unSEEN is a devised performance piece based on Rabindranath Tagore’s letter- ‘Ramabai-er Baktritar Upalakhse’ written in 1891. Tagore, one of India’s most celebrated thinkers, wrote the letter as a response to the celebrated social reformer Pandita Ramabai’s speech asserting that a “woman can do anything that man can except drinking alcohol.” Originally written in Bengali and published in the Bharti periodical, in this highly disputable response to Ramabai, Tagore points out how nature has made women weaker than men both physically and intellectually – to which women must comply.
unSEEN is a critique of the ways in which patriarchal society perceives femininity. It is an examination of the Nobel laureate’s misconstrued notion of womanhood.
Tagore is renowned for being an unwavering if anachronistic champion of the ‘feminine’ at a time when the world was yet to wake up to feminism. His oeuvre bears an extraordinary commitment to women’s issues and an empathetic understanding of the same. unSEEN then reveals the irony as well as a pervasive helplessness of this revered intellectual trying to pinpoint markers of masculine superiority, in a social system he himself questioned repeatedly.
unSEEN unfolds through the exploration of a woman’s self, her body, the male gaze over that female body, her biological cycle (menstruation, motherhood, pain and surrender) and her deification. Each of these aspects of womanhood is complemented with three specific elements in the play – sound installation, non-verbal performance and the recitation of the text itself.
Kalyanee Mulay, the solo performer of unSEEN says that the play is “a small step towards reclaiming the female body not only in performance but also in the social context.”
unSEEN is Process TheaterZ’s first production. Formed in 2012, the company aims at collaborative work, on a national level, among theater artists, designers, performers, fine artists, writer, directors and musicians with the main objective of exploring contemporary theater languages.
Directior: Vishnupad Barwe
Performer: Kalyanee Mulay
Light design: Gajanan Zarmekar and Arpita Dhagat
Object design: Satish Gaokar
Translation: Anwesh Singbal (Konkani) Geeta Joshi and Antara Bhide (English)
Date: 28th January 2017
Timing: 7-9 pm
For tickets or information regarding the performance, please call 9619336336.