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samedi 11 avril 2015
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Children of divorce need our protection
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
I discovered the painter Barbara Sala about 12 years ago in the Musée International d’Art Naïf de Magog in Quebec which has a few of her paintings in its collection. Dazzled by her colors and marvelous Chagallian phantasy, I decided to meet her. At that time, I have read her first children’s book Celestine and the Magical Geranium, illustrated by herself, that I praised in my article (1).
At our first meeting, this very intense woman told me about her diary of psychotherapy which she had undergone 20 years earlier. Her life is a kind of obstacle race ; a descent into the hell of incest, profoundly forgotten in her conscious mind since her German childhood during WWII.
INSECTUAL - The Secret of the Black Butterfly, published in 2015, is illustrated with 75 drawings by the author. Extremely well written, this passionate journey through the narrow tunnel of blocked memory oscillates between the spiritual quest and the psychological thriller. Her heroïne Maya’s life is anything but trivial. From Nazi Germany to the civil war in the ex-Belgian Congo, where she worked for the United Nations in the ’60s, until her arrival in Montreal in 1974 she lived a perpetual adventure and married a handsome Italian with whom she had a boy and a girl. As I would do for a thriller, I will not reveal here the details of her difficult journey through her past ; since the author herself was careful to keep the suspense until the end.
Those who are interested in the process of psychotherapy will learn a great deal as much about the blessings as about the risks of entrusting the direction of one’s life to another person to challenge the painful secrets of the unconscious - even if that person is a member of the Order of Psychiatrists. In a fluid and colorful language, always with a truly authentic voice, Barbara Sala knows how to capture the reader’s interest for her heroine’s struggle to regain her sexuality and her personal autonomy. Over a period of 30 years, she has imposed on herself this real quest for truth. Her growing commitment to the visual arts and writing - parallel to her therapy - favors the recovery of her independence, often put aside in the name of a harmonious family life and the safeguarding of her marriage.
The journey of this courageous septuagenarian shows the depth of the wounds left by incest ; this absolute patriarchal power imposed upon her heroïne Maya in childhood and from which it is almost impossible to entirely liberate oneself. The guilt incrusted in her and the fear of getting rejected or abandoned trap her unconsciously into seduction with the illusory power that she seems to get momentarily over men ; a seduction that her predator had already cynically imposed on her during her adolescence in the name of love.
The means to overcome her daemon
Along the way, we learn that the displacement of a simple “s” and a simple “c” in the words “insect” and “incest” tragically illustrates the hidden plot in her life. “In my mind, I was always searching for the lost link of understanding which would perhaps mean the release of the “devil””. (page 70) ; This elusive daemon, this “Black Butterfly” named in one chapter “Lord Phallus.” (page 174)
In Maya’s difficult psychological journey writing a diary is of prime importance. She writes : “I want my diary to represent the absolute truth, to record as closely as possible what was said, even if it is shameful, embarrassing, unspeakable.” (page 152) While remaining true to this principle and letting her imagination flow freely (in her art), she reaches another level of consciousness thus allowing all hope to flourish.
Born in 1937 in Darmstadt, Germany, Barbara Sala grew up in the Bavarian Alps. After having lived in Switzerland, England, Thailand, Congo (Zaire), Dominican Republic and Guyana, she emigrated to Canada in 1974 and settled in Montreal. Since 1987, she participated in more than 50 group exhibitions and 10 solo exhibitions in Quebec, the United States, France, Switzerland and Tunisia. She obtained three prizes in Quebec.
1. Élaine Audet, Place au conte : Célestine et le géranium magique, sisyphe.org, 21 décembre 2009.
Barbara Sala, Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly, BookLocker, 2015.
The book is available here .
Barbara Sala’s website.
Original French version
English translation : Barbara Sala and Élaine Audet.
Online April 10 2015
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