Women Hold Up The Sky
28th May – 27th June, 2021
‘Women hold up the sky’ was a film made for the Brighton Fringe 2021. In half an hour we would be told about what life is like in these Countries in Africa; Uganda, Republic of Congo and South Africa, the stories were clearly to give a voice to these women making and taking this footage of villages and local communities.
It began with the words; “The world is in deep crisis.” In a narration from a women who presented the show for us. They spoke about how huge international conglomerates who own oil and coal were causing them major problems in the communities. It has become so bad for these women in these positions because of how the male dominated culture suppresses and holds them down. But things get a lot worse than that.
In the footage we were shown moving pictures of colour and thriving for these communities. But in the narration we found them speak about their heart rending experiences at the hands of Big Oil companies. We thankfully were hearing this news from the grass root people whom it has affected.
So many things were brought to light in this epic story. All of which were centred around these women and their own hopes and fears. The stories from these women affected us as they filmed them talking about horrifying nights when men with guns arrived to evict people from their houses.
There were so many failings on behalf of the energy companies that were listed for legal purposes, in rights being checked. In a twist to the tail it turned out that one of the many loopholes was that a women cannot own land, there for has no rights. It was impressive to see how communities came together and started to fight this fight, and redeem their homes and livelihoods.
Great strides have been and are being taken in these preliminary stages of proceedings now striking with the power of legal representation. That has just about saved at least some of these victims of moneys more complex world, taxing communities with a threat of death, and other equally bad things.
It soon was to realize that the importance of sharing was paramount in establishing new and rigid laws about land ownership. But these catastrophic instances are on the rise and not the way out. As would please our displaced people back to the place they had worked so hard to create and maintain.
They spoke of the lack of water now they are blasting and digging, loss of cows because the food sources dried up. They have the ambitions to send their children to school and have some kind of medical facilities but they are not being left alone at all to thrive in these things.
They defiantly grew to positions where fighting giant oil or coal company might be becoming more prevalent, but with a disbelief as to the severity of their treatment. And our senses grew sharp from the displays of dancing, talking, singing all as a means to express them-selves and be together for it. As we listened to the stories we climbed on board to help sail these awfully rough seas. It’s an old fight that seems to lurk at the centre of many cultures who took on the mantle to bring about great change for these communities. From the women who have known how good things can be if they were just left alone to do it.
But they have and were given less at every stage of this very fiery issue that these women have to find a way through. There are cracks appearing in the door but as they said in ‘Women hold up the sky’ the battle seemed to be a one sided thing. But do these companies set out to destroy lives? are they playing with us like toys? These questions and more were asked as the righteous momentum of the women in the movie flittered by. “I think their intension is to kill us” was one quote for the feelings going around after tragedies like this, there is so much to endure, and to worry about. Still treating each other with great smiles and brimming confidence about the future which could have been resounding for African natives in general
This was a plea for the outcry of women in these villages who are suppressed on so many levels by mans conscious willingness to degrade and make less than nothing of other sentient beings
Houses creeked, walls shook as the digging and blasting commenced. Whole zones where created with the results of buildings coming down that are now lost forever. Faceless Companies have offered many things but through legality they worm their way out and get away with it. The amazing potentials of fair legal representation are beginning to offer a very serious solace in the case and aim of the name of the people
These women as they were together still have hope in the name future achievements. It’s a shame that for things like this to be happening there is no a chance to climb out of it. By this time we were left with a message of hope not just for these communities but for the planet as an entirety as we spur it into a cycle that may be it for us and a sign an end to all that we love. Congratulations to things like writing and theatre because the more we see of this the more aware we can become and even unite for at least a piece of land to thrive on. Men who still make these rules that place women at the bottom of just about everything have no idea that ‘Women hold up the sky’
Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly