Yekabani le Panty?
By Peggy Tunyiswa and Carin Bester
Music by Wilken Calitz
At Suidoosterfees, made possible by NATI.
Free of charge
26 April 19:30 | 27 April 15:30 | 28 April 19:30
29 April 12:30 | 30 April 16:30 | 1 Mei 16:00
Yekabani le Panty? (Whose panty is this?)
A sight-specific, interventional, performance art piece which questions the patriarchal structure imposed on women, especially in a South African context. This will be performed daily at the Suidoosterfees, taking place at Artscape Theatre, from 26 April – 1 May.
This piece was conceptualised at the Woordfees Artist week, before further exploration as part of Body Politics 9 at Theatre Arts in Observatory Cape Town. “Yekabani le Panty?” was then performed as part of Artscape’s Woman’s Humanity Arts Festival 2022 as well as Vrystaat Kunstefees 2022.
As women we experience oppression in various forms. Womxn of colour and white womxn often have similar yet vastly different experiences of this society’s actions. With that, we face the historical and still ongoing oppression of black womxn by white womxn, often denied and unspoken.
In this performance we see two artists; a black womxn and a white womxn unpack their burden of this society. They challenge the oppression and face the difference between them. They find a middle ground where healing takes place, a space where they take back their power, their choice of freedom.
Historically, in almost all societies, women have been and are in some way seen as the lesser of the sexes. The human right of equality is not a reality for womxn.
Even in societies where in principle womxn do have equal rights, they still endure inequality, suffering, abuse, rape and femicide; a daily occurrence under a patriarchal society, fuelled through toxic masculinity.
Abuse and inequality due to patriarchal expectations are often accepted as normal due to religious adherence and generational examples. From a young age, girls are conditioned into believing certain things are expected of them, resulting in some of the most intelligent and strong womxn still placing patriarchal ideological pressures on themselves due to conditioning of society.
Gender roles are assigned without it necessarily being spoken but through examples of generational actions. In many households womxn are still expected to be the one raising the children and taking care of the home even if she is also working a full-time job.
The oppression and the oppressors are all around us. In churches, in government, on TV, in magazines in our workplace and in our family life. The jokes about where a woman’s place is, are still being made and advertising still focus on the gender roles. Generational Trauma follows us as the abuse continue, changing with the times but it’s still there and it is still fuelled by patriarchy.
With “Yekabani le Panty?” we interrogate the patriarchal structure, exploring shared experiences and different oppressions across a multi-racial landscape. What is the role of white womxn in the oppression of black womxn? Do we recognise the difference, can we accept our part in the structural oppression of black womxn compared to white womxn and can we level with each other and share our burdens?
The aim of this performance is to create dialogue, to get people to ask themselves and others why? To evoke emotion and self-exploration. The performance does not spoon feed the audience but rather allows for personal interpretation of the piece.
“This performance-art piece is a meditation on femicide, gender-based violence and rape. There are no words. Just profound provocation, anguish, solidarity and connection rooted in the ritualistic action.”
Kgomotso Moncho-Maripane - Sunday Times