La Phoenikera Protecting Vaginas
If you’re like me and you’ve Heard the term “V-Day” and thought, what the crap is that? Here it goes.
V-Day is not Valentine’s Day, Virginity Day or Vloggers Day…It’s a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls…against Vaginas! And no, it’s not just one day, it takes place in several events around the first weeks of February. One of its purposes is to call attention to the crimes committed against women, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex slavery. Currently, 167 countries in America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean participate in V-Day.
Merging arts and activism
Art plays a key role in this anti-violence movement. Every February, the founder of V-Day, Eve Ensler, who also wrote The Vagina Monologues, allows groups around the world to produce her play as long as proceeds benefit organizations, projects and programs that work to end violence against women.
The Vagina Monologues is a play based on dozens of interviews with women conducted by Ensler. It tackles women’s sexuality and the stigma around rape and abuse. The play has been translated to more than 48 languages and it has been produced in more than 140 countries.
Teatro Bravo’s production of the Vagina Monologues in Spanish in 2004.
La Phoenikera is one of the places joining the movement. This week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) 55 cis and transgender women will participate in The Vagina Monologues, directed by Joseph Benesh and produced by Stacey Champion. Most of the participants don’t have previous acting experience, they’re just interested in telling the stories of other women.
“For me, it was very important to open this experience to literally anyone,” says the play’s director. “When you combine the community power that theatre has with this subject matter, and include people who haven’t done theatre before, it’s life-changing in the most sincere way.”
In Phoenix’s production of the play, each performance will have a completely different cast. So, if you go on Thursday, you’ll see a completely different show than if you go on Friday or Saturday. Proceeds from the shows will go to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.
We are really excited that La Phoenikera is part of this important movement. However, there is a flaw: the lack of monologues in Spanish. Only one of the performances will include a Spanish monologue (Thursday’s, if you want to go check it out).
In a community like Phoenix, where 30 percent of the population is Hispanic, or Latina, or whatever name you wanna give it, it’s a bit off putting that stories aren’t presented in Spanish. I mean, our Vaginas also count, right? 😉
BUT! Representation is for us to demand. We asked the producers if they plan to do the show in Spanish and it seems like they do. Next year they’d like to produce a show all in Spanish or a bilingual one. They just need people to step up to act, direct, everything. Who’s in?