Taking Back the Booty

In the spring of 2020, I applied to the Buffer Fringe Festival together with three creative women I admire and respect. By the autumn our proposal to stage an interdisciplinary performance that explored womanhood, belonging and displacement in the eastern Mediterranean had been accepted and we were collaborating to write, produce and direct a multimedia production: a feat none of us had previously attempted. We were all published writers, and between us have credentials in music, the visual arts, film-making and research., but still this was a challenge. for weeks, months, we met online at least once a week and in between produced poetry films that would serve as the backdrop to the entire performance. We selected from writings we had previously produced and created new ones. We weaved them into a narrative based on the Greek myth of the Minotaur and benefited from the guidance and kindness of Arjen Barel, a ‘thinking partner’ assigned by IMPACT, a platform run by Brandeis University, to support us during the development of our production.

The result was a 70 minute multimedia multi sensory staged performance that includes dialogue and dance, music and magic, through which we sought to decolonize our psyches and reclaim that which has been looted from us as women. ‘Taking Back the Booty’ was performed in December 2020 in Nicosia, on both sides of the divide, as part of the annual festival produced by Home4Cooperation.

The collaboration was so enriching and fruitful that the four of us decided to form Collectiva Inanna and continue exploring creative avenues of expression together.

The photographs above (courtesy of Pavlos Vryonides and the Buffer Fringe Festival) were taken at Theatro Polis in south Nicosia. More photos can be viewed on the Collectiva Inanna website, as can a video recording, filmed by Rahme Veziroglu, of the performance at EMAA in north Nicosia.

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