by Ivy Tirok, UWCM,
February 8th, 2018
[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” component_width=”600px” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” disable_bgshading=”off” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]‘Emancipating’,’ daring’ and ‘unconventional’ were some of the words used to describe the performance of the ‘Vagina Monologues’ on the evening of Tuesday, the 7th of February. The episodic play written by Eve Ensler and directed right here in UWCM by Ellora Adam served as a brilliant kick off to Gender Blender.
The night was filled with raw and intense, sometimes humorous stories of the characters in the play whose individual experience was extremely diverse. With memorable titles like ‘My Little Coochi Snocher that Could’ and ‘My Angry Vagina’, the play explicitly addressed important issues in society including consensual and non-consensual sexual experiences, female genital mutilation, body image, menstruation and direct and indirect experiences in reproduction. To quote Eve Ensler, ‘I was worried about what we think of vaginas and even more worried that we do not think of them’, the performance promoted discourse on topics which have recently caught the attention of UWCM.
Besides sparking conversation on key topics in our society, the timeless play also helped promote the integration of the teaching and non-teaching staff members together with the students. It was definitely a leg up for our community which sometimes gets plagued with complaints of involvement in the community events. The large turnout was clearly motivated to attend the staff-led performance for the opportunity to be challenged, educated or simply entertained. It was rather amusing to see the expressions of bewilderment coupled with a sense of pride during the performance on Lodewijk van Oord’s and Kate Doyle’s faces. Although the audience was largely made up of ladies, it was delighting to see some men in attendance who actively took part in the interactive parts of the play.
The spirit of discussion of unconventional topics keeps finding its way into our dynamic community. Ranging from Double Feature Science Fiction to Sofia Vargas’ art display during the International Peace Conference and now, the Vagina Monologues; it is evident that we are pushing the mundane boundaries in society as we seek better understanding of the complex world that we live in. I urge us to keep this fire burning by conducting our own interviews, monologues, discussions and any other forms of response to the issues related to gender, sexuality and identity.
As a community, we are grateful for this gift in disguise. Many thanks to Ell for organizing and directing the play; Heather, Ulrike, Olaya, Katinka, Karolina, Karolien, Bernie, Rebecca, Jenny and Vera for their stellar performance. If you missed out on the play, you should make a point to attend the upcoming interesting events in Gender Blender including the Global Café tonight and the candle night on Friday evening. See you there!