The Room: The construction of female image between intellectual reflections and everyday life.
News!!: The Room has been screened at IV Jornadas de Antropología del cuerpo (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and is scheduled for II Simposio de Mujeres en la Música (University of Costa Rica)
The construction of our self-image is a process. It involves reflection and everyday acts, but also implies negotiations between social conventions and personal choices. Part of this process is carried out in the private sphere, a place where women have tried to exercise the freedom that society denies them. We can find descriptions of this place in literature, from Christine de Pizan in the fifteenth century (The Book of the City of Ladies) to Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own). In both cases, it is a place for personal freedom (real and metaphorical), where women can unfold their intellectual and spiritual reflections free of social prejudices. That is the Room I am referring to in the title.
The piece stems from an event in France in August 2016, when French police made a Muslim woman remove her veil on Nice beach. Then many questions were raised to me: Do the freedom of the female body can only be linked to nudity? How do we construct the public image of our bodies? Is it just the result of passive acceptance of social impositions or product of personal reflections? Who has the right to decide on the public visibility of the female body? The project “The Room” intends to address these questions through a dialogue between literature, music, and individual memory in a performance where the female body is represented through voice, intended as both sound and (hand) writing.
The performance is based on answers by women from Europe and Latin America to the above questions. Their voices appear in form of calligraphy and audiovisual collages, joined by musical improvisations and actions. Calligraphy works as a metaphor for the social construction of our own bodies: social norms have been inscribed in our bodies since childhood and sometimes seem to suffocate us. However, we can rewrite our bodies by means of performative acts of critical reflection. The piece is an invitation to question on gender construction, taking voice as a point of departure. In a society saturated with archetypal images of the female body, I believe that voice (spoken, singing and writing voice) works as a gateway to the most intimate body subjectivity, that which is hidden under the passive acceptance of gender rules.
Centre Cívic Guinardó. Barcelona, Spain 28.01.2017
Mostra Jojes Creadors. Espai Boca Nord. Barcelona, Spain. 30.03.2017
The Room/La habitación by Úrsula San Cristóbal is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional License.