All over my newsfeed, all over the news, televisions, newspapers, radio-stations, black people are speaking out, shouting our, enraged and acting out. A change will come, but not like this.
I am a member of many feminist, black feminist and melanin- celebrating groups. I am so glad to have found these platforms, made these online friends and joined forces with these Internet warrior princesses. I am glad, but also worried. The deeper I go the more worried I become. My online presence is flooded with angry statuses, racially unfair statements towards black and white men and white women.
Not so long ago my thoughts and mind shouted wordy statuses that were also angry and loud about my disagreement with the way society still treats black women and women. I felt that it was time to say something, to speak as a group with a voice loud enough to drown out all the others.
But now it is out of control, the amount of times that I have seen my online warrior princesses, quite literally, slapping the lips closed of white men and women and stating boldly that they have no right to comment, has become worrisome. This is not the world I want. This is not the debate I want.
‘Exhibit S, Ode to Saartjie Baartman by a Black South African Woman’ is my one woman show, self-created, self-written, that exhibits my interpretation of Saartjie Baartman and connects the state and quality of her life, some + – 226 years ago to the state and quality of black women now in the 21st century. We are still fighting for our freedom.
My exhibition and performance poetry piece which runs for 50 mins is made up of a 25 min performance and a 25 mins discussion. I want to allow all South African people and people of the world to be a part of this discussion. I want to engage people, who don’t know that I feel like I wear invisible chains, and help them be a part of the change that only they can create.
By not allowing the world to be invited to our conversations, we will never find a place for ourselves in the world that we are hoping to change. By creating a safe space in the theatre and by illustrating what many black women are saying, I am able to bring people into my story, into the many stories of other black women like me. And then the conversation begins and I watch the minds of my audience begin to flower and open to the sun that is realisation.
I perform so that I can brush off my anger. I can not say that I am not angry with the state of the world – I am – .But I know for a fact that my anger has brought me nothing but a strong jaw and broad shoulders. I perform so that I can educate and be educated. I perform so that my audience can begin to see the story that I tell and break it apart to allow them to see individual stories that happen everyday, everywhere around them.
For the next 4 days I am performing in the Cape Town Fringe Festival. Exhibit S, Ode to Saartjie Baartman is at The Alexander Bar in Strand st. 25th @9:30pm 26th, 27th, 28th @ 7:30pm. Tickets are R 70. Bookings of more than 10 people get a discount.
Come and have your say, be a part of the change, be included in creating the world that we want to have for women.