Stories of Girls’ Resistance
Ulemu, Malawi


“And the thing is, solidarity, it could be something as simple as a statement. Or a tweet. Not even a statement, a tweet. I stand with you or hashtag; it’s anything. And I think we downplay the importance of solidarity because, when you’re a person, to speak at a personal level, if you’re a person going through something, that solidarity is everything. Everything. Like the girl who has just been raped, murdered in South Africa is not alive to see it. But solidarity is a beautiful thing. I mean, it comes from a tragedy, but to see so many people saying, you know what, enough is enough. This collective. And it’s beautiful to see. And you feel safe.”

Ulemu’s Artifact

My first artefact is a picture. So, this picture was taken recently, about five weeks ago. It was at Bambino, the high school in Lilongwe and the Young Feminist Network, which I recently founded. We went there to talk about sexual harassment, masculinity in secondary school – to get the conversation going. I don’t think there’s enough of a conversation. We went there, we had fun. It was really fun. About two hours. This picture was taken after the event, at the very end. I had taken my speaker, so there was music– as you can see… I’m dancing.

I chose this one because I think it pretty much represents who I am. It’s me in my element, doing what I love. It’s about social justice, working with fellow youth. And also, the Young Feminist Network is like my baby. So, this is like my baby. This is a picture of my newborn that you’re looking at right now. It’s something I’m passionate about and the fact that we had young girls and boys, the conversation wasn’t centred only on girls. Girls and boys, just showing that gender equality is fun. It’s not something boring to talk about social justice. It can be fun. Our logo is a fist and the fist as it usually does, stands for power and so it’s just about unity and power, especially young feminists. Having that power, having that strength to fight the inequalities that we see in our society, to see gender or otherwise. It represents power.