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Culture writer/editor investigating narratives on social justice with feminist eyes — find my daily shenanigans on @vivivigliar

A spiritual, poetic, and feminist approach to reclaiming our own narratives.

“Mountains are waves that have surrendered to stillness”

What does surrender look like to you? This is the question I have been grappling with during a year defined by uncertainty. What I did not expect, is that my idea of surrender in 2020 would involve a feminine reframe of an old narrative.

The first time I was exposed to the idea of surrender was playing tug of war in the courtyard with my school friends: boys against girls. When the boys were pulling too hard and getting aggressive, the…


learning comes with error: it is necessary, soft, buoyant and extremely human.

from pushthemovement tumblr

To heal, one must acknowledge the wound. To acknowledge the wound we must also recognise the fault that brought it.

I am here to make the case for error. Not the romanticised error that makes you melancholic about the past, or the mistakes made when other bodies and minds are invaded and deprived of some freedom, I am talking about the necessary error that comes with learning; it is soft, buoyant and extremely human.

In fact, the things we see are often characterised by the inexact. Simon and…


In his London studio, avid reader and artist Salgado talks of beauty, masculinity, and his journey.

Andrew Salgado in his London Studio

When we think of men and beauty, one of the narratives that come to mind — predominantly Western — is that of Narcissus, a man so beautiful that he died of sorrow when he realised he could never have the love of the most beautiful man in the world: himself. Another story that comes to mind is that of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, where a man’s journey to beauty and power essentially makes him sell his soul.

When it comes…


From Mars to Audre Lorde to reparations, this month’s Art Corner takes a whole new look at imagination.

Courtesy of Ilana Harris-Babou

On a rare rainy day in Barcelona, I decided that visiting an exhibition about Mars was the right thing to do. I was standing between a video installation of the sky on Mars and a series of comics — called Amazing Stories — about Martian realities, when I read this phrase: “Imagination always finds a way of scaling the walls imposed by every genre or discipline.”

Human beings require imagination for healing and creativity just as much as we need it to achieve social justice. Imagined realities act as expanding experiences in oppressive systems. During the Cold War, Martian realities…


I sat down with Canadian poet Shelly Harder and talked about intimacy, queerness, curiosity and language.

Poetry is a trip to the poet’s intestines, it is intimacy on paper. It is also a form of rehabilitation; it doesn’t destroy, it grows roots because it comes from a deeply internal place.

In the last years, poetry has made a comeback as a popular art form, and I believe it is so because, at the base, all humans share what poetry puts on the table: vulnerability and empathy.

April is officially the month that celebrates poetry: thousands of people spend hours participating in poetry challenges and the in the world there is a rain of human rawness. …


Dancer and choreographer Kapila Palihawadana talks to us from his studio in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Courtesy of nATANDA theatre and dance school

In the last year, I have had the opportunity to get close to many people who use their bodies as language, and in the process, I am learning to do it myself. I am not a dancer, but I have a body, and this body — containing mind, heart, intestine, lungs to breathe and all my emotions — is the one thing I have that is only mine.

The body, therefore, tells a story and also constructs the narratives in and around us. Each body…


from Lagos Nigeria, the artist sits with us for a conversation on blackness, identity and the artistic process.

One day I sat contemplating the sea in search of a practical answer to the human experience: what makes us human? After watching my mind take many turns, I realised the one thing that differentiates us from other living beings is our ability to create art. Whilst nature and animals have a finite artful existence, human beings have taken their own existence, recreated it through their eyes, and made it transcendental with art.

There is honesty in art, and whilst not everyone relates to every art style, I believe all humans can relate to an artful existence, for it is…


why the spiritual is not a luxury, but another silent rebellion

This morning I opened my notebook and found something I jotted down from a book I read some time ago, I put no reference (to whoever wrote it please come forward!).

“All religions are a form of institutionalised mythology”

It motivated me to explore the spiritual, a word that has, in my opinion, acquired a superficiality that does not belong to it. What I simply mean, is that which we can feel but not touch, that which is hidden in the darkness, underground, in our stories and our emotions…


The best way to tell our own stories is to live them.

Photo courtesy of Native Voice Films

In this article, I will probably not give you what you want. If you want satisfaction, you can stop reading now. I will not explain to you why the protagonist of this story chose to live in a certain way, or why she has been a recluse for forty years after being called the queen of funk. What I will do, is try to tell a story without telling a story. Are you coming with me?

Ancestral rage

My body is made of roots I can’t explain the origins of…


The most useful advice I was given was to replace my “or”s with “and”s

Daniel Lièvano for Fine Acts

“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman

The most useful advice I was given was to replace my “or”s with “and”s. In an exercise to accept my multitudes, I followed the advice and learned that I did not have to fit into one definition, it was freeing.

Binary or hierarchical ways of thinking pervade politics (conservative vs. liberal, right vs. left), gender (male vs. female), knowledge (logical vs. emotional), and even our own definitions of…

Virginia Vigliar

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