Go to the Colonies, she said. They have the choice. Be with the Unwomen, and starve to death and Lord knows what all?
Unwoman carries her unborn in a jar to the colonies.
Unwoman hangs the jar on a clootie tree
Unwoman is a crime.
Unwoman is a song
Unwoman is a real and substantial risk.
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IN DEVELOPMENT IN 2017 -2018
Co-Created by THE RABBLE with Maeve Stone (Ireland)
Unwoman is a co-commission of Dublin Fringe
Unwoman is a large-scale feminist work investigating reproductive rights and control of the female body; an epic imagistic uncompromising piece of theatre in three parts. Realised theatrically, Unwoman features young women and pregnant women non-professional ensembles alongside professional performers.
The first part is a utopia/dystopia where everyone is pregnant. An invisible hand regulates. A chorus of pregnant bodies are pushed to the limits. Measured, weighed, feet stirruped. White infects everything, and thick powder covers the floor as the women begin to bleed.
The second part is a riot. An uprising of the women of the colonies. Those women who have been expelled by the state. A wretched dystopia of femaleness. The flame of Brigid burns. Saint. Goddess. Woman. Hidden miracles erupt from the earth and crawl back into the bellies of old women, the warmth of it embedding in their wombs, bone and claws rewriting possibility.
Part three is a lecture/poem. Laws, spun into a song, measured precisely in fine language, and cut by the tongue.
Unwoman is created in the context of draconian international laws, practices and recent lived experiences of women’s rights to abortion in Ireland and law changes in NSW. The stimulus for UnWoman is Irish and Australian reproductive rights policies and Hansards with reference to English colonization. Like hundreds of millions of women around the world, Irish women do not have access to free, safe and legal abortions.
Unwoman is a creative collaboration with Irish Director Maeve Stone and has been commissioned by Dublin Fringe. Emma Valente and Maeve met in Melbourne and then again in Ireland as part of Dublin Fringe’s “Next Steps program” in 2015.
Developments for Unwoman have included:
Images from Dublin development February 2017. Photography by Kate Davis.