By Steve Antao
On the 27th of October, a one-time reading of ‘Spotlight Monologues’, a play which focuses on violence against women, will be held at the Museum of Goa at Pilerne. The event is being organised by a group of women to create awareness about this grave social problem that exists in societies across the globe.
Through this play, these women also aim to create awareness about Goa Outreach, an NGO based in Mapusa, which has been working for the past 20 years with slum children, and children of poor Goan and migrant families. The NGO, which was founded in 2003 by British national Rob Lyon, provides such children with access to quality education, basic health care and regular hygiene supplies and toiletries. It also engages them in mind and body-enhancing extra-curricular activities that help in keeping them off the streets. All proceeds from the sale of passes for the reading of ‘Spotlight Monologues’ will go to Goa Outreach.
What is ‘Spotlight Monologues’ all about?
‘Spotlight Monologues’ is a part of the 10th edition of ‘The Vagina Monologues’, a play authored by Tony Award-winning playwright, performer, and activist Eve Ensler. It was added by Eve to highlight the continued abuse against women worldwide. Now also known as ‘V’, Eve has devoted her life to stopping violence against women, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive.
V’s experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is the catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalise the spirit of existing anti-violence organisations worldwide. Every year, thousands of V-Day benefit events take place in the United States and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls.
Also, each year, Ensler creates a new spotlight vignette, dedicated to women in a specific region. The reading that will be held on the 27th of October at the Museum of Goa is from spotlight stories by Eve Ensler, which narrates stories about violence against women from different parts of the world. In the ‘Spotlight Monologues’, women from countries like Mexico, Japan, and Pakistan, as well as Native American women and Transwomen tell their stories of pain and anguish suffered through mental, emotional and physical abuse.
The Cast of The Play
The cast of ‘Spotlight Monologues’ includes well-known Bollywood actors Kalki Koechlin and Kimmy Katkar, starring along with Antara Bhide, Arundhati Chattopadhyaya, Rajyashree Dutt, and Sundeep Sal”aura. The play has been produced by Dipa de Motwane and has been directed by Ratnabali Bhattacharjee. Individuals who have provided behind-the-scenes support in organising this event include Amit Pandirkar, Bilitis Jolly Sharma, Jasmin Singh, Nupura Hautamaki, Philmogi, and Sharada Kerkar, Manager, Museum of Goa.
The Objective Behind Staging the Play
The event is the brainchild of producer Dipa Motwane. It was she who took the initiative to bring all the women involved together and work with them to organise a reading of ‘Spotlight Monologues’. These women are supporting Goa Outreach because many of the children at the NGO come from homes where abuse is rampant, and Goa Outreach works tirelessly to give them a better life.
Violence against women is, to a large extent, still considered to be normal and acceptable in most societies across the world. The organisers of this play believe that there is a need to crack this wrong mindset prevailing in people across the world. It is this culture that has to change – the beliefs, the underlying story and the behaviour of the culture. And it is this cultural mindset that the organisers of ‘Spotlight Monologues’ and Goa Outreach aim to change by holding a reading of the play.
Goa Outreach has been working for the past two decades towards driving this change by giving the children that they work with, a childhood worth remembering and a future full of enlightened hope. Be it a young girl who could be raped or beaten by her family members itself or married off at a very young age to an equally abusive (sometimes older) spouse. Or one who is made to work in unsafe areas under dangerous conditions. The NGO also impacts the boys who come to them for assistance. helping them understand that women need to be respected and protected. Not exploited and abused. And that their salvation lies in education and self-help.
The ‘Spotlight Monologues’ will be held on the 27th of October 2023 at 7 pm at the Museum of Goa, Pilerne.
Passes for the event can be purchased online at: https://goaoutreach.org/Spotlight-Monologues