THREE INSPIRING WOMEN FOR THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD!
The volunteering project Thistles and Dandelions is still going strong! At this stage, we are involved in three different groups, named after three powerful women of Glasgow: NOOR INAYAT KHAN, MAUD SULTER, and MARION GILCHRIST. Are you curious to know more about them? Then keep reading this article!
As an SOE agent, she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from the UK into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II. Inayat Khan was captured after being betrayed, and executed at Dachau concentration camp. She was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her service in the SOE, the highest civilian decoration in the United Kingdom.
Many different cultural media paid homage to this enchanted woman. For example, in 2018 there was a play about the life and death of Noor, entitled Agent Madeleine, premiered at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. The role of Noor was played by Puja Uppal. The following deviations from facts have been noted:
· Noor is in a relationship with Leo Marks, instead of an unknown SOE officer.
· John Starr, Leon Faye, and a variety of prisoners of 84 Avenue Foch were represented by a single character, "Marcel de Faye".
· Noor is imprisoned at 84 Avenue Foch until she is moved to Dachau, where she is executed alone, as the play told us.
· Noor's escape attempts are altered - her escape out of the bathroom window is foiled by an air raid siren, and her escape attempt with the screwdriver is foiled when a guard discovers her with it.
As for cinema, in September 2012, producers Zafar Hai and Tabrez Noorani obtained the film rights to the biography Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu
Writers also celebrated this female figure! Indeed, on 6 September 2010, American poet Stacy Ericson posted a poem entitled "Resistance", dedicated to Noor Inayat Khan and providing a link back to Inayat Khan's biography. This may have been the first poem dedicated to Noor Inayat Khan and refers to the isolation and fear shared by those in resistance to oppressive regimes.
On 3 March 2013, Irfanulla Shariff, an American poet, posted a poem online, "A Tribute To The Illuminated Woman of World War II", dedicated to Khan, which illustrates the life story of this remarkable heroic woman of World War II.
Finally, TV and Radio provided the following depictions of her:
· The second episode of Epic TV's anthology series Adrishya was based on Noor Inayat Khan's adult life in wartime organization till her death in Nazi Germany.
· A Man Called Intrepid (first airdate February 1979), is a six-hour, fact-based miniseries broadcast in Canada on CTV and in the US on NBC which starred David Niven as its protagonist Sir William Stephenson, and Barbara Hershey as Noor. It contains a number of deviations from the facts.
· In 2014, PBS aired a 60-minute biographical docudrama entitled Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story, executive produced by Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe of Unity Productions Foundation and directed by Robert H. Gardner. Grace Srinivasan played the title role.
· In 2018, Netflix released an original show entitled "Churchill's Secret Agents the new recruits", season 1 episode 4 features a summary of Noor's final mission with the SOE.
In November, 1980, Radio 4 broadcast a play about her as an afternoon theatre production. The play was written by Patrice Chaplin.
Maud Sulter was a Scottish contemporary fine artist, photographer, writer, educator, and curator of Ghanaian heritage. She first worked as a writer and poet, later turning to the visual arts.
I am happy to tell you that I was assigned to the group named after Sulter and I am really satisfied with this, because for many reasons I find her close to my personal life.
It is not an astrological affinity because I am Cancerian whilst Maud Sulter belonged to the Virgo, but we share the same interest of Africa. She also had 2 daughters like me, so I feel a deep connection with her.
I have found [two wonderful poems of this artist I would like to share with you!
The first one is entitled GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. Reading this lyric, I remember a man who I was in love many years ago with who I couldn’t have a love story with because he was just not into me. About unrequited love I am an expert at 33 years old!
You playfully punched
Short of breath
For this second poem by Maud Sulter I would like for you to read it with an Italian song as a soundtrack: go on Youtube and play the following song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUJ0E0PRB2U.
The title of this poem is “If leaving you”
If leaving you
Was as easy
As the falling
I could walk
From you now
Into the hustle
The third group of volunteers is named after Marion Gilchrist, the first woman to graduate from the University of Glasgow. She was born on February 5th, so she was an Aquarius. As astrologists have often claimed about this zodiacal sign, she was a very unconventional woman, especially for the society in which she was born. She was a doctor and she never married in her life, but she had a brilliant and successful career. Gilchrist was one of the founding members of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage (1902), which she left in 1907 to join the Women's Social and Political Union and the Women's Freedom League. Gilchrist had examined Constance Lytton before her protest aiming to get arrested disguised as a working woman. In 1922, she was elected President of the Glasgow and West Scotland Association of the Medical Women's Federation. She also became a leading member of the British Medical Association (and the first female chairman of its Glasgow division), and a trustee of the Muirhead Trust.
Did you already know these three women? Leave a comment here and share other news about them!
Also, stay tuned because we are preparing an exciting surprise for all the world about women’s heritage to show you how powerful women are together!