Women are under attack in South Africa, this is our tragic reality. Now, women are using their voices and gifts to bring light to these issues. Poet and writer, Lebo Mashile has written a play titled Venus Hottentot vs Modernity, which is built on the story of Sara Baartman. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG- South Africa has seen a rise in gender-based violence incidents and now women are using their voices and gifts to bring light to the issue.
In response to the surge of violence against women, poet and writer Lebo Mashile has written a play titled Venus Hottentot vs Modernity, which is built on the story of Sara Baartman.
The campaign is aimed at helping victims of gender-based violence.
Baartman remains the symbol of colonial exploitation after she was taken to Europe two centuries ago, and consistently exhibited in front of large crowds because of her physical features.
Mashile’s production focuses on the connection between the history of rape in South Africa, and colonialism, slavery and patriarchy.
She says that Baartman story provides a frame of reference in understanding gender-based violence
"Sara is a woman who experienced violation, degradation, violence. But when you look at her experiences of being displayed, of her body being ridiculed, of sexual violence... of sexual work. We see the dots that connect her life 200-years ago to contemporary life". Mashile said.
Mashile further says that Baartman helped her understand the sexual violation that she went through as a plus-size woman.
"Her life is kind of a threshold for modernity that black women have to pass through in order to understand why we experience the things we go through". she said.
The poet has also lambasted the South African criminal justice system, saying that it is failing women.