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This is an on-going series that investigates Bella Horlor’s new role as a young mother. An artist and poet, Horlor shares the banal quandaries that exist between artistic and maternal labour.


Lately I’ve noticed my little girl have little baby tantrums. If I’m distractedly tidying the lounge and she wants more attention/ if she’s being manhandled/ or if I take the dirty shoe out of her mouth, she throws her arms in the air and starts slapping her sides while her face turns purple. That, or she’ll throw her head backwards in a comically exaggerated gesture of despair. Sometimes she even growls and bites.

I describe her affectionately as a ‘firecracker’ a ‘force of nature’ and as a ‘hell-raiser’. I love that she’s lively, assertive, and inexhaustibly curious. Admittedly, these are also elements of my own temper. I tell her to calm down ‘order in my courtroom’ as my mother must of told me. But I really don’t want her to just be calm. I want her to take that temper and make things happen with it.

I have to teach her to be productively angry. I’m hoping she’s going to be apart of a vicious generation. I want these little people to grow up and grab the world in their teeth. I want them to learn how to express themselves, stand up for themselves, stop stupidly accepting what the big people (governments/corporations) tell them to do and to start caring more.

Disorder in the courtroom, madness in the courtroom, real damn justice, truth, philosophy, equality, change in the courtroom, or no damn courtroom at all. Anarchy. Activism. Naked moonlit pagan rituals.

Having a baby has made me feel more, fear more and want more, for her sake and my own. It is the single most political thing I’ve ever done. I have to think about what kind of world this is. I’m even starting to take the concept of apocalypse a lot more seriously. I’m also looking into how to lead a zero waste, chemical-free life which is keeping me busy/stressed. (Cloth nappies are proving to be so damn difficult. Once I was trying to change her and accidentally ended up wiping her face with the piss soaked insert which I mistook for a muslin cloth.)

There are many types of revolution and people like me with my ferociously emotionally feminist idealism are shaping the new life. That sounds like a threat, I guess it is. I’ve never been so powerful. Or so optimistic.

Even if she turns out to be a dentist. Let her be a revolutionary dentist. Let her take this world in her orthodontically perfect teeth and grin through all the possibilities with hoards of other little firecrackers. Let it work out for them. Please.

Bella Horlor

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