I have blogged here before about various symbolic acts of solidarity, from wearing certain colors, to wearing heels, to going barefoot, to being silent for a day. None have moved me like this beautiful act of art and protest.
As Trump was being inaugurated, 50 women organized
through the group Boundless across Borders came together on the
US-Mexico border pedestrian bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez and
braided their hair together.
I love the way this
protest literally and symbolically weaves together the bodily intimate
as a way of shaping the global. Global politics are always shaping our
daily lives, our bodies, our hair. So too what we do with our bodies day
to day is constantly shaping global politics, from what food to how we
manage childcare. This is a basic argument of feminist political
geography (if you want to read more about it, check out the book the Global and the Intimate).
Xochitl Nicholson, one of the organizers, talked about why they used hair this way, “We wanted something that referenced
women directly, but that also sends a message about our common heritage
and common backgrounds in a broader context,” Nicholson said. “It’s a
symbol of collective strength.”
course this protest isn't accessible to women who wear head scarves, or
women with kinky hair, or short hair, or no hair - but I still love the
symbolism and intimacy of it.