The Week: March 8-14
From the new “Vagina Dialogues” to Styrofoam mosaic vulvas, Langford is launching into its first own V-Day and International Women’s Day celebrations with an estrogen-rich mission: bring big messages as close to home as you can.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is now in its 51st year of marking the achievements of women around the world. Meanwhile, the V-Day movement to end violence against women is celebrating its 14th year, through local benefit productions of playwright/founder Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. Yet 2012 marks the first time Langford has hosted an official event to highlight the achievements.
“The [Vagina Monologues] has been well received in bigger cities like Victoria, but it feels like people there have seen it, and it carries too important a message to deliver to anything less than a packed house,” says Neely Hourigan, a coordinator for the V-Day Langford events. “We felt it was really time to bring this closer to home, maybe in a community that still needs to learn a lot from these messages, and we’ve received a lot of support and very little resistance.”
Hourigan, 38, grew up in the West Shore community and has been involved with Victoria’s version of the Vagina Monologues for the last three years. In Langford, she and a team of people have put together a month-long event, starting on March 9 with “The Vagina Dialogues.” The evening will start with Wrenna Robertson, author of I’ll Show you Mine, giving her presentation “The Constructed Vulva,” followed by discussion with Dr. Thea Cacchioni, professor of Women’s Studies at UVic. Studio Twelve-Nineteen will then lead an interactive group project: a community-constructed mosaic vulva, built out of Styrofoam and other materials. The mosaic will be showcased in future events. On March 16, V-Day Langford will host an evening of art and performance poetry, followed by the grand finale of Langford’s own Vagina Monologues on March 31. All proceeds go toward Langford’s Pacific Centre Family Services Association, where the event is hosted — specifically, the centre’s “Stopping the Violence Against Women” program.
“This is really a time to shine light on what’s not being talked about,” says Hourigan. “Whether we’re drawing in a general audience, women who are thinking about altering their bodies or young people who have not heard some of these messages yet, we need all demographics involved to make a difference.”
To learn more or enter V-Day Langford’s “Sensual Nature” photo contest, see the group’s Facebook page.