The day we started having crushes is the day we began dreaming about our weddings. I was obsessed with the idea of Cinderella’s carriage, and always imagined setting out of that for my own wedding. As we grow older, we realize the real cost of a wedding and how unlikely it’ll be the wedding we dreamed of in childhood. As I am planning my own wedding now, I have come across the true cost of the wedding staples. To say the least, there’s a reason the wedding business is booming. I have multiple theories that just adding the word “wedding” when speaking to a vendor increases the price of a rental threefold.
Honestly, who knew you even needed lighting? The cost of lighting is one of the top expenses you would never think of. For almost any venue, the lighting is standard room lighting. This type of lighting isn’t pleasing when taking pictures, dancing, or setting the mood. When booking a ballroom, you will need spotlights for the food, DJ, tables, and decorations. You will also need uplights and some other various lighting. The quote for a ballroom is around $2,000 – $3,000.
Behind a white dress, one of the most iconic images of a wedding is the floral arrangements. White roses, tulips, hydrangeas, baby’s breath – all scream “wedding”. Odds are, you want a big lush bouquet for you, your bridesmaids, your mother, mother in law, and so on. The difference florals can make on your wedding is astounding. A good florist will make your pictures and party pop. Expect florals to close minimum $4,000.
Chicken or fish? Wonder why that’s a classic line associated with weddings? Because it’s too expensive to buy red meat! From the h’or dourves, to appetizers, to salads, to dinner, to fruit stations, to dessert – the cost of catering is the most expensive part of the wedding. The cost of food is around $50 – 300 per/person. And add that to the required staff, which is about 1 waiter per 15 people. For a party of 300 people catering, will be at least $18,000.
You know those cute videos that pop up on Instagram with the editing and cute songs? Yes, well those cost money. A lot more money than you would anticipate. For a wedding of about 300 guests, you would want to hire a team of at least 3 videographers. With the mixing of those angles and adequate editing, you can anticipate a great video. The cost for this videography is about $4,000 – $10,000.
Odds are, you won’t like the dated furniture given from the venue. The venue will almost always require additional touches to make it unique to your wedding. It might need chivari chairs, or special runners, or a comfy couch area. Whatever it is, you will want to make the wedding uniquely yours. And the best way to do that is with custom, unique rentals. Expect to send anywhere from $3,000 – $10,000 for good rentals.
However, risk can be reduced through conflict resilience led by young women. Conflict resilience is defined as the capacity for societies and communities to recover quickly from violent disputes and reduce their vulnerability to a resurgence of such conflicts. Women, as described in UN Resolution 1325, should play a more active role in efforts to achieve peace and security. Given the vulnerability of young women during violent conflicts, it makes sense to capacitate them to do so.
Identifying young women in affected conflict areas who are motivated to transform their communities into pillars for peace and development is the first step. This is the basis of partnerships between young women and governments in the resilience process. The second step is for governments to infuse conflict-resilience education into school curriculums as the foundation for future initiatives.
Recognising young women who are already leading their communities in conflict transformation can inspire others. Organisations led by young women that have begun to emerge in Africa include Messengers of Peace Liberia and the Borno Women Development Initiative. The latter, a Nigerian-based organisation, aims to place women under the age of 35 at the centre of resilience efforts to combat Boko Haram in Maiduguri.
Unique to the Borno Women Development Initiative is the fact that a young woman, Fatima Askira, leads this initiative. A biological science graduate, the 30-year-old has learnt that her career is not defined by her studies but by the state of her society.
In a forthcoming podcast produced by the Institute for Security Studies and Igarapé Institute’s Innovation in Conflict Prevention project, she tells how supporting and helping people affected by conflict is a responsibility and not a choice. Young women like Askira are an asset to the continent and more young women need to be afforded the opportunity to undertake similar initiatives.
The ability of young women to champion resilience is, however, limited by the marginalisation of youth in general from African peace and governance processes and by the lack of sufficient investment in youth education. These contribute to a longer-term problem for young women, because they are not expected to become engaged in conflict resilience, particularly as leaders.
This kind of structural inequity prevents young women from championing resilience to conflict in other ways too. Firstly, societal expectations for young men and young women in Africa diverge once they transition from childhood to adulthood. This moment is often the point at which the world expands for boys and contracts for girls.
Cultural restrictions such as marriage prospects dictate the future for many young women while young men conversely start to enjoy increased autonomy and social mobility. To help address these concerns, United Nations (UN) Women developed a youth and gender equality strategy in 2017 that aims to foster gender equity championed by youth.
The second structural challenge is that young women are typically labelled as victims in conflict situations, rather than actors with the ability to protect and rebuild their communities. As a result, priority is not given to the potential role of young women in ending conflicts, for example as mediators. Closing this gap is not easy but it is crucial.
Building resilience needs to be multi-dimensional to ensure success. This means a strong partnership between young people, government, civil society and development partners should exist. At a community level, development partners such as the African Development Bank could fund intervention studies assessing the vulnerabilities of communities and their capacity to accommodate young women in conflict resilience.
This, when done in partnership with civil society and government departments responsible for education, can lead to effective training of young women and their community leaders. Building awareness and skills on conflict and trauma, and coping strategies, is the basis for resilience.
Governments should engage with development partners and regional economic communities to build the necessary human resources to enable young women’s role in community resilience. This would have the added benefit of building trust between governments and young people.
Making young women champions of conflict resilience is a missing part in the peacebuilding puzzle and is long overdue in Africa. Once the partnerships and actions outlined above between government, civil society and development partners get stronger, the trust and empowerment that young women need will follow.
Muneinazvo Kujeke, Junior Research Consultant, Peace Operations and Peacebuilding, ISS Pretoria
“Dear women, never talk to a man the way CeeC has spoken to Tobi today no matter how provoked you are. It’s almost a sin! And of course, it goes both ways! #BBNaija
Watch some of the videos of her verbally abusing him here… https://www.amagitesblog.com/2018/04/bbnaija-never-talk-to-a-man-the-way-cee-c-has-spoken-to-tobi-today-_-linda-ikeji-advises-women.html
‘I’m interested in the voice as author, as witness, as conduit, as ventriloquist’ – the artist speaks about what comes next with Chris Fite-Wassilak of Frieze.
You can feel history seeping through the gaps in the videos, performances and installations of British artist Helen Cammock. Drawing from a range of sources – at points including the Caribbean sugar trade, black choreographers of the 1940s, blues music, Enoch Powell, Franz Fanon and the relationship between her Jamaican father and British mother – Cammock traces how power relationships emerge from the smallest and most intimate of details. The winner of this year’s Max Mara Art Prize for Women, the London-based artist discusses with Chris Fite-Wassilak her plans for the near future.
Chris Fite-WassilakThe Max Mara Prize involves a six-month residency in Italy. What do you plan to do during this time?
Helen Cammock I have this notion of exploring lament across the whole project in Italy, specifically listening to the female voice. This listening will cross centuries in different settings, voices and mediums. I’ll be having singing lessons, to enable me to develop a performance around the 17th century pre-opera lament, and I will conduct historical research in institutions in Bologna, Rome and Venice, meeting academics, musicians and communities as part of the research. I will develop my own skills as a printmaker in Rome, I will meet different communities in Palermo and Reggio Emilia – some of whom are living very much in the margins and displaced for different reasons, and with whom I’d like to discuss the laments that are often part of the marginal experience. But this is not about just looking for sadness, I’m also looking for the strength and resilience in the lament. This is very much what interests me across my work currently, acknowledging the multitudinous elements of lament.
CF-WYour work draws on the politics of influence, looking at figures – most often of the 20th and 21st century – from James Baldwin to the Housemartins. How will this interest lead the research planned in Italy?
HC Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini were 17th century composers from Venice and Florence. They wrote and performed a range of works throughout their careers, but I became drawn to the laments. In them, I heard the kind of longing, sadness and resilient notes I have been so interested in through poets, writers and musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries. I started to hear the ‘blue notes’ in Baroque music, which to me leads towards the jazz harp of Alice Coltrane. These connects across time I hope will grow and develop as I listen and sing more. I also have found the texts of poet, writer and feminist Lucrezia Marinella, born in the 16th century. She was trying to forge a place for herself as a writer in a context that was predominately inhabited by men, and her writing posed a challenge not only by its presence but also in the focus of the texts she wrote. Then I stumbled on the histories of the female experience during the Mussolini years; the demands and pressures on women that were often contradictory and controlling, and prescribed by a male-driven context – for nationalism, for motherhood and for modernity – and I want to look at the role of political language and text as a driver for these nationalist requirements. I am also interested in the exploration into a contemporary marginal female voice; these will not be the voices of influence, these will be the voices that I believe should have influence, simply because I believe that societies can never develop fully whilst certain voices, stories, experiences, wisdoms remain unheard. I want to be part of a process of adding to voices of influence.
HC I’m interested in the voice as author, as witness, as conduit, as ventriloquist. I’m interested in the notion of both individual and collective voice, and the role of the individual in resistance and challenge. I’m interested in the embodiment of the voice and what happens when a voice is subject to disembodiment or ‘re-embodiment’. What I call the ‘audible fingerprint’ enables me to explore the idea of authorship: introducing myself to the viewer and re-present words that were initially written by a novelist, philosopher or poet into a text in conversation, and interwoven with my own words. What is the difference in meaning and impact when different people say the same words – for example when I speak the words of Enoch Powell, Walter Benjamin, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Jamaica Kincaid, Franz Fanon or my own. What happens when different voices come together – reworked, I hope, to form new meaning or nuance. This play is my audible fingerprint – the multiple voice becoming the singular voice, an intentioned democratization of text – through a story I’ve constructed. It is, I suppose, an exploration of the different registers of the voice, the movement between written, spoken and sung word. It is important to me to cross time and place, to ask questions about the cyclical nature of discussion and context. The voice embodies a sense of agency: taking space in the world.
HC I am drawn to the poetry and music of lament; but also a personal, generational and historical lineage of sadness, longing and loss as a black woman. I know this lament does not belong only to my experience – it is something that is often ignored or undermined as part of world histories; and of course it is present most visibly in conflict, displacement and refugee stories. These are absolutely universal, historical and contemporary cycles of damage and loss; but it is also a part of the everyday for everyone at certain moments, or as prolonged or lifelong conditions. For certain communities these experiences mark their continued existence, through complex tapestries of personal, psychological and social understandings. I am interested in exposing this, unpicking this, asking people to witness this. The cycles and manifestations of it are part of our continued ‘unseeing’ of particular experiences and I think this is very damaging for a collective psyche, and affects certain communities more deeply and widely than others. But lament is constant – it never leaves the world.