By Shruti Angiras:
Desire is a strong sense of longing – a longing for a touch, for a person, for an object. It is also a topic often hushed up and discussed behind closed doors. The concept of desire – specifically female desire – has sometimes perplexed, sometimes baffled, and often shocked the society. Some even believe it to be a myth. So, even though it is not talked about openly, let’s begin with acknowledging that it is a concept that has been at the helm of our actions, politics and civilizations.
Or lets go a step further – lets do something different today. Let’s talk about it.
While desire in itself does not have a place in our civil discourse, even more invisible is the idea of women’s desire. Desire for power, success, self-actualization, sex, control or acceptance. A group of women at the Clay Taurus Collective seek to articulate and emphasize the existence of the sexual beyond restricted structural binaries. The plan is to let desire out of the closet so that no individual is shamed into the damp depths of self-doubt for acknowledging this feeling. The idea is to celebrate the idea of desire – in any, every form.
As a part of this initiative, The Clay Taurus Collective is hosting the The Cri De Femme festival, an Indo-French collaboration, in the Capital for the first time. The Cri de Femme International Poetry Festival (Grito deScream) is a worldwide cultural non-profit chain of events coordinated by the Movimiento Mujeres Poetas Internacional (MPI/ Women Poet’s International Movement), based in the Dominican Republic. India’s first festival is dedicated to the discussion of desire. To bring desire to the observation table. To observe it under the microscope. To dissect it. To interrogate it. To investigate it. To weave it into a thread and spin a yarn with it. To carve it into sculptures, and paint murals of it on the walls which will stand testimony to our civilizations.
This March, the focus for Women’s day will not be on the glorified projection of a woman who sacrifices her needs, but the woman who embraces her needs. Not the image of a woman as a submissive, all-giving nurturer who is a victim of this society, but as an individual who is unabashed in accepting her ‘desires’. The desire to do as she pleases, and feel as she pleases without being shamed for it.
On the 14th of March, ‘Kartoos – A spoken word poetry and rap event’ featuring artists from India, Nepal, Malaysia and the United States will commence this week-long celebration. This will be followed by an exhibition and a Sex-Positive spaces workshop with Jasmine George. The following day will be devoted to the screening of independent films by women filmmakers. The build-up will lead to a conference – Cri De Femme: The Becoming of a Sexual Feminine, Searching Desire and Pleasure. Finally, the week will conclude with a networking meet for participants, independent business owners and startups.
The Clay Taurus Collective is inviting you to join them in embracing what each woman knows, feels and questions.
Come join them for the week long festival from 14th March – 18th March’ 15. This is just the beginning, there is a long way to go from here.