Call for Submissions: Yoni Ki Baat 11 2015

DEADLINE EXTENDED! December 1 2015!

Please forward and post widely! Folks who have put on YKB productions outside the Bay Area, please encourage your writers to re-submit their pieces to our show.

"Yoni Ki Baat," a South Asian Sisters production inspired by “The Vagina Monologues,” is back for its 11th fabulous year in the Bay Area.

We want stories from South Asian women who are ready to speak out about their bodies, their sexualities, their lives, and, yes, their yonis! (But not exclusively so.) This is an open call for our sisters to get creative and share any stories, poems, essays, musings, songs, or dances about womanhood.

Definitions

South Asian: Originally from or descendant of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, and the international diaspora

Women: Anyone who self-identifies as a woman, however this means for them. (We recognise that the use of the word 'yoni' is ciscentric; we do not require submitters or performers to solely be cis women.)

No prior publishing or writing experience necessary! We want all kinds of stories from across the board. Pre-written and pre-published material is fine as long as we have permissions to perform.

Submissions are due December 1st by 11:59 pm PST to ykb@southasiansisters.org as well as the the writer release form.

Pieces can exploring any topic including but not limited to:
* hair * body image * motherhood * birth * culture * abuse * pleasure * periods * scent * sex * masturbation * sexual orientation * voices * desire * family * relationships * gender identity * immigration * friendships * death * hobbies * dreams * stereotypes * conformity or not * religion and faith *

Stuck? Here are some updated prompts:

  • What do you enjoy most about being a South Asian woman? What do you find the most frustrating?
  • How would you define "South Asian" and "Woman"? Do you fit the definition?
  • How does your yoni or body approach (or not) hair removal? Plastic surgery? Makeup?
  • Have you ever "shocked" the aunties and uncles? Have they shocked you?
  • What is the most frustrating issue in South Asian culture facing women today?
  • What are some of your funniest, weirdest, most heartfelt dating stories?
  • Have you ever been made to feel different because of your identity and/or choices?
  • What name does your yoni prefer to be called by?
  • Do you identify with 'yoni' or any other associated words at all? Why or why not?
  • What is your yoni’s weapon? Immigration status? First words?
  • How does your gender and/or sexuality interact with your South Asian identity?
  • Which parts of your identity are more prominent for you?
  • Are you part of a rich family legacy? Do you connect to your heritage at all?
  • Are you part of an industry, hobby group, fandom, social circle that is underrepresented by South Asian women?
  • What are some of the stereotypes and expectations placed on you as a South Asian woman?
  • How do you connect to your faith and spirituality?
  • What did you want to be when you grow up? Have you achieved your childhood dreams?
  • What would you say to younger you? Older you? You from another timeline?

We especially welcome submissions from marginalized gender and sexual identities (lesbian/bisexual/queer/asexual/aromantic; trans, non-binary and gender nonconforming people; kinky; polyamorous; and so on) as well as those from across the South Asian diaspora worldwide.

For additional information, please read the FAQs. Please send your submissions by November 15 at 11:59 pm to ykb@southasiansisters.org and fill out the writer release form.

Submissions will remain anonymous upon request. Performances will most likely be held on April 18-19, 2015.

Yoni Ki Baat - History

Yoni ki Baat has always been about gifts. It began as a gift, it was shared as a gift, and it continues through gifts.

The first gift came from Sapna Shahani, who shared the idea for the show one afternoon at a South Asian Sisters meeting in Berkeley in 2003. The Kimaaya Theatre Company in Bangalore, India, had just organized the first-ever performance of The Vagina Monologues there, and Sapna mused, "Why don't we just create a totally South Asian version of the show?" From that instant on, we couldn't shake the idea. A bunch of Desi women standing on stage talking frankly about our bodies, our desires, and our sexual experiences? Genius! But how could we make it a reality?

Our next gift came from Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues, the inspiration for our show. Getting permission to Desify her idea could have been tricky, but once we were able to get in touch with Eve personally, she not only gave us her permission, but sat down with us and provided us with feedback on our script (and, even more amazingly, asked for our comments on pieces she was working on for The Good Body). She continues to support our work and we are extremely grateful.

Some of the most important gifts we have received have come from our brilliant writers and performers. At first, we were hesitant - would South Asian women really feel comfortable sharing their stories about sexuality, and standing on a stage talking about them? We are thrilled that the answer was a resounding "YES!"

Over the years, we have received over one hundred submissions for our scripts. We have had over 50 beautiful and talented women perform with us. If they had not shared their gifts with us, Yoni ki Baat would not have been possible.

There have been other gifts. The universities, bars, and cafes that have donated performance and rehearsal spaces. The printing presses that have printed our fliers free of charge. The support we have received from other Desi organizations, including Narika, Maitri, and Trikone. The fact that, even in the conservative South Asian community, the word-of-mouth surrounding our show has been almost uniformly positive (Hey, it wouldn't be worth it if we couldn't create just a little bit of controversy, right?).

We were thrilled when other organizations and university groups began contacting us to find out how they could put on their own versions of YKB. Sharing our scripts became our way of passing along the gifts we have received. Through these collective efforts, we have raised over $8,500 for organizations around the country that aid survivors of domestic violence.

Each gift we have received has been a blessing, and each blessing has made us stronger. It is our hope that through this strength the YKB movement will continue to grow and to give, and to help more women stand up, speak out, and claim what is rightfully theirs - a life free from violence and full of pleasure.

-South Asian Sisters

Interested in bringing Yoni ki Baat to your community? Contact Us!

Previous Shows

  • YKB 6, 2009 - UC Berkeley, Berkeley and The Fellowship of Humanity Hall, Oakland
  • Best of YKB, March 2008 - El Rio, SF and The Rickshaw Stop, SF
  • YKB 2006 - Amnesia, SF
  • YKB 2005 - Canvas Gallery, SF
  • YKB 2004 - UC Berkeley & Stanford University
  • YKB 2003 - UC Berkeley

YKB Bulletin

Yoni Tour

Yoni ki Baat has been performed across the United States and has brought in over $11,500 for Domestic Violence Prevention organizations in the following places outside the Bay Area:

  • AAINA Theater Festival, Seattle, Washington
  • Rutgers University ,New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • South Asian Network, Los Angeles, California
  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • The University of California, Santa Barbara, California
  • Rasaka Theatre Company, Chicago, Illinois
  • The University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Saheli to Saheli, Washington, D.C.