Invisibility

Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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Invisibility
“When you lift up a woman the whole village rises;” “Original Giving Beauty Art by Ari Tribeswomen in Omo Valley;” “Embroidered textiles by patients at Hamlin Fistula in Addis Ababa;” Lemon Sky Projects and Editions by Lori Precious. Ethio Sky was founded by Topangan Lori Precious in 2016 with the mission of assisting female artists in Ethiopia to earn an income from their art by connecting them to buyers in the U. S., many of them in Topanga. Her model of women helping women was successful and thrived until COVID brought the project to a close. During the time it was operating, many Ethiopian women earned enough income from their art to purchase farm animals, send children to school and obtain m
One of the jobs I had when I started to make my way in L.A. was as an “assistant” in one of Hollywood’s literary agencies. Occasionally, I was asked to review scripts and threw myself into the project. One day the big boss bellowed, “Who wrote this review?” He may have indicated that he was impressed, I don’t remember. Sitting at my desk, I raised my voice to answer, “I did!” Silence. Sheer and utter silence. That was disappointing because I knew it was good. Another day, the agent who was my boss called me into his office where he and another agent were holding forth. He asked me a question that was curious because it didn’t require a verbal answer and, standing in the doorway, I puckered my lips wondering what it was about. They burst out laughing. It was a sexual innuendo. I was humiliated and furious. I turned on my heel and may have slammed the door. The other women in the office looked at me, aghast. I couldn’t speak and left that job there and then. Does it sound like a trifle? Sexual harassment came often and in many varieties and you never knew which one would break you. I give thanks to all those women who went before, who stood for women’s rights, who created movements like International Women’s Day and Women’s History month to remind us and keep us on track. Acknowledging the importance of telling our stories, we have a few in this edition of The Canyon Chronicle that address women’s continuing struggle for respect and dignity, one that extends respect for all in this year’s theme: “Embrace Equity.” For that reason, I’m dipping into a deep well of gratitude to our contributors, mostly women, and stories of strangers pulled from favorite resources that tell brave, compassionate, even funny stories. I also hope that Lori Precious, who contributed the cover art and the photo and caption for this page, will continue to contribute her talents. She was truly the inspiration that directed this edition. As for you reading this...you’re the reason the Chronicle keeps showing up. It’s what we do, isn’t it?
Flavia Potenza

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Thinking Out Loud

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