Sian / 21 Questions
“Carrying a voice. Filled with pain, hate and a wounded heart…”Sian, meaningscar in Ouobe, the language of the Ivorian people whose village is located in the west of The Ivory Coast, is the story of a naïve and innocent girl, lacking love and sufficient space to grow and express herself freely. Sian, written by Tatiana Gueria Nade is about the experience of women being considered as ‘merchandise’ or sexual objects; there to satisfy the mans abusive ego and ephemeral appetite. “I shout my pain, I scream my scars, but my voice doesn’t want to be heard despite the tears on my face like acid that burns my skin. I come from one, two, three, four, multiple scars…a life made up of wounds and anguish. I am a woman and I want to be heard.”
Out of the impossibility of speaking and a society deaf to our cries, several voice-overs accompany Sian. It is a manifesto that Tatiana wrote in Bambara (Malian language) and an extract from an interview with Delphine Seyrig (1972) against sexism. Carried by these words of rage and awakening of consciousness, her body frees itself. “My body screams. From these deafening screams, my body speaks again, gushing movements. My body becomes manifest. Sian is a cathartic solo.” (Tatiana Gueria Nade)
Choreography und Performance: Tatiana Gueria Nade
21 Questions is a performance that merges visual art, sound and dance in the form of an autobiographical solo. The artist, Nadine Mckenzie, is a part of the renowned Unmute Dance Theater, one of the leading and pioneering inclusive dance companies in South Africa. Her creation challenges the “trapped mentality” that society continues to use in order to categorise persons living with disability.
Through personal stories, the dancer uses her disability as a catalyst to open a dialogue around questions of belonging and independence, especially for people living with disabilities in a non-inclusive society.
Nadine Mckenzie has been living with a disability since she was a toddler. Throughout her life, from childhood to adulthood she has been faced with strange questions that assume and suggest that persons with disability are a different species to humans. 21 Questions engages with these stereotypes through documented questions that people pose upon persons with disability.
Choreography and Performance: Nadine Mckenzie
Puppeteer: Yaseen Manuel