Tata Dolly

Dolly is dead. There is no way not to write about that. Dolly was our family writer. She was our poet. She was our revolutionary spirit. She was my aunt: Tata Dolly.

She was a petite woman with a strong spirit. She was the one who could scream swear worlds on the top of her lungs when she felt mistreated. She was the one who taught us that we could say: “merde et va te faire foutre” to anyone who will try to prevent us to become who we wanted to be. With her long red hair she would be the one to show us the path toward feminism. She had six sisters (including my mom) and brought into this planet three daughter. And she was proud of that, because she knew that women are strong, that women are beautiful, that women are powerful.

She believed that women had the duty to be educated. She worked as a seamstress with her husband but, when she was not sawing, she was the first one to go to the library. She was walking into book signings and conferences and demanded attention. She always had something to say, always something to learn, always something to teach. In her forties she started sculpting and she was one of my inspiration as an artist. She was a free spirit. Nobody could tell her what to do, how to do it unless she could prove her she knew what she was talking about. We would have the longest conversations. She loved to argue, to dismantle a sentence, to analyze a parabola, to go on a runt about politics, literature or the last movie.

She was the memory of the sisterhood, of the Adida sister’s tribe. She was proud of the fact that they were all girls but their baby brother. She was the one telling me their stories and I’d better listen because as a girl I belonged to this tribe. And I’d better act as a strong girl because I was one of them. Dolly my revolutionary aunty. You started disappearing few years ago when your mind could not follow your soul anymore. Alzheimer unfortunately took your bright thoughts away from us when we could have learned some more from you, but even when your thoughts were not coherent anymore we could still hear your fierceness. Today your spirit decided to follow your soul and we will miss you but I know that each time I will fight for what I believe in, there will be a little bit of your teaching inside of me.

From left to right: Michou, Mona (my mom), Poupette, Dolly, Josette. Ginette and Claude are not on this picture.

From left to right: Michou, Mona (my mom), Poupette, Dolly, Josette. Ginette and Claude are not on this picture.