Women Wednesday #43
Posted on 23 August 2017
NEON MOON'S WOMEN WEDNESDAY
We love how women are changing the world and making an impact to their home countries that we're talking all things awesome and new every Wednesday!
Have you ever come across someone so incredible that you could talk about them for hours? Kathleen Martinez Berry gives you plenty to talk about. Up at night with an infant and temporarily living in Madrid while her husband studied cardiology, Martinez cast about for something challenging to occupy her time; she decided to get a master’s degree in finance. Bored again while tending to her second child, Martinez then earned a master’s in archaeology, a subject that had been a long-time passion. That rekindled what has become a full-blown obsession: discovering the truth about the life and especially the death of Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, at one time the richest and most powerful woman in the world. Her quest has transported Martinez from a high-powered career as one of the Dominican Republic’s most sought-after criminal attorneys, into a self-made Egyptologist poised at the brink of solving one of archaeology’s most enduring mysteries — the whereabouts of Cleopatra’s tomb. She’s come bloody close too, all but proving the whereabouts of the burial, achieving more than any archaeologist before her and earning the respect of everyone in the field who previously called her an amateur. Imagine what you could do with a little boredom?
For over 30 years, Irmela Mensah-Schramm has been fighting neo-Nazism on the streets of Berlin with a spatula and can of spray paint in hand! The 70-year-old retired teacher says that she is on a mission to rid the world of anti-Semitic and racist graffiti, and by her count, she's removed or painted over more than 130,000 neo-Nazi signs and stickers since 1986. Mensah-Schramm, who calls herself a “Polit-Putze” or political cleaner, carries a cloth bag hand-painted with the words "Gegen Nazis!" (Against-Nazis!) filled with tools to remove stickers, nail polish remover, and spray paint. And, she often spends up to 17 hours on the hunt several days a week for neo-Nazis graffiti. “I'm really concerned by this hate propaganda. And I want to take a stand,” Mensah-Schramm says. “I could look at that swastika and ‘Nazi Kiez’ [Nazi neighbourhood] graffiti and say 'oh, that's awful' and walk by. But no one would dare to do anything. Well, I don't want to wait for someone else to do something about it.” Mensah-Schramm will continue her war on neo-Nazi graffiti as long as she's able: "I have a strong appreciation for human dignity. When I see someone’s dignity being hurt, I feel it myself.” After all, she adds, "Nothing really changes by just talking about it." Preach it!
Listening to metal is a reliably overwhelming experience, even for those already used to its force. The genre operates on the twin pleasures of awe and horror, which—if mixed properly—make rage sound like triumph and angst like heroics. Evil Thoughts, the first full-length album from the Brazilian all-female death/thrash metal band Vocífera, is a celebration of metal as pure alchemy. It transforms darkness—sonic and symbolic—into shades of glory. Vocífera was formed, according to drummer Marcella Tiné, in 2011, out of a sheer “desire to make heavy sound.” Their biggest challenge seemed to be in finding like-minded women to round out the band in the relatively small state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Upon recruiting sisters Ray and Eveline Torres (vocals and bass, respectively) in 2015, Vocífera was born. In Portuguese, the band’s name translates to “female vociferousness,” “female clamor,” or “female rage.” Vocífera luxuriates in the paradigm that metal has always upheld—badness can be goodness, and chaos can code as beauty. In fact, it’s easy to see why women inhabit this realm of inversions: Metal honours rebellion at its most elemental. Keep rocking ladies!
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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