Text by Priyadarshani Shrestha
Photo by Satyan Shrestha
Honest, raw, passionate and explicit, “The Vagina Monologues 2017” was an event which took breaking away from the social boundaries to the next level. No matter how progressive you are, The Vagina Monologues would not fail to surprise (or shock) you with their brutal honesty. From a simple question like, “What would your vagina wear and say?” to a detailed demonstration of the types of sexual moans, the performances were all delivered with such perfection that the audience couldn’t help applaud after each and every episode. Watching the women bravely, loudly, confidently and sometimes comically speak about their vaginas with such fervor and intensity was really eye opening.
The V-day is a global activist movement to raise awareness about and to end violence against girls and women. V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalizes the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations and The Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensler, is part of the movement. V-Day Kathmandu, The Vagina Monologues 2017 was a fund and awareness raiser initiated by Hamri Bahini. Its main aim was not just to end violence against women but also create a safe space for women to simply “talk about it”. Topics like sex, periods, masturbation, sexual orientation, rape and sexual mutilation are always hushed in public and are categorized as taboos in Nepal. So to hear and watch those amazing women, talking freely about their vaginas was oddly refreshing and relieving.
With such a great cause and goal, what is even more commendable is the performance of the women on stage. Watching them, not one could have guessed that for many it was the first time to even step up on the stage. And to be talking about something we don’t even talk about at home is a very difficult feat. Presented by a diverse group of women, with no acting background, the performers, each and every one of them, acted out their roles so well. The whole production team seemed to be very tight knit with warm vibes emanating the theater.
The Vagina Monologues was performed in Kathmandu for the third year in a row as a benefit production for Hamri Bahini – a women’s empowerment program fueled by a green social enterprise. It envisions to economically empower women by creating job opportunities. The play was directed by Bivishika Bhandari, Program Leader at Hamri Bahini, and was showcased 3 times this term.