What would your vagina say?

Leigh Hellman, director of the first Gwangju performance of The Vagina Dialogues, is doing a great job raising awareness about how to stop violence against women. Yesterday at Gwangju International Center she presented a talk for the GIC Talk Series about why The Vagina Monologues were coming to Gwangju. Her poise and delivery of wounding statistics about violence against women in the US, South Africa, and an eye-popping, jaw dropping list of stats about women and violence in South Korea kept the audience somberly attentive.

GIC uploaded the video of her talk.

Leigh has agreed to share her powerpoint presentation as well.


Leigh was not alone in her presentation about The Vagina Monologues. Lisa Mynhardt, assistant director and local artist, introduced the artwork displayed in the GIC Gallery. Lisa made posters of each performer and invited particants at the talk to give a voice to these women by writing in the dialog bubbles above each picture. Punctuated between each performer was a paint ink blog, looking like  . . . a vagina. The art on the walls, the power of the presentation gave the group of 50 participants a better idea why the word ‘vagina’ is present in so many locations in Gwangju these days.

The Vagina Monologue team has been busy with several events to raise awareness about violence against women. On March 24, in front of Kunsthalle at The Ju Flea Market, TVM had a bake sale (and a little bit of a rummage sale) to raise funds for their charities. Wearing their Vagina Monologue t-shirts with pride, they raised over 400,000 won. While many of the performers made yummies to sell, many of the Gwangju community stepped forward with donations – baked goods from Diane Kim, fresh local produce from Doori Community Cafe, as well as a plethora of books, clothes, jewelry and other silliness from several Gwangju expats. Unsold goods were donated to GIC.

On March 31 a creativity workshop was held. Gendered Expressions welcomed 15 participants who discussed topics, ideas and beliefs about womanhood and manhood, sexuality, femininity and masculinity, gendered social norms/mores and expectations (in Korea as well as other cultures), conformity and defiance of these expectations, and topics relevant to people’s gendered experiences. Lisa Mynhardt introduced the inkblot activity which are now on display at the GIC Gallery.

Haven’t yet supported The Vagina Monologues? You still have a chance!
There are two more events before the final performance.

On April 14th at 8pm at German Bar 2 (downtown Gwangju in back of YMCA), there is an Open Mic Night. Roxette Caba has organized this event and the ladies of TVM invite you to come join us for a night of performances and drinks. Singers, poets, guitarists, artists in general who would like to perform are welcomed to express their womanhood, manhood, sexuality, femininity, masculinity, gendered social norms/mores and expectations, conformity and defiance, all through song, poetry, and performance art. Check out the Facebook Event for more details. Join as a participant or support the performers by having a listen.

On April 21st Getting into Rhythm is an afternoon of yoga and drumming. Celebrate springtime in Gwangju through nature, music and your body. A short brisk hike up Geumdansan to a clearing is planned. Once there participants will engage in a rhythmic instrumental “drum” circle led by music leader, Vanessa Reid. After that, some invigorating yoga by Gwangju Yoga instructor, Rebecca Moss, will close the event. There is no cost but a donation is strongly encouraged which will go towards a local Gwangju charity supporting women’s rights and well-being. This is a great opportunity to support others, yourselves, and soak up some sun. Bring a friend..all are welcome! Meet at the Umi Apt Bus Stop in Pungam-dong at 1:00 pm. Buses 01, 45, 47, 59, 78, and 75 all stop here. You can also tell a taxi to take you to “Pungam-dong, Umi Gwang Jung”.

All of this lead up hopefully leaves you panting in anticipation of the actual performances! The Vagina Monologues will be on April 28, Saturday at 7pm, and again on Sunday the 29th at 3pm. Kunsthalle has generously allowed the team to present in their funky atmosphere. Advance-purchased tickets are W8000 each. At-the-door tickets will be W10,000 each. Seats are limited so order your tickets now! To order tickets, please send an email to gjvaginaboxoffice@gmail.com and you’ll receive the bank account transfer details. You must specify *which show you would like to see* and *how many tickets* you would like. Once payment has been confirmed, your name (along with a number if you buy multiple tickets) will be added to our list. Present ID and/or your confirmation e-mail/message at the door to get an entrance stamp (save some trees in the ticketless process!) and enjoy the show. Check the Facebook Event for more details.

[Note: 95% of this show’s proceeds will be donated to charities (local and global) whose work focuses on fighting violence against women.]


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