Saturday, 10 July 2010

Sages comme des images

Avignon, rue de la républiquePerhaps it's no accident but the first two performances I saw during the festival have a striking trait in common - the women's condition is their main topic : "La peau dure" (tough skin) is an achingly sour account of the personal histories of three sisters in post-war France whose lives are crushed by poverty and male domination. The second play, Sages comme des images which I saw yesterday, was written in the seventies by Dario Fo and Franca Rame and extensively shown in Italy with the proceeds going to the feminist movement there. How relevant is it to the condition of women today? Contraception and financial independence contributed to major changes but the majority of household chores are still effectively taken up by women and freedom often comes with poverty attached. The play was definitely worth seeing, if only to remind us of what we owe the feminist movement and reflect on the direction things are taking now. The three actors were excellent and after a longish prologue, the show proved a moving and powerful one. I thoroughly recommend it.

Est-ce un hasard ? Peut-être pas. Les deux premiers spectacles que j'ai vus pendant ce spectacle ont pour sujet la conditions des femmes. "La peau dure" de la Compagnie Fraction rend compte de la vie amère de trois soeurs victimes de la pauvreté et de l'égoïsme des hommes (voir chez mon ami Michel une magnifique photo des dernières minutes du spectacle). Et hier j'ai vu "Sages comme des images", une reprise de textes de Dario Fo et Franca Rame sur la condition des femmes. Cette pièce des années soixante-dix dont le titre original était "orgasme adulte échappé du zoo" avait fait à l'époque l'objet de tournées de spectacles partout en Italie pour financer la cause féministe. Ces trois récits de femmes sont complétés par une extrait de la Médée d'Euripide, femme trahie qui ne se résigne pas à être abandonnée pour une plus jeune. Ces textes ont-ils vieilli ? Pas tant que ça. Ils ont le mérite de rappeler une partie de notre histoire pas si lointaine. Celle d'avant la contraception, celle de la soumission "naturelle" à l'homme et des combats féministes. La problématique des années dix est à la fois proche et différente. La plupart des femmes ont aujourd'hui leur indépendance économique mais la liberté reste souvent synonyme de précarité. Ce spectacle est l'occasion toujours utile de se pencher sur la lutte féministe, le chemin accompli et la direction de ce chemin. Ne vous fiez pas aux jolis tailleurs et aux chignons crêpés des années soixante dans lesquels vous croiserez les actrices en ville - une fois le prologue (un peu long à mon avis) passé, les masques tombent pour laisser la place à une parole sans fard et à des portraits violents qui sonnent juste. La place faite aux hommes vous réserve une belle surprise avec Gregory Corre (le seul homme du trio) dans un rôle décalé qu'il assume parfaitement et qui introduit le questionnement. La Médée de Rebecca Bonnet est absolument bouleversante. Sage comme des images est joué tous les jours à 15h au Collège de la Salle (détails page 122 du catalogue du Off).
Today's news : I heard on the radio yesterday that a woman convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by lapidation in Iran escaped her fate thanks to international pressure. Lapidations are rare in Iran, adds the journalist, the last one dates back to March 2009. Rare? That's one too many. I cringe, I weep. With globalization we cannot approach the question of the condition of women from a French or Western point of view only, it's a worldwide question now and so much remains to be done out there ! There's no ignoring it and even if we tried, the question would snap back at us anyway, the debate around the burqa in France shows it clearly. Below is a small sticker I found on a No Parking sign in Avignon last month : 'The burqa is not welcome in France'. I'll ditto that and if we need to fight for our rights again, we will.

Actualité : j'ai entendu hier à la radio qu'une femme qui devait être lapidée pour adultère en Iran avait été épargnée grâce à la pression internationale. "Les lapidations sont rares en Iran, rajoutait le journaliste, la dernière remonte à mars 2009". J'ai mal. C'est déjà trop. Avec la mondialisation et les migrations, la question de la condition des femmes ne se mesure plus seulement à l'aune de la société française ou européenne, c'est une question mondiale. Là tout reste à faire et même si l'on voulait se replier sur soi et l'oublier, la question nous reviendrait en pleine figure, le débat sur la burqa en France le montre bien. Ci-dessous un petit autocollant trouvé sur un panneau à Avignon le mois dernier : "la burqa n'est pas la bienvenue chez nous". J'y souscris entièrement. Ce que nous avons obtenu jusque là, pas question de le perdre, et s'il faut se battre on se battra.

14 comments:

fardoise said...

Le chemin a été long, et tout ce qui a été acquis peut être remis en question.

Stickup Artist said...

What a lively town you live in! Everything so colorful, vibrant and cheerful, with substantial cultural content to boot. I too read about that poor Iranian mother and the horrible plight for her and her family. We are so blessed to be in the places we are!

How fashionable and pretty, light and breezy this woman is. I wish all women could enjoy such a free and lovely day in such a beautiful place!

Loved the Prairie fleurie post too!

Tilia said...

Oui, comme Fardoise, je pense qu'il y a beaucoup à craindre pour les libertés chèrement acquises. Nos filles et petites-filles ont malheureusement du souci à se faire.

yvelinoise, alias Tilia,
qui vous invite cordialement à venir faire un petit tour dans son grenier.

amaraentus said...

Ew Nathalie,magnifique rapport sensible.La belle photo de la femme qui tient le programme,et votre raconte du thème des pièces c'est très artistique.
Bien oui les pièces sont un divertissement mais aussi c'est la pour enseigner via nos émotions et nos passions comme ca nous sommes dans la prise de la pièce.


Although Nathalie I do not agree with this poster that says burqas should not be allowed in France.This is a form of cultural dress and to make this statement is racism.
Now I would give into the argument if the burqa was to represent the abuse of the female and the total male domination but this is not necessarily the case.You can't merge the two.

Well ok I am viewing this from my canadian cultural perspective. The women here that wear burqas well without covering the faces they are quite happy in their lives and I admire the little girls that that wear their sparkling burqas or it is true that most only wear the scarves in the summer sunlight and they are so pretty and proud.

The amerian fashion industry that uses young models in sexual postures is often seen as indecent wear by some critics and the modeling is even branded as being pornographic.

I think people should be careful about criticizing cultural wear and be careful to criticize what should be criticized in this case the domination of women.

the arabic women here take pride in their scarves.It is cultural wear and fashionable for them.They are happy wearing them.
Also from the moral standpoint a christian would not be bare breasted even in hot weather.

Merci Nathalie!
belle journée magique au festival!Les pièces devraient inspirer les débats!

amaraentus said...

@Tillia
félicitations sur ton blog!
Je ne pouvais pas trouver la boite de commentaire dans ton nouveau blog mais il faut que je dise tout de suite. Ce n'est pas la même si on attend.

Moi aussi j'ai apprécié Sibélius à un temps.
J'aime le mix de musique LInde classique et le techno par exemple récemment.


bonne chance

Ténèbres à la lumière... said...

Bonjour! Nathalie,
Merci, for sharing the information about the plays. What beautiful photographs that you, present here too!

Nathalie said, "Heard on the radio in the news today : a woman convicted of adultery avoided death by lapidation in Iran escaped her fate thanks to international pressure. Lapidations are rare in Iran, adds the journalist, the last one dates back to March 2009..."

I cringe too, I weep too...because that form of punishment is ancient... if it take place in any and all countries.

But, on the other hand, when it comes to Iranian women (or all Muslim women) and the wearing of the burqa,(burka,(SP) I feel that is a difficult call to make...because that is a part of their belief or is it a choice?!?

I'am not sure, but most importantly, I wonder if it will cause a wider divide between the Muslim world and the Western world...and what about Muslim women...I feel that they must step up and voice their opinion about the wearing of the burka (Sp) too.

Personally, I try to be very "fair-minded" and always place myself in other(s) shoes...Therefore, I feel it's up to all Muslim women to band together and let their voices be heard...on whether they want to wear or remove the burka.

."..the last one dates back to March 2009."
I repeat...March 2009?

DeeDee ;-D

Ténèbres à la lumière... said...

"I'am not sure, but most importantly, I wonder if it will cause a wider divide between the Muslim world and the Western world..."

By the way, I mentioned the Western world...What I meant to add is...if any country in any or all region(s) in the world... challenges another group of people way of life or there style of dress will it not cause a greater or even wider divide between the countries...Hmmm...I wonder?!?
Merci,
DeeDee ;-D

Virginia said...

Nathalie,
We can count on you , our dear friend to bring to our attention things as this. Absolutely we can't turn our heads as women are treated like this. Bravo for France's stance on this..

Now this portrait in MHO is one of your best. Oh I just looked and smiled and thought, how lucky i am to have your blog to learn from. Bravo dear Nathalie.

Do you SKYPE ? Jilly have had a grand time. Maybe you and I could do the same? I loved our phone visit while in Paris. Email me.

V

Sharon said...

I am with you all the way!!

Sarah said...

Merci pour les conseils et vos belles photos (ainsi que vos retours à la fin de notre spectacle). En tout cas, j'ai retenu "La peau dure" dans ce que vous m'aviez dit...

Peut-être à bientôt dans les rues festivalières d'Avignon.

Sarah (Shhh!)

ann p. said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post today and the beautiful photo of a seemingly independent woman enjoying her freedom. Thank you as well for the information on the performances about women's ongoing struggle to make it in what remains, I feel, a man's world. Women in the Western world still do not receive equal pay, and there are more higher-paying employment opportunities available for men with little or no education than there are for uneducated women. And what is worse, education costs a small fortune here in the US; our system needs a complete rehaul in that respect, but that's a whole other story. My point here is that even if a woman can afford an education, her salary will still be lower than a man's doing the same work.

The burqa issue is complex. Personally, I agree with you and see it as oppressive to women, and I have to question how much is it REALLY a choice for the women who wear the burqa. Would they be ostracized, or worse, by their husbands, families, community if they elected to not wear it? There are many such questions for me on this topic. It is complicated.

amaraentus said...

Anyway Nathalie thankyou for this protest on behalf of women and it was brilliant of you to tie it into the OFF.

I agree with everything you said but I found this poster to be soooooojarring.

Here in Canada cultural dress is such a sensitive issue because we have so many cultures in Canada.This sign in Canada would blow people away.
For example not related to the feminine issue there was a lot of controversy here on whether the bus drivers or RCMP should be allowed to wear turbans because the turbans were not part of the "costume" of the bus driver or the RCMP.It was finally settled they could.

It is good for women to protest for other women beyond their borders everyone should work together but as always we have to find appropriate ways to protest.

Also when we protest we should not neglect our own injustices.Women have a long way to go in America to be treated as equals and women here can be treated as sexual commodities on a consumer market.

THIS stoning is so extreme and violent it is an example par excellence of violence against women.

BRAVO for your protest chère Nathalie!!!!!It is wonderful that you have something to stand for and take the time to speak out- you journalist artiste.

Anonymous said...

I went out with a girl in the early 70s who was stoned all the time....

Steve

Thérèse said...

Epargnee peut-etre mais contre une autre sentence qui pourrait etre la peine de mort...

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