Did Bronwyn Bishop need to resign?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3173210/Embattled-Speaker-Bronwyn-Bishop-claimed-colleague-s-WEDDING-official-business-billed-taxpayer-it.htmlMuch of public life in Australia seems consumed with the demand for apologies. This is particularly the case with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, whose over-indulgence in expenses was seen to require some contrition on her part. After weathering the storm for several days, Bishop eventually made a statement that acknowledged an error of judgement. The popular media did not accept this, claiming it was too little, too late.

Her situation now seems untenable. Finally, she tendered her resignation. Is there anything that she could have done to appease public opinion?

Traditional societies often require the perpetrator, or family thereof, or offer a precious object as an acknowledgement of the seriousness of the charge. The Iroquois tribes used elaborate wampum belts for this purpose. So is there anything that Bishop could have offered?

What could Bishop offer? Given her standards of dress, a compromise with her normally opulent appearance may have gone some way to showing that she has taken criticism to heart. I could have handed in her pearls as the ultimate sacrifice. Pearls are not only objects if adornment, but their use in Anglo sumptuary laws ties them to the operations of power.

But it’s too late now.

Diario (del escapulario) de Esmeralda

Emeralda is a host for the amulet by Laura Alba. This is her story:

clip_image00223 jun – Hoy, día de mercado, fui con mi mamá y mi hermana a hacer las compras de la semana. El mercado que nos queda cerca es enorme y hay de todo. Al pasar con nuestro carrito por la sección de ropa me detuve a ver unas sandalias en oferta por las vacaciones de verano. Mi mamá me dijo un poco impaciente Continue reading

Las perlas se quedaron enredadas

Una tercera voluntaria quiso usar mi amuleto. Ella es Ximena Villanueva, vive en Chile, es periodista y trabaja como directora de comunicaciones del Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral, en Santiago. Me divierte mucho leer su testimonio y ver cómo Ximena se esforzó por activarlo, pero la suerte hizo lo suyo: las perlas se quedaron enredadas en su vestido y no cayeron al suelo!

Foto: leyendo las instrucciones en el metro1r día: Voy a buscar el amuleto que me mandaron desde EEUU en una lluviosa noche. Me lo trajo un amigo de Analya de extraordinaria buena voluntad, al igual que su madre ,quien me lo entregó en un frío estacionamiento. Al parecer ni el amigo de Analya ni su madre sabían del contenido. Solo entendían que era de alto valor para su destinataria y que DEBÍA ser entregado. Lo abro adentro del auto. Brilla en la oscuridad y lo adoré por su belleza y delicadeza.

2do día: Saco el amuleto en el metro y leo las instrucciones ante la curiosidad de la gente. Me pongo un poco nerviosa imaginando cómo lo haré. Me pongo el amuleto en la oficina y ensayo la performance. Todos mis compañeros de trabajo lo toman, preguntan, opinan que es precioso y quieren saber qué hay adentro. Me convierto en una persona misteriosa. Llego a la casa y lo vuelvo a probar y ensayar.


Semanas siguientes: Descubro que solo puedo utilizar el amuleto en la oficina porque mi hijo de casi 3 años, solo quiere jugar con él.

En una importante reunión de trabajo se interrumpe la conversación laboral para comentar lo enigmático que es el amuleto. Me pongo roja de vergüenza.

Busco oportunidades para usar el amuleto, no las encuentro. Me junto con mis compañeras de colegio. Una interrumpe la conversación para preguntarme por el amuleto. Pienso en abrirlo, pero no era el contexto, estábamos hablando algo personal de una amiga, no quise interrumpir.

foto: preparándome para la reunión Algunos días se me queda el amuleto en la casa (lo escondo de mi hijo y cuando salgo se me olvida usarlo). Otras veces lo protejo de la ropa invernal: bufanda y abrigo podrían hacer que lo pierda.

Creo una situación para usarlo en la oficina: después de tener una reunión a puerta cerrada con una persona “importante”, llamo a mi equipo conformado por un grupo de jóvenes periodistas. Les digo que necesito decirles algo, pero desagradable. Ellos expectantes esperan que yo hable. Abro el amuleto, comienzan a caer las perlas, pero nadie comenta nada, están nerviosos esperando que yo hable.

Ante el mutismo, comienzo a agitar el amuleto para que caigan las perlas con escándalo, pero no veo que caigan al suelo. Desesperada, miro y veo que todas las perlas han quedado retenidas en mi vestido invernal. Todos se ríen, me las saco del vestido mientras sigo hablando. Como nadie se agita, vuelvo abrirlo y esta vez sí caen al suelo. Me ayudan a recogerlas. Todos se ríen y esta vez, espontáneamente, vuelvo a botar las perlas. Sueltan la carcajada y terminamos con alegría la reunión.


Pese a que la performance no cumplió con mi expectativa (creo que lo forcé y me sentí incómoda en un momento), disfruté mucho el proceso, especialmente el misterio generado a través de un objeto hermoso. Fueron semanas que me distrajeron y me permitieron conocerme en una faceta que me cuesta mucho. No quedé conforme conmigo misma, pero lo pasé bien. Me gustaría prestárselo a alguien menos racional para ver otra experiencia.

Foto: perlas atrapadas en mi vestido






The beads were entangled

A third volunteer wanted to use my charm. She is Ximena Villanueva lives in Chile, is a journalist and works as communications director Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center in Santiago. It amuses me to read her testimony and see how Ximena strove to activate it, but  it luck played along: the beads were entangled in her dress and did not fall down!
1st day: I’ll get the amulet from the U.S. sent me on a rainy night. I received it from friend of Analya of extraordinary good will, like her mother, who gave it to me in a cold parking lot. Apparently neither friend nor his mother knew Analya content. Just understand that it was of high value for her recipient and should be delivered. I open it in the car. Glow in the dark and loved it for its beauty and delicacy.

2nd day: I get the amulet on the subway and read the instructions to the curiosity of people. I get a little nervous imagining how I will use it. I put the amulet on in the office and test it out. All my co-workers take it, they ask, say it’s beautiful and want to know what’s inside. I become a mysterious person. I get home and back to try and test.

Weeks later: I discover I can only use the amulet in the office because my son almost 3 years, only wants to play with it.

In an important work meeting is interrupted the conversation to discuss this enigmatic work that is the amulet. I turn red with embarrassment.

Seeking opportunities to use the amulet, but can not find them. I am with my schoolmates. They interrupt the conversation to ask for the amulet. I think to open it, but not the context we were talking about something personal from a friend, I did not interrupt.

Some days I have the amulet in the house (I hide it from my son and I forget when I go to use it). Other times I protect winter apparel: scarf and coat could make you lose it.
I think a situation to use in the office, after having a closed door meeting with someone “important”, I call my team made up of a group of young journalists. I say I need to say something, but unpleasant. They expect me to talk expectantly. I open the amulet, the beads begin to fall, but no one says anything, they are nervous waiting for me to talk.
In response to their silence, I begin to shake the amulet to release the pearls, but I see they don’t hit the ground. Desperate, I look and see that all the pearls have been retained in my winter clothes. Everyone laughs, the shake the dress as I continue talking. Since no one stirred, open the fold and this time they fall to the ground. Help me pick them up. They all laugh and this time, naturally, I turn to throw the pearls. Burst out laughing and ended up with joy the meeting.

Although the performance did not meet my expectation (I think I forced it and felt uncomfortable in a moment), I enjoyed the process, especially the mystery generated by a beautiful object. Weeks had distracted me and let me know in a side that cost me a lot. As I was not myself, but I enjoyed it. I would lend it to someone less rational to see another experience.

Power Sistas

Maryann Talia Pau’s Power Pendants are distributed among a supportive group of ‘sistas’ who wear it on occasions when someone in the circle needs collective encouragement.

Sana Balai

This pendant holds a very special place in my heart; it represents the special love that bonds Maryann and me. It was presented to me by Maryann with a simple message -‘Wear this to remember me while I am gone’, shortly before she and her family returned to Samoa for her grandmother’s 80th birthday in 2011. I proudly did, and still do, honour and appreciate this special mother-daughter kind of relationship between Maryann and me. I also love it for its artistic merits which showcase Maryann’s talent and bright personality.






Namila Benson

The beauty of Maryann’s work is that it truly captures the essence of what it means for me to be an Islander woman; strong, empowered, resilient, engaged, passionate and community-conscious.
Her ‘Power Pendant’ is an extension of all of the above. I recently gave birth to my first child – a beautiful son – and apart from a set of Maryann’s woven earrings, the Power Pendant was the only piece of jewellery I took with me to the hospital.
The reason being that with my son arriving three weeks early, I felt somewhat unprepared to embark on what I knew would be the huge journey of giving birth. So I wore the pendant the day before to help calm me the day before going into labour. And the pendant did for me what I know it is capable of doing for so many others. It strengthened me, reassured me I was safe from harm and mobilised the sisterhood to support me in a profound way (by way of comforting words via mobile, email and social media).
The Power Pendant reflects Maryann to the core.
It’s a work of true beauty, connects – yet reflects – the uniqueness in each of us, has strong artistic merit and once it makes it’s way to our hearts, it finds a place for Life. That’s our Sista. That’s her Creativity. And that’s her Light, which truly shines through her work.

Grace McQuilten

Maryann’s gift surprised and delighted – a gift of pure joy and friendship.
The Power Pendant signifies strength, love, and a little bit of magic. I save it for the times when I am feeling vulnerable, when I am facing difficulty, and also for times of joy and celebration. It has a special place in my heart and links me to Maryann across time and space.


Continue reading