Ep. 14: Aishah Shahidah Simmons, director of NO!
- Aishah Shahidah Simmons is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, activist, cultural worker, writer and international lecturer. An incest and rape survivor, she is the creator of the Ford Foundation-funded, internationally acclaimed and award-winning feature length film NO! The Rape Documentary. Aishah is the 2015-2016 Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College. She is also a 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow. Her essays and articles have been published in several anthologies including the recently released Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence anthology edited by Lisa Factora-Borchers and the forthcoming Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement anthology edited by Jennifer Patterson. Committed to archiving, documenting and telling Black women’s herstories and contemporary realities, Aishah co-edited The Feminist Wire’s online forum in honor of June Jordan‘s life and legacy, the Global Forum on Audre Lorde, and the Toni Cade Bambara 75th Birthday Anniversary Forum. An Associate Editor of TFW, Aishah’s cultural work and activism have been documented extensively in a wide range of media outlets including The Root, Crisis, Forbes, Left of Black, In These Times, Ms. Magazine, Alternet, ColorLines, The Philadelphia Weekly, National Public Radio (NPR), Pacifica Radio Network and Black Entertainment Television (BET). She has screened her work, guest lectured and facilitated workshops and dialogues throughout the North American continent and in many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Aishah credits both her twenty-three years work with a Black feminist licensed clinical psychologist and her thirteen-year practice of vipassana meditation with supporting her own healing while simultaneously fueling her to commit a significant portion of her life to address rape, child sexual abuse and other forms of gendered sexual violence.
Links to projects, people, and resources discussed:
- Aishah’s film NO! The Rape Documentary
- Aishah’s production company AfroLez Productions
- Aishah’s new project LoveWITHAccountability
- Pan African Film Festival
- Just Beginnings Collective
- Toni Cade Bambara
- Alice Walker’s The Color Purple
- Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
- Michelle Wallace’s Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman
- Paula J. Giddings’s When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America
- Adrienne Marlee Brown and Walidah Imarisha’s Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements
- Octavia Butler
About Imagine Otherwise:
Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds. Check out full podcast episodes and show notes at ideasonfire.net/episodes. Imagine Otherwise is produced by Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.