June 11, 2008
Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Independent Documentary Filmmaker interviewed by Sonya Shields
“Aishah Shahidah Simmons and I met over ten years ago in Washington, DC when she was dating an old friend. We spent a Saturday night with friends dancing at the Hung Jury and talking about our future goals. I remember thinking that she was intensely passionate and I followed her career. I had not seen Aishah since that fun night until I ran into her this past fall when she attended the event to celebrate Katherine Acey’s 20th Anniversary with the Astraea Foundation. I knew that I wanted to talk with Aishah about her work and journey to becoming an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist living in Philadelphia…
What is your passion?
My passion is centralizing the margins of society. Making the invisible, visible. Documenting the lives of women of color globally. I am an activist. The camera lens is my medium to make social change irresistible.
April 28, 2008
Be Bold. Be Brave. Wear Red on Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Women of color cannot and should not wait to keep a social movement alive that is in defense of ourselves and our daughters. History and contemporary reality has consistently shown all of us that hardly anyone will speak on behalf of us, in defense of us, and/or for us but ourselves. It is based on this, that I made NO! The Rape Documentary.
In the Spirit of so many Diasporic African, Latin, Asian, Indigienous, Arab, Pacific Islander women, my Sistren at Document the Silence have organized their second national campaign to raise awareness around the various forms of violence against women of Color.
April 21, 2008
Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Monica Dillon are featured guests during Sexual Assault Awareness Month | University of Wisconsin-Madison
From April 15, 2008 through April 17, 2008, Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Monica Dillon will be featured guest lecturers, workshop facilitators, and performers at University of Wisconsin – Madison as a part of their Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming. In addition to screening NO! The Rape Documentary and meeting with studens and faculty, they will perform “For Women and Men of Rage & Reason, a cinematic, poetic and musical journey from victim to survivor and activist in the international movements to end violence against women.
An extra highlight to this experience is that Tiona M., the fierce producer, director, photographer, and editor of the ground breaking documentary black./womyn.:conversations… will document Monica and Aishah’s performances and presentations. Tiona will also screen the black./womyn.:conversations trailer, which features the voices of over 50 lesbians of African descent, including Monica and Aishah, and talk about the process of making this important film.
April 7, 2008
A Tale Of Two Strippers…
by Aishah Shahidah Simmons
Sometime last fall Michael Simmons, my father and comrade in the international struggles to end violence against women, called me to share his passionate rage about all of the positive hype around Diablo Cody’s, (the very talented Academy Award® Winning screenwriter of the film Juno, directed by Jason Reitman) herstory as a stripper to support herself while writing screenplays. Media outlets, from National Public Radio to Entertainment Tonight, raved about “the stripper turned Hollywood screenwriter.”
Before my feminist sisters get upset, I want to be clear that Michael’s (and my) passionate rage isn’t about Sister Diablo Cody. This is not an anti-sex worker piece/peace. While I, as a Black feminist lesbian, critique a patriarchal, sexist, and misogynist world where sex work is, for countless women in the world, the only viable option to make a living, I do not and will not ever critique women for “choosing” sex work to financially support themselves.
March 12, 2008
Violence Against Women| Screening of NO! at Raday Salon in Budapest Hungary
After a long hiatus of screenings, book signings, and lectures, the Raday Salon kicks off its 2008 season with a screening of NO! The Rape Documentary to commemorate Women’s History Month. This is not the first time that Raday Salon has hosted screenings and discussions of NO! The Rape Documentary both as a rough cut and now as a completed documentary to standing room only audiences. However given the horrific and unfortuante global manifestation of sexual violence, combined with requests from people who have not had the opportunity to view the documentary, Linda Carranza and Michael Simmons, the Salon’s co-founders, are hosting an encore screening.
“...We have developed many new ties with folks who are new to Budapest or just new to our Salon, who have expressed an interest in seeing the film. We would be happy to see both old and new Salon friends at this showing, especially as the discussion is always different and brings up new observations every time we show the film…” will be an encore screening and discussion of NO! The Rape Documentary.” — Linda Carranza & Michael Simmons
November 23, 2007
It’s been a long time coming, but AfroLez® Productions has completed Breaking Silences, the two-hour supplemental video to NO! The Rape Documentary. As the producer and director, I’m so excited to be able to share this educational organizing tool with everyone in December 2007.
Breaking Silences features selected in-depth excerpts from the thirty plus hours that didn’t make it into the internationally acclaimed NO! The Rape Documentary. Photographed by Joan Brannon; Edited and Composed by Monica Dillon, Breaking Silences is compartmentalized into five individual segments which feature compelling messages from women and men violence prevention advocates/activists and riveting testimonials from women who are multiple survivors of sexual violence. Funded by the Ford Foundation, Breaking Silences is an ideal educational organizing tool, which can be used both independently and as a supplement to NO! The Rape Documentary. Read more