Scribe Video Center Producers' Forum
Fall 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the first pre-production meeting for the Ford Foundation-funded, internationally acclaimed film, NO! The Rape Documentary. Produced and directed over eleven years by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, NO! broke taboos that hid the rape and sexual assault of Black women in Black communities. The film brought together leading Black scholars, theologians, artists, activists, and survivors to break silences and commit themselves to reshape patriarchal cultures of violence against women and queer communities. Some highlighted in the film include Johnnetta B. Cole, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Elaine Brown, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Essex Hemphill, Ulester Douglas, Barbara Smith, and Salamishah Tillet. Subtitled in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, NO! was ahead of its time. Its world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival took place 19 months before Title IX was successfully applied to a campus sexual assault case. Since its release, NO! has been continuously used in educational institutions, rape crisis centers, battered women's shelters, community centers, adult and juvenile correctional facilities, and at conferences and government-sponsored events across the United States, Canada and in countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.
Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, says, "If the Black community in the Americas and the world would save itself, it must complete the work this film [NO!] begins."
This special anniversary presentation of NO! is co-sponsored by Scribe Video Center and the Feminist & Gender Studies Department, Colorado College. It will be the first time that many of the on-screen participants and predominantly women of color filmmakers will be in attendance together and available to participate, with Aishah, in the Q&A following the screening. It is also the first event of three events that are part of #FromNO2Love: Black Feminist Centered Forum on Disrupting Sexual Violence (October 31 – November 1, 2019).
Aishah Shahidah Simmons is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, activist, cultural worker, writer, independent scholar, and international lecturer whose work for the past 25 years examines the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and sexual violence. A child sexual abuse and adult rape survivor, she is the award-winning filmmaker of NO! The Rape Documentary and the editor of the anthology, love WITH accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse (AK Press, 2019). Simmons is also a Just Beginnings Collaborative fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships, University of Pennsylvania. Simmons has screened her work, guest lectured, and facilitated workshops across the United States and internationally.
The Feminist & Gender Studies Department at Colorado College fosters inquiry into structures and modes of power as they are mediated by gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, class, nation and citizenship, age, and ability. Through teaching, scholarship, and service, they study and develop critical interdisciplinary and feminist theories and practices in collaboration with artists, activists, and scholars at Colorado College and beyond.
CO-SPONSORED BY THE DEPT. OF FEMINIST & GENDER STUDIES OF COLORADO COLLEGE, THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, THE JUST BEGINNINGS COLLABORATIVE, SCRIBE VIDEO CENTER, THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM IN PHILADELPHIA & BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL