Spotlight on TBTN Performers – Flamingo Mutiny Brigade

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We’re highlighting the amazing performers that bring life to and share their skills with us during our TBTN rally.

Hamilton’s radical samba-inspired squad, Flamingo Mutiny Brigade will be providing awesome drumming and music during this year’s TBTN march!

fmb1How did Flamingo Mutiny Brigade start?

SACHA invited Rhythms of Resistance Toronto (who’ve come to TBTN the last few years to fill the march with drumming sounds!) to host a workshop in May of 2013. A bunch of folks from Hamilton attended , and there we learned about samba drum cores, about the ROR network, how to make instruments out of everyday items, and even how to play a few songs!

A few of the folks (maybe about 5 or 6) who attended the workshop were super jazzed and inspired, and so decided to learn together about how to be in a band.

 

How does FMB approach music and social justice?

It is hard to answer this question because it differs for each of us, and depends on what gigs we are playing. But some things we all really love:

  • For us, playing in a band is so energizing! Many of us find it hard to be in rallies or marches without any music; banging away keeps us engaged and feeling inspired (despite rain, heavy police presence, oppressive or long speeches, etc). We leave gigs exhausted but energized, and folks around us tell us that we pass that energy on to them as they walk alongside us or dance to the beats.
  • Many of us feel like drumming gives us a purpose. Music gathers people together, and we often find that people follow us in a demo when we aren’t the people who pulled the demo together. So, drummers can be used strategically to get people started, to keep them together, to signal that someone needs help, and so forth. This makes us feel like we are building up the spirit and life of the demos or gigs in which we participate.
  • We work in a way that encourages everyone to participate and to learn new things. Some of us have played lots, some of us are really attuned to how music and drumming works, and some of us have no clue about these things but can memorize a beat or learn with lots of practice. So, band and making music together becomes accessible, and a good space in which we can learn , even when we feel embarrassed or nervous.

fmb2What excites you about playing at TBTN?

Last year, playing at TBTN was our second gig EVER! And ROR Toronto was so kind and taught us lots on the spot, right in the march. So, this year we are excited to play knowing lots more songs and breaks and having more than two gigs under our belts!

 

What is your favourite TBTN moment?

Last year, we were asked to help out the puppeteers by adding musical accompaniment to their dramatic performance. We didn’t have time to rehearse or to plan in advance, so we got a few directions the day of and made things happen improv style. It was super cool to be part of that; to make something come together and to be spontaneous with our drumming!

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Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified individuals to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against sexual violence.

This year we’re celebrating Take Back the Night in Hamilton on Thursday, September 18th at Hamilton City Hall.

More details about the event here.

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Spotlight on TBTN Performers – Eileen Griffet

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Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified individuals to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against sexual violence.

This year we’re celebrating Take Back the Night in Hamilton on Thursday, September 18th at Hamilton City Hall.

More details about the event here.

We’re highlighting the amazing performers that bring life to and share their skills with us during our TBTN rally.

Eileen Griffet has volunteered at SACHA on our Management Committee, 24 Hour Support Line, as well as on the Take Back the Night Coordinating Committee.  This year Eileen will be leading laughter yoga during the TBTN rally. She has a great laugh and we can’t wait for her to share it with everyone at TBTN!

DSCN1311Tell us more about laughter yoga?

I was introduced to laughter yoga many years ago when I ran a girls group at work. I invited a leader to one of our sessions and was attracted to her passion and excitement. Several years later I met up with a leader who I knew and told her I was interested in becoming a leader (I saw many ways that it could be used in my life and with those I work and volunteer with) and she was running a training that weekend so I went. That was summer of 2013.

What excites you about leading laughter yoga at Take Back the Night?

Take Back the Night is a very special evening for me. It was how I was introduced to SACHA. I started taking my daughter shortly after she was abused as a young girl. I am so excited to bring laughter to a very serious celebration. I hope that I can spread some laughter without forgetting why we are there.

Do you have a particular TBTN memory that you would like to share?

My favourite memory happens every year. I just love watching the start of the march. Seeing all those women united against violence – strong and passionate – brings tears to my eyes every year. For me it is the best part of the night.

Why do you march at TBTN?

I march for my daughter and for all women. As a woman I have a responsibility to do all I can to support and help all other women.

Spotlight on TBTN Performers – Maria Isabel Garcia Castro

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Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified individuals to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against sexual violence.

This year we’re celebrating Take Back the Night in Hamilton on Thursday, September 18th at Hamilton City Hall.

More details about the event here.

We’re highlighting the amazing performers that bring life to and share their skills with us during our TBTN rally.

Maria Isabel Garcia Castro is a Zumba instructor in Hamilton and will be getting folks moving and bringing the energy to our TBTN rally.

Maria Isabel Garcia Castro

Why do you march at TBTN?

I march for me, my mother, my sisters, my friends, coworkers, and students! I march for those without a voice, because I feel I have strong voice and can scream to the world that for sure we are NOT ALONE and that we reclaimed our right to walk without feeling scare or being abused.

How did you start leading Zumba?

After attending a few classes from another great instructor in the Stoney Creek area, I realized Zumba was something I like to do as my job. I became and instructor on April 16, 2011, a few weeks later I started to do my own little class at the basement of a church downtown Hamilton. I sometimes had 3 people, sometimes 8, sometimes none, but I kept that class going for 6 months.

Now I teach an average of 13 classes a week.

What excites you about leading Zumba at Take Back the Night?

That I can reach out to people, especially women, who have never been able to explore dance and fitness they way I did! I have found a way to feel free! To be alive and to care about me through Zumba, and I want others to feel that too!

Do you have a particular TBTN memory that you would like to share?

I remember I was able to take my boys to take back the night and they were really excited to be there, I felt safe and strong walking with them and the whole group down the streets! We chant together that we are not afraid. I was grateful for the opportunity to show and teach my kids from a very young age that we are equal and that we need to respect each other.

Rhythms of Resistance Drumming Workshop

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You may remember Rhythms of Resistance Toronto’s women-identified contingent at Hamilton’s Take Back the Night hitting the streets, marching, making noise, dancing and creating amazing music to rise up to.Rhythms of Resistance Toronto loves Hamilton so much that they want to come back, but this time with the rest of the band and a new mission!You may know RoR from performance, all decked-out in tutus, glitter and combat boots, but that’s only a piece of who they are and what they do. The other sides of Rhythms of Resistance, as musicians and activists, includes community engagement and organizing projects, workshops, skill sharing, potlucks and parties, supporting and challenging ourselves and each other as we try and live our vision and affect change…and so much more.

They want to share all this with you!

With support from SACHA – Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) – and to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month, RoR is coming to Hamilton once again to pass on our collective drumming skills, to pass on the knowledge and know-how (based on their own experiences) of creating affinity using music for social change, and rooting your practice in an anti-oppression framework.

Who knows? This could be the start of RoR Hamilton!

This is an open invitation. All genders and abilities welcome.

To make the workshop a success RoR needs your help collecting wine bottles, plastic food containers, drum sticks, wooden spoons, plastic water-cooler jugs, large buckets and whistles for the workshop.

Registration is sliding scale – $10-$30. All the funds will go towards the travel costs of the facilitators with any extra funds raised going to support SACHA’s amazing programs supporting survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Please pay what you can afford.

When: Sunday, May 5th from 11am to 4pm
Where: 75 MacNab Street South

To register online please visit – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/350713.

There are free spots available for folks who cannot afford to pay to register. Please contact Erin at erin@sacha.ca or 905.525.4573 to reserve a free spot at this workshop.

Visit the Facebook event here – http://www.facebook.com/events/351449281642978/

TBTN 2012 Performers

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We have an exciting group of folks lined up to lead us in dance and yoga and also to show us how amazingly talented women-identified folks in Hamilton can be!  Some are new to TBTN and others you might recognize from years past.

We will start off the evening with laughter yoga lead by Kathyrn Kimmins from Laugh Yourself Healthy.

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TBTN Performer Recap

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We have posted about all the folks who will be performing at TBTN this year, but here they are in one post:

Laughter Yoga

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Kathryn Kimmins of Laugh Yourself Healthy will be leading us in laughter yoga at TBTN.

From her website:

10 Good Reasons to Laugh for NO Reason!

  1. Laugher easily changes the way we feel.  It helps us to feel good, relax, be more self-confident and self-expressive.
  2. Laughter improves our interpersonal relationships. If we are laughing, we can’t be fighting.
  3. Laughter is a stress buster. It relieves physical, emotional and mental stress
  4. Laughter strengthens the immune system and helps maintain good health.
  5. Laughter is anti-aging. It increases blood supply to the face, making it glow. It helps us to feel and look younger. We look beautiful when we laugh.
  6. Laughter is an aerobic exercise equivalent to any other standard aerobic exercise.
  7. Laughter increases the levels of endorphins-the body’s natural pain killers
  8. Laughter helps control high blood pressure and improves respiration, circulation and digestion.
  9. Laughter makes us more imaginative and creative. It improves our sense of humour and sleep.
  10. Laughter helps dump depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders. Laughter shrinks the hurts of everyday life. It interrupts the power struggle and releases tension and anger.  This helps us to be more accepting and peaceful.