(VIDEO) Walking Home: A Film About Street Harassment Among Women of Color

Late last week jaz shared the following film with several of us reproductive and sexual health advocates. It is called WALKING HOME and it is by a filmmaker Nuala Cabral. The description that accompanies the video states:

This is an experimental piece about women ritually facing street harassment as they walk home. Shot in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, it mixes 16mm film, video, poetry and music in an effort to honor and reclaim our voice, name and humanity in the public sphere. This is for the walkers, talkers and those who say nothing.

Take a moment to watch the film. Unfortunately, the film is only in English and at this time does not have any subtitles. I’m in communication with Naula and will ask her if the poem being read can be shared, if so I’ll post the words. There is some profanity used in this video so it may not be safe for work (NSFW).

When I shared this film with the people in my circle and network it received the following responses: “Loved this.” “Will be using at work. Thanks!,” “Wow, love this, this is walking in the BX,” and “Brilliant!’ I had to agree with my homegirls, the film is stunning. I immediately thought of the limitlessness of using this film in my classroom and work with youth of Color, especially with young men of Color. There are so many layers to the film that I wanted to share with those of you who are searching for quality films created by members of the community in which they are speaking/targeting/educating.

This film has come to my attention at an important time. Earlier this week a woman in Southeast Washington, DC was shot by a man when she refused to give him her telephone number. As La Macha states on the Vivir Latino posting: “It reminded me of how very rare it is for so many people to say ‘no’ in safety.” Here’s the video for some coverage:

I know I have a lot of plans for using this film in my classroom. Nuala has also agreed to an interview after the semester is over so stay tuned for part of that shortly! I’d like to know what your thoughts are when watching this film. How do  you see this film being used with the young people that you work with? How can this film be used to address that may not be presented in the film? I’m thinking specifically of women with disabilities, and how, if at all, street harassment is different by people of the same gender. Do you find this film effective?

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  • aim%C3%A9e-thornethomsen

    Thanks for sharing this.  I felt my blood pressure rise and my body tense as I watched the film and re-lived so many of those same moments captured in the film.  By the end, I just wanted to scream.  While I definitely faced more harrassment when I lived in the city and when I was younger, it’s still a constant threat.  I think had I seen this when I was younger, I would have been able to identify harrassment and not hold myself responsible for how others reacted to me.  I think it’s a great tool for lots of people, but especially young women of color. 

  • hkearl

    I run the Stop Street Harassment website & blog and have a book coming out in Aug. on street harassment. Just wanted to direct everyone to my video resources page which has “Walking Home” and many other powerful anti-street harassment video clips: http://www.stopstreetharassment.com/resources/video.htm