International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – Review of Alice in Wonderless Land
Some thoughts from Audrey Friggieri the Commissioner on Gender-based and Domestic Violence on Alice in Wonderless Land
Alice in Wonderless Land is an emotional experience because it brings to the fore all the injustice that that world deals out to girls and women predominantly, although boys are affected too. This all happens in disguise very often, in alienating ways such as advertising, and as a law of nature, as if inequality and oppression are set in stone. This show is an invitation or an opportunity to reflect on what being a girl means in this world, on the workings of power in society, on the ways in which women are oppressed by dominant forces behind the scenes, and the ways in which women themselves participate in their own oppression due to automatic ways of living and being.
Dominant forces in society tell us all how to be and what to do, what to wish for, what to buy to be cool, what is desirable, what is worthy, beautiful and so on; if we do not fit in this scenario, if we have a different mindset or a different appearance we feel that we are inadequate, doomed. In the absence of a critical attitude – which the system does its best to discourage at all costs, especially via the ubiquitous media – we would all be slaves of the oppressive system, devaluing who we are, relinquishing our power, committing metaphorical (and literal) suicide.
This is an artistic installation as well as a play, because it seeks to involve , move, provoke, even shock the audience into feeling and thinking about what is really going on. It is short but very powerful and would be a wonderful tool for critical thinking and debating in educational settings for older students. It needs preparation, as with any learning resources, for maximum benefit. It also requires reflection afterwards and students should be afforded the space to speak to their counsellor or qualified professionals at school if they need to. This piece can be woven within various subjects on the school curriculum: English, Maltese, Social studies, and PSCD, for example.
For more information on Alice in Wonderless Land please click here