A big foot print in the wrong direction

“[C]lever disguise you’re wearing – white face in Harlem, good thinking, Bond.” was the line which got a rise out of me in the 007 film Live and Let Die.

i have a somewhat similar feeling crashing this academic feminist conference which has perhaps two thousand participants, fewer than a handful are male.

The content is amazing, not necessarily in an accessible way.  The first theater piece we went to linked European surrealist painting, with Cello playing, with a discussion of Sylvia Plath’s body of work and body in suicide, and the inference that the death of a long time beagle pet induced a non-identifiable cyst on her left ovary which the reader did not want removed.  Abigail pointed out that for a piece that was all about the body, the reader/actors desperately needed to be more animated.

And Abigail’s critique does not stop there.  There are hundreds of participants, almost all of whom fly from across the land and stay in this high end, center city hotel, which hosts this event, which has a hundred page program of events.  From an Eco-feminist perspective – this top down, distractedly academic and theoretical, large ecological footprint event feels a voyage in the wrong direction.

And just when we thought the event might be unredeamable, we go to an amazing one woman performance about the effects on families who have members in prison.  Using the same quick dramatic character changing on stage that i once saw Whoopi Goldberg do and caused me to fall in love with her.  Abigail tells me the pioneer of this type of artistry is Anna Deavere Smith.

On the good days i learn something new.