Our launch event at The Corner on Saturday was fantastic. With so much going on in the city it was great to have so much of the community interested in the Hollaback! campaign. As an international organisation in 84 sites, in 25 countries, in 14 languages, we are very proud to be the team to bring the anti-street harassment movement to Nottingham.
We began the day with our first Hollaback! Nottingham Chalk Walk. We took to the streets to write an array of anti-street harassment and gender equality messages all over Hockley. The action, initially met with confused looks and questions, however this was quickly replaced with positivity and many getting involved.
We met one group of girls aged between 11 – 14 who had not heard of street harassment. We defined this as behaviour such as whistling, staring, groping, comments based on your gender to which one girl said ‘REALLY!? I hate that. It happens all the time when I am walking down the street. It happened today – we got shouted at by men in a van’. They subsequently grabbed chalk from our hands and added their messages.
Two great pieces of art were created by the very talented women, Tilly Mint and Zoe India. Both pieces revealed themselves to be inspired by mysticism and strength in the form of goddesses and elephants.They are beautiful and will certainly inspire many when adorned on the walls of the Nottingham Women’s Centre new Feminist Library.
The workshops were well attended with many new attendees gathered from our chalk walk. Hannah Bee from Love Sex, Hate Sexism explored
consent and how the importance of enthusiastic sexual consent in all relationships allows individuals the power to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Sarah Camplin from WAIS followed with her workshop on Domestic Violence and Healthy Relationships and provided an insight into her training and knowledge.
Thank you to both of these wonderful people for focusing on issues that are so often neglected by society. We would like to give a special thank you to Venus Pole Dancing for providing us with a safe and free space for our workshops.
D’s Pop-Up Kitchen turned up from the Sneinton Christmas Market to feed us her delicious vegetarian Chilli served with corn bread and followed by Betty’s gluten free cake.
Marita Metelia and Leah Sinead provided us with two spectacular performances that brought the day event to a close. The Hollaback! team had been particularly excited, lucky and proud that they had both agreed to play and we were not disappointed. A massive thanks to Rob for our impromptu sound man – we didn’t mean to keep you so long!
We finished off at the after party organised by Freya Barlow at Lee Rosy’s in conjunction with the tea houses 9th birthday. With silver foil, tea cocktails and dancing it was an exceptional finale.
There was a real feeling that we had the power to change something, a feeling that is rare today. But here we find ourselves with the opportunity to establish a real difference. Street harassment is a genuine issue and Hollaback! Nottingham wants to be the movement to end it in the city.
We hope that our new blog, Nottingham.ihollback.org, will empower people to post their stories of street harassment so that these incidents are recorded and those affected will have access to a supportive and understanding community.
Thank you to every that got involved or attended the event. Thank you for all your time, energy and talents. We are excited for more in the New Year.