Past Event

Voyeurs de Venus: Representing History Responsibly

Barbara Ransby and Bill Ayers will facilitate a discussion following a showing of Lydia Diamond’s “Voyeurs de Venus” about issues raised by the play.

The play revolves around the story of an African American Anthropologist, Sarah, who struggles with the task of telling the story of Saartjie Bartman, popularly known by her derogatory nickname “The Venus Hottentot.”

The story is wonderfully complex, revealing layer upon layer of rich racial, social, and historical analysis. Sarah the anthropologist is at once the potential victim of her publisher’s exploitation and also a potential exploiter of Saartjie through her attempts to retell her story.

The play examines a plethora of issues including the struggle of a “Public Intellectual” to deliver her message to the masses without compromising her politics; how one gives voice to the silenced stories in history without exploiting that history and doing further violence; the representation of race and gender in popular culture; the intersection of the politics of our personal lives with our professional and intellectual commitments; and so many other important issues.

The Public Square at the IHC will invite activists and scholars working on related issues to view the play and join our discussion afterwards.

For more information or to receive an invitation, please contact Catherine Chandler at 312.422.5580.