I went to see the documentary play SEVEN last night, which was put on by Black Stripe Theater as part of International Women’s Month. It’s an upsetting play to watch as it deals with rape, domestic violence, enforced prostitution, poverty, and human rights violations. I won’t say that I enjoyed the play, but it was not supposed to be entertainment, and art can certainly make us feel uncomfortable.
I had not read about the seven woman before going to see the play so I was surprised that one of the seven was a portrayal of Inez McCormack, a human rights and trade union activist from Northern Ireland. It was strange listening to a voice from my own culture and trying to work out how it fits with stories from woman from Afghanistan, Russia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. I found myself feeling something like imposter syndrome for my home country as we do have a tendency to downplay what happened and the impact it had.
One of the aspects of the show that I really liked is that it depicted all seven woman together, in a way that they could not have been in real life. It was beautiful in that it clearly showed that woman are the same all over the world. That we all love, we all feel pain, and that we are more alike than we are different. That there is hope for change.