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In Performance

In Performance: Christina Pitter, Decolonizing My Vagina (The Exponential Festival)

In Performance: Christina Pitter, Decolonizing My Vagina (The Exponential Festival)

Decolonizing My Vagina
Christina Pitter
The Exponential Festival, JACK
Jan 8-29, 2017

Decolonizing My Vagina is a 75-minute show written and performed by The Ashe Collective’s Christina Pitter and directed by Jordana De La Cruz. At the top of the show, Pitter asks the audience, “Where does freedom live in your body?” She then makes her intentions clear: this performance is a ritual for her to unpack her own desires. Pitter centers her experience as a person of color and locates her attraction to white people as a site to investigate, reconcile, and heal. Through story, song, and movement Pitter chronicles many experiences with past white lovers and partners. The audience learns about a man she loved and his wife, the woman she knew she only had a couple months with, and many other people who deeply impacted Pitter.

With movement by nicHi douglas, much of the piece is ripe with frenzy and passion. Starr Busby punctuates each story with powerful musical composition. With a looper pedal and her resonant voice, Busby turns lyrics into ointment. In an especially poignant moment during one of Starr’s musical interludes, Pitter washes her hair with water from a small silver bowl on stage. Pitter slows down, she feels her own body, she discovers something and the audience is there to witness. As her ritual comes to a close, Decolonizing My Vagina becomes a deeply personal journey challenging audiences to take inventory of their own desires.

Photo by Elizabeth Rakhilkina

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Adil Mansoor is a director and educator committed to centering the voices of queer and trans people of color. He is a founding member of Hatch Arts Collective in Pittsburgh, PA and has directed for Quantum Theatre, Bricolage Production Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, and others. He is currently a John Wells Directing Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.

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