OBR Flashmobbers and MP Jenette Arnold at City Hall, (c) Carole Edrich 2013

OBR Flashmobbers and MP Jenette Arnold at City Hall, (c) Carole Edrich 2013

This time last year I was lucky enough to be involved with the London chapter of One Billion Rising, the movement against violence against women initiated by Eve Ensler. Managed and coordinated by Marilù Martone (flashmobs) and Abena Oppong-Asare (City Hall) we performed the official OBR routine as well as one by Mimmo Micolis with Lourdes Fernandes Menayo (who also performed at City Hall) to music created by Francesco Germini.

We broke records – and by we I mean all the people involved in all the different public dances to demonstrate support in all 107 countries that participated. It was hard work, it was fun and we made the world sit up and listen. Props to everyone who participated then and who braved the horrendous London weather today. I also wrote a short piece about the experience and preparation for Dance Today Magazine.

This was our film short (as well as my images you’ll find me quoted as Carole Edrich and as blogger DanceTog)

And this is the official film short which has been shown at the Sundance twice now – you’ll find us there several times too.

The sad fact is that getting it all together – all totally unpaid – takes a lot out of one. It’s not just the time you put in (and I’m sure we all did it gladly) but the way that your pipeline suffers because you’ve not spent as much time as you should in building future work. Although she hasn’t said anything about it to me, I can guess that as a salaried employee with a whole raft of commitments that keep her working long hours all the time, Abena must have lost social life and energy for the additional time spent arranging her side of things. Marilù, the official coordinator with the OBR movement wasn’t paid at all (I don’t even think she got expenses) and for her it was a full time job, and my pipleline suffered considerably.

Of course we were all happy to do the work. It’s a deserving cause. There is still too much violence against women all over the world and something should be done. But that – and the way the months seem to have whizzed by for all of us since – probably explains why we werent involved this year. I’ve not talked to them about it, but am nonetheless sure that we’ll get back together and give more time to the cause in the future.