACT NOW.
AND WE ACT TOGETHER.
WHY CONTINUE THE CALL FOR REVOLUTION?
REVOLUTION can be expressed in the “for who” and “for what”. It is broad enough to include all issues, and also particular enough to be specific about issues communities want to highlight and raise. It does not diffuse focus, rather – it enhances it.
The REVOLUTION call helps sustain the focus of what One Billion Rising is – a call for CHANGE. Structural, systemic, long term change.
Systems have not changed yet, therefore the call for REVOLUTION remains urgent and necessary, to deepen what it can mean, and escalate actions around it. Major changes are still needed, particularly in ways of thinking and consciousness about violence against women issues.
REVOLUTION allows creative and artistic expressions, multi-sectoral involvement, and more importantly – provides a unique space to engage people from all walks of life. It allows the use of imagination, art and political actions – and allows everyone the freedom to localise all their campaigns.
Above all REVOLUTION can bring everyone from the personal to the political – from the “I” to the “We”. IT HARNESSES COLLECTIVE ENERGY BECAUSE IT IS HOPEFUL AND ENVISIONS POSSIBILITIES AND A FUTURE.
THE CALL FOR RISE FOR REVOLUTION 2016:
LISTEN! ACT! RISE!
Amplify the Voices of Marginalised Women
Bring National and International Focus to Their Issues
Bring New Artistic Energy to Create This Possibility
Raise Other Issues That Have Not Been as Visible
Amplify REVOLUTION as a Call for System Change
Platform Voices That Have Not Been Heard Within Local Campaigns
Call on People to RISE FOR OTHERS
Call Upon People of Privilege to Rise for Those Who are Not
Create Synergy and Connection
Continue to Call for State Accountability and Justice
Keep Highlighting the Economic Context of Women
Remain INCLUSIVE, INTERSECTIONAL and COMPREHENSIVE
Keep Connecting the BODY with REVOLUTION
Rise for Change and Equality
ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION IS
A global movement
a worldwide decision to end violence against women
a demand for justice
a paradigm shift
a gathering of the ready
housed in our hearts