Call for Submissions: Yoni Ki Baat 11 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, and, yes, their yonis! This is an open call for our sisters to get creative and share any stories, poems, essays, musings, songs, or dances about womanhood.
No prior publishing or writing experience necessary! We want all kinds of stories from across the board.
Submissions are due November 15 by 11:59 pm PST to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 *
Stuck? Here are some questions to ponder:
- What do you enjoy most about being a South Asian woman?
- How does your yoni approach (or not) hair removal?
- Have you ever "shocked" the aunties and uncles?
- What is the most frustrating issue in South Asian culture facing women today?
- What are some of your funniest 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?
- What is your yoni’s weapon? * What is your yoni’s immigration status?
- If your yoni could say two words, what would they be?
- How does your gender and/or sexuality interact with your South Asian identity?
- Which parts of your identity are more prominent for you?
We especially welcome submissions from marginalized gender and sexual identities (lesbian/bisexual/queer; trans, non-binary and gender nonconforming people; kinky; polyamorous; and so on) as well as those from across the South Asian diaspora worldwide.
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!