Where were you when you heard about the caning? When the news started coming onto our social media feeds that two women were publicly caned for attempted lesbian sex in Terengganu, after we voted a new government in, how did we respond?
When I heard about the caning, I was angry.
Anger, disappointment, and sadness were the sparks for this piece.
I sought out like and un-like minded individuals, artists, and musicians to respond to this event through the theatre. Bringing together our at times united and at other times opposing responses to this caning.
We found Hélène Cixous’ “The Laugh of the Medusa,” as our guiding spirit; we addressed the patriarchy and its reaches within our political, religious, and personal lives; we asked each other and ourselves difficult questions “How does one hold space for the transcendental – religion and God; and within that space celebrate and accept queerness?” and questions seemingly simple “What is intimacy? How are we intimate?”
The collective anger and disappointment which were the seeds of this piece morphed and grew some days into rage and fury and on other days into deep introspection, understanding, and tenderness, as rehearsals went on.
And now, the time is _____, and you are here in Pentas 2. I hope in “to which my brother laughed;” you see our varying responses to this caning; and bear witness to a bit of our selves, and a bit of your own too.