(Photos from) SlutWalk Melbourne 2013 – 31 August 2013

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Slut Walk Melbourne placards lead march

Head of the march halted outside St Paul’s

See below for pictures from the rally at the State Library, including a series of speakers introduced by MC Karen Pickering; from the march down Swanston Street; and wrapping up at Federation Square.

Slutwalk Melbourne 2013 is on Facebook and the event page is here.

See also the SlutWalk Melbourne website.

Melbourne’s weather came up trumps for once with a perfect day for a rally. This site was not represented last year, but we were at the first Slutwalk Melbourne in May 2011, where the turnout was probably somewhat larger than this year’s. Some we spoke to mentioned only having heard of the event at the last moment, by word of mouth. However that may be, those who came were challenged as well as challenging, and the march down Swanston Street to Federation Square caught the eyes and ears, and hopefully the minds, of a tidy number of people – very many of whom pulled out their cameras to record the occasion. From the Facebook page we learn that certain threats had been made (this may have accounted for the presence of the men in blue to be seen in one of the photos below), but whoever made them evidently thought better of it on the day.
Mainstream media were not much in evidence, but there is plenty of comment, quotes and some photos on Twitter.
As hinted above, there was much that was challenging, both visually – placards and costumes – and in what was said. Each of the speakers contributed what were in fact nothing short of personal horror stories from different perspectives*, stories of rape and discrimination – but with the emphasis always on survival not victimhood. For the 2011 event the organisers were able to post transcripts of the speeches; there is a lot of work involved in such an undertaking, but it would obviously be admirable if it could be repeated. (One of the speakers was spoken-word artist Hanna Monagle, who delivered her amazing poem “What was I wearing” to great applause. There is, as it happens, a recording available of her reading this poem on a previous occasion – see her page on Soundcloud.) The exigencies of getting the photos meant unfortunately that on this occasion we were not able to make an adequate record ourselves.

*The speakers were:
Stella Young, comedian, disability advocate and the Editor of Ramp Up
Gamilaroi/Torres Strait Island woman Nakkiah Lui, “a playwright, visionary, dreamweaver and a feminist”
Hiba Casablanca, National Queer Officer for the National Union of Students
Hannah Monagle, see above
Matt James, trans identifying poet, activist, writing student and Victorian sex worker
Van Badham, playwright and novelist, columnist for Guardian Australia
MC was Karen Pickering, feminist and host of Cherchez la Femme
(Details taken from the 2013 page of the SlutWalk Melbourne website.)

Gallery 1 – people and placards at the State Library:

Gallery 2 – speakers

Gallery 3 – on the march

Karen Pickering wraps up at Federation Square

Karen Pickering wraps up at Federation Square