Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

4 August 2014

South Africa: Women's Month - Women's Bodies As a Landscape of Trauma

analysis

Forget the Department of Arts and Culture's #WearADoek campaign for Women's Month. It is the simplicity of a young woman who stripped naked and stood quietly below the six-metre-high bronze statue of Nelson Mandela in Sandton last week who captured local imagination.

Braveheart, as the woman has been named, has in some way enabled women to "re-embody" our bodies in a space that is generally hostile, an issue which US feminist and activist Eve Ensler, currently in South Africa, has made her life's work. By MARIANNE THAMM.

Two days before 1 August, the start of Women's Month in South Africa, a young and as of yet unknown woman in Johannesburg performed a gesture so profound and so simple that it has since come to embody much of that which is left unspoken or which is "unspeakable" when it comes to women and violence in South Africa.

Around lunchtime on Tuesday, 31 July, the woman strode across Mandela Square, removed her clothing and stood naked for a few minutes beneath the enormous bronze statue of a dancing Mandela. From a subsequent video that was recorded on a phone (and if one can ignore the cat calls and inane laugher of those ...

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.