Sowing the Seeds of Berta Cáceres
Honduran feminist musician and writer on US tour, April 20th - May 23rd 2017
Two Honduran cultural workers, feminists, and close friends of Berta Cáceres will tour 20 US cities between April 20 and May 23, 2017 to “sow the seeds of Berta.” Singer-songwriter Karla Lara and writer Melissa Cardoza will use music, writing, story, and discussion to grow the international movement for justice and grassroots feminism. Their tour’s goal is not to impart answers, but to spark collective ideas and engagement through creativity and dialogue.
The tour will also promote Cardoza’s book, 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance, recently published in English with translation by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle. Black Lives Matter Network co-creator Alicia Garza says the book “is rooted in a love of freedom that will grip your heart. Cardoza… ensures that, in memory of our sister Berta Cáceres, feminisms are three-dimensional and span multiple experiences.”
In the liberated Honduran territory of Utopia, on Lenca indigenous lands, Karla Lara gave us an interview about the tour.
“Melissa Cardoza and I have been working together for some time, and now we’re sisters in a musical group that we call Puras Mujeres, Pure Women. Melissa said, ‘Let’s go on this tour together.’
“It occurred to Melissa and me not to do a traditional presentation, with her reading and me singing, but instead to do something daring. So we chose four of the stories [from the book], and adopted as the concept of the tour two women who walk, sowing seeds and inviting other people to join in planting and cultivating Berta Cáceres.
“Obviously, we’ll carry with us the cry for justice through art, through visions of liberation, through feminism.
“We’ll talk about the feminism of Berta Cáceres. She didn’t call herself a feminist, but she always had an anti-patriarchal discourse. She was so clear that the anti-capitalist, anti-racist struggle couldn’t be those things without also being anti-patriarchal. COPINH [the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, the Lenca indigenous group that Berta started] has a history that no other mixed-gender organization has. COPINH’s tribunals on domestic violence against women in the communities, for example, are historic.
“Part of getting justice for Berta Cáceres is to share what extractive and development projects [mining, logging, agribusiness, tourism, etc.] are: death for the population. We want to share what these projects mean for communities’ lives, for their culture, for their understandings of the global commons.
“We’re going to walk with people in the US, because the US empire is responsible for a good bit of our suffering. We’re going to come together in the context of Trump and that whole neo-fascist story, so full of racism. We know there are people who want to hear other words, to know other struggles.
“We’ll connect with peoples fighting territorial struggles, international solidarity collectives, domestic worker groups, organized lesbian sisters.
“We are going to invite them, you, to join us on this path, sowing these seeds.”
For more information on the tour, contact mateogj (at) gmail (dot) com.
Interview by Beverly Bell, Other Worlds. Translation by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, La Voz de Los de Abajo.