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Submission Opportunity: VOICES, A New Interdisciplinary Art Campaign For Black Women
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VOICES, A New Interdisciplinary Art Campaign For Black Women

On October 9th, poet and activist Aja Monet and playwright, activist and V-Day Founder V (formerly Eve Ensler) launched VOICES, a new interdisciplinary performance arts project and campaign grounded in Black women’s stories. Presented by V-Day, VOICES seeks to unify the vision of ending violence against women (cis women and trans women) and nonbinary and gender fluid people across the African Continent and African Diaspora, with the goal of using art to embody and inspire solidarity.

“As we struggle with one another for collective liberation, healing, and joy we need new vocabularies and to speak from our uncensored hearts. We have to heal and to affirm ourselves. We need to be united and connected through our differences. If we truly organize and come together, we can clear a path for ourselves and our sisters coming after us. We are dedicated to a radical feminist future born of international solidarity, resistance to racism, class bias, homophobia, and transphobia. This piece will ultimately be in service and for Black women all over the world, to speak to the complexities of our experiences as well as a collective vision for change, justice, compassion and solidarity. We seek to encourage and establish a world that fosters radical truth telling love.” – AJA MONET, Artistic Creative Director, V-Day VOICES campaign

     For 22 years, V-Day has proliferated grassroots, anti-violence work on college campuses and communities that is survivor-led and focused, while revealing the power of art and activism. Founded by V, activist and author of the The Vagina Monologues, V-Day has inspired women and men all over the world and raised collective consciousness about how violence and gender intersect. The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works curated by V-Day have been performed across the world by local activists, survivors and artists, raising over $120 million dollars for grassroots anti-violence groups, rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and safe houses, shattering taboos and changing the way activists make change in their communities.

     The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, and the uprising for racial justice in the United States and across the globe has shown the critical importance of  amplifying marginalized voices and creating spaces for them to be seen and heard. This is a moment of reckoning and it is clear that the voices of Black women artists need to take center stage. For this reason, V’s play The Vagina Monologues will be taking its bow and exiting from the V-Day campaigns. It will remain a play, but it will no longer be done as part of V-Day.

     In this inaugural year, VOICES will create a new piece curated by Monet, in her new role as V-Day’s new Artistic Creative Director, VOICES Campaign. She will be reaching out to Black women artists across the world, inviting submissions of poems, monologues, and songs that will be assembled into a V-Day performance piece in the coming year. The review process will be conducted by Monet and a team of three artists and activists with the goal of selecting specific pieces to include in the final version of VOICES. The deadline for submissions to VOICES is December 31, 2020. It is anticipated that the piece will be completed by Fall 2021.

     VOICES is dedicated to providing a platform for Black women writers and performers to express their truths about their own complexities and experiences. VOICES will launch ‘The Listening Tour,’ an Instagram Live series hosted by Monet. 

     V (formerly Eve Ensler) states, “We have seen in America and across the world the most hideous murders of Black men and women by the police, especially trans women who are put at disproportionate risk, and an escalation of white supremacy. Most recently, we have witnessed the horrific murder of Breonna Taylor and the outrageous injustice that followed. I have been doing deep reflection about our V-Day global activist movement to end violence against all women (cisgender and transgender), those who hold fluid identities, nonbinary people, girls and the planet – our past and our present and where I believe we need to go in the future. I believe something more is being called for now. I have been doing deep reflection about my life as a white woman playwright and activist. I am fully aware of the depth of my privilege, access to networks and resources that have helped to produce my work. I believe this is the moment we need to uplift and be in deepest solidarity with Black women: cis women, trans women, and non-binary people across the African Continent and African Diaspora. We need to share networks and resources that will bring their voices into the center of our movement. I am thrilled to announce the VOICES campaign and Aja as the Artistic Creative Director. Aja is an extraordinary writer, performer, organizer and truth teller. The perfect person to initiate this project.” 

     Follow the campaign on Instagram @visforvoices and voices.vday.org
 

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