On Friday, November 20th, 2015, friends and supporters of Works by Women gathered on the Upper West Side to see Antu Yacob's thought-provoking new play, Mourning Sun.
Rarely does one have the privilege of seeing a performance that serves as a powerful educational experience, as well as a piece of art. Witnessing protagonist Biftu's journey from an abused child bride, to a self-empowered American immigrant was a stark reminder of how vital it is for women all over the world to understand the plights of their sisters and fight in solidarity for their well-being.
Though the intense weight of the subject matter was undeniable, the piece was also punctuated by a refreshing warmth and sense of humor that brought great depth and relatibility to the characters.
Personally, Mourning Sun was a wake-up call for me. I believe in a brand of feminism that is intersectional, and inclusive. Yet, I know so little about the oppression of women in cultures and societies beyond my own. This play felt like a healthy challenge - encouraging those of us who are privileged in our abilities to choose who we want to marry, and have agency over our own bodies - to stand up for those who don't. It was a necessary reminder, raising an incredibly important issue.