Monday, February 14, 2011

5 Questions with Tui Gordon, author of Revolutionary Women


How did this book come about?

The seed of the idea was just an observation that the image of Che
Guevara is the symbol of "the revolutionary" in western pop culture.
One day I came across a Che Guevara which had been adapted to look
like a woman's face and it brought up the question "Who are our women
revolutionaries?" This book begins to answer that question!

Which woman really struck a chord with you?

All of them, for a plethora of reasons! The first one I researched was
Louise Michel and I was just really struck by how unafraid she was,
how ardent she was about change and how active and optimistic she was
even though she was intimately aware of how hopelessly misdirected the
society she lived in was.

Which women in today's society would you put in a book like this
decades from now?

Some of the women in the book are contemporaries of ours, Vandana
Shiva, Angela Davis, Malalai Joya etc. The book has 30 women who live
or have lived within the last 150 years, but of course there are
hundreds more possible candidates, who knows what amazing women will
be leading the revolutions of the future.

Which woman in the book is someone a lot of people have overlooked in the past?

All of the women have left their mark, perhaps a woman like Haydee
Santamaria of Cuba, who, although her influence was huge and her work
was vital, never cast herself as the figurehead of the revolution. Her
writings becoming more available has made it harder to overlook how
important her philosophy was and how passionate her struggle was.

What's next for you?

I'm in the early stages of a graphic novel, watch this space

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