July Branch Meeting - Wednesday 28th July 12pm
Come along to our next branch meeting! Following the GLA election, our amazing co-branch lead Emily leaving us to move on the other side of the planet, we will use this meeting to re-group, discuss the direction we hope to take for the branch, and what we want to achieve in the next few months. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved for old or new members: we have volunteering roles to be filled, from data manager to comms and event planning. Those roles take up 1-2 hours a week and you will get plenty of support from others in the branch. So if you want to try your hand at anything, come along!
This meeting will be on Zoom - we will have a mix of online and in person meetings to make sure those who are shielding or unable to come in person are still able to be part of the team.
They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.
WE Edinburgh and The Lothians Branch invite you to join out next 'Book Club' on Thursday 29th July 2021 at 19:30 via Zoom
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi is the book we have chosen this month.
Akwaeke Emezi’s novel starts with the protagonists death - “They burned down the market the day Vivek Oji died,” it begins, interspersing recollections of Oji from friends and family with snippets of his own testimony from beyond the grave. One minute we’re with Oji in childhood, playing with his mother’s jewellery, “placing one of the necklaces against his sternum, over his silver chain, clipping his ears with the earrings … so beautiful he made the air around him dull”, the next we’re once again in the burned-down market. He is alive, then dead, then alive again, sometimes all in the same paragraph, setting up a framework in which his posthumous narration makes perfect sense.
We learn that Oji was born on the same day as his grandmother’s death, with a scar like a “soft starfish” on his foot that matched hers. This spiritual conjoining will become significant later in the novel, when Oji tells his friends that they can “refer to him as either she or he, that he was both”. At this stage, his father’s fearful insistence on dismissing the mark as mere coincidence seems full of foreboding. After Oji allows his hair to grow past his shoulders and abandons his parents’ dream that he’ll attend university in America, some of his relatives become convinced that he’s “sick”, or possessed by a demon.
Akwaeke has a gift for prose that is often as visceral, tender and heart-breaking as what it describes. For example, when Oji’s mother Kavita reminisces about caressing her little boy, we are given an image of her palm falling “to the back curve of his boy skull, the soft hair and the warm skin underneath, the formed bone shaping him”. But it’s a description that snags on the corporeal, as when she discovers his corpse: “the length of his body stretched out on their front veranda … the back of his skull … broken and seeping into their welcome mat”, underscoring the point that even after all of that careful, loving description, Kavita cannot see Oji’s true self as both male and female. Her failure to do so is emblematic of the blindness of many who claim to love him. The portrait that emerges is of someone who is profoundly, painfully misunderstood.
The book was shortlisted for both the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2021 and also for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2021.
You are welcome to join us, whether or not you have had chance the read or listen to the book!
Join Zoom meeting by clicking here
Meeting ID: 891 5831 4142
The mainstream media is full of promises to change how women's safety is protected in public spaces but so often these are empty words.
Over 90% of young women have experienced harassment of some form, and policing is now so ineffective that rape and sexual assault has essentially been decriminalised. We understand there is no quick fix for gender based violence, but with recent Government initiatives focusing on street lighting and placing undercover police officers in pubs and bars we are gravely concerned about the lack of serious action being taken to improve the safety of women and girls.
We are going to be discussing the safety of women and girls in our area and ask how we want the world to change. Lets get some ideas that we can take forward to our local councils to actually get action taken.
Please join us for what we think will be a lively discussion - this affects us all - we need the world to be safer NOW and for future generations.
Meet the Author - Sally Duffin - Natural Nutrition for Perimenopause - What to eat to feel good and stay sane
Sally will be joining the meeting to discuss her book and to chat generally about women's health and nutrition. She will also be happy to answer questions.
Women's health is under-researched, under-funded, and under-represented across the board. Sally is making a difference with her informative, funny, frank and helpful book on how we can make nutrition work for us.
We will also be discussing other books on Women's Health and sharing tips and ideas on how to feel our best and where to get the advice we need - no matter what age or stage of life we are at.
email [email protected] to be included in the zoom meeting.