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Self-care. Day #3 at the Reproductive Justice Reel Camp for Girls

Session three opened with an important conversation about the meaning of self-care.

Everyone shared what they had done as a form of self-care for the day and naturally, each answer was different. Just like with session two’s exercise of celebrating the poses and activities that make us feel most comfortable in our bodies, everyone has something they consider self-care that is unique to them.

Whether it’s eating breakfast, dancing, lying down for a bit, or spending time in the water, we all have our own ways of caring for and returning to ourselves. Vera reminds us of a quote from Audre Lorde, in which she says that “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” and we expand into how self-care is not only something we should do as a pure act of love for ourselves but also as a way to actively fight against the burn-out bent, exhaustion-bent society we live in.

Capitalism and colonization have convinced us that we need to keep going at all hours if we want to be successful in any way. This type of thinking also finds its way into political movements as well and we find ourselves torn between working ourselves to death under capitalism and under the pressure of fighting against it within movements and circles that have limited resources or few people who can make time to help carry the load.

Many activists and leaders have found themselves pushing, pushing, and pushing onwards and while this has certainly resulted in amazing political victories and actions, it ultimately has also lead to burnout for so many of them and finding no time for self-care, rest, and healing can truly damage a person. One participant then chimes in to say that we have to remember to put ourselves first because 1. we deserve to love ourselves purely because we just should and 2. loving and caring for ourselves enables us to then give that to our communities and the causes we are a part of. We cannot pour from an empty cup.

After this, the participants continued with their hands-on camera work. They practiced recording audio today as well as taking some practice shots and using the slate. Laughter and excitement can be heard bubbling throughout the room when they’re not deep in discussions over their story. We end the day discussing the plan for the next few days, which will mainly consist of filming and checking off the inevitable production to-do list that is to come.

Just a few more days and we’ll be once again in another showcase. Time flies.


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