The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner:
They Called Me a Lioness and Wayne Shorter:
Zero Gravity

Mar 11, 2024

Book: They Called Me a Lioness: A Palestinian Girl’s Fight for Freedom by Ahed Tamimi and Dena Takrur, 2022

This book tells the very moving and powerful story of the author and her family living in the occupied West Bank and the fight for the right to live peacefully on their own land. Every year, Israel takes more and more of their village land and even their water source. After her family decides to protest the constant illegal infringements, the Israeli army comes more and more into their village. You hear why nine-year-old Ahed decided to join the protests against the infringements and the constant violent army attacks. Videos of the young Ahed challenging the army go viral. She becomes a symbol of the innocence and the fury of the oppressed. By the time she is sixteen, she comes to represent many Palestinians’ hopes and anger. You read of how the Israeli government tries to suppress any opposition, breaking their own laws. The book is a personal tale, but it exemplifies the hopes and efforts of many.

Film: Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity, 2023, a three-part documentary streaming on Amazon

Videographer Dorsay Alavi had a three-decade friendship with Shorter when she decided she would compile this film. It follows the three stages of Shorter’s life. The first was during the turbulent sixties when he was a saxophonist and composer for first Art Blakey’s band and then Miles Davis’s while also composing and publishing solo albums. You see how his compositions reflected the times and what jazz meant to the revolutionaries of the day. In the second part, you see how he founded his own band, Weather Report, and how it was one of the very few that successfully fused jazz and rock and how it continued to inspire. He continued working and composing through all the decades of his life. He died at 89 years old in March 2023. His music expresses the creativity, hard work, and energy of change.