I am pouring sweet water on my altar for you : theorizing women of color feminism at the junctures of storm/water, femininity, race and power




Gunasena, Natassja Bindu

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This thesis is a meditation on the womanness of water and the wateriness of black and brown womannness. It begins with a consideration of those women that were swept away in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka and those women who were engulfed by the rage of Hurricane Katrina nine months later. As such, this thesis is also a consideration of waterscapes of origin, of the pitfalls and potentials of women of color connecting through, with and as water. It names Yemoja, Oshun, Erzulie, Pattini and Viharamahadevi as theories of water, gender and race developed by women whose lives are "writ in water", and it names them as flesh-and-blood women who wrest/ed meaning from materiality. And finally, this thesis is my own praxis of "crossing", my response to M.Jacqui Alexander's call to "water the plantain shoots" and to remember what we have forgotten we've forgotten. It is a navigation of the waters of women of color feminism, anchored first and always in Black feminism, that hopes to a chart a new future where the bridge isn’t only our back, but our hands, our tongues, and our hearts.



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