In her play La Ville des zizis, Eline Schumacher embraces humor as an aesthetic choice and something of a political weapon in order to explore the dominant male figure. And above all, his peculiarities and vulnerabilities. Her essentials will enrich this autumn season. The artist inspires us to read, to go on a bike ride, to discover podcasts or binge a series. With a Quebec accent… Cheerful and feminist.
Le Petit illustré de l’intimité: De la vulve, du vagin, de l’utérus, du clitoris, des règles, etc. [‘The Little Illustrated guide to Private Parts: On the vulva, vagina, uterus, clitoris, menstruation, etc.’] by Mathilde Baudy and Thiphaine Dieumegard. To be honest, I didn't expect to be so moved when I picked up this book. It offers a way for little girls to explore their genitals without taboos, to celebrate their beauty and power. I find this book deeply feminist. It’s extraordinary! Little girls can be proud of their vulva, which is neither dirty nor shameful. Otherwise, I never tire of the writing of the author Lola Lafon. I devoured her novel Chavirer [Capsizing] which deals with the mechanisms of predation and violence against little girls who dream of becoming dancers. She made me realize how lucky I was: I slipped through the nets of many crooked producers. I often played dumb. It could have often turned out badly for me. Denial saved me.
I saw the concert of the Quebec-based Safia Nolin in May 2022 at the Church of Notre-Dame in Laeken. Safia Nolin is an incredible author-composer-singer. It was a full moon at the time. Suddenly, she exclaimed: " who here has her period?". I said to myself: "wow! ". Then she burst out laughing: "It's true! In France and Belgium, you call it: having your ‘ranianias’. That word is so ridiculous!". She gave a speech about periods for 5 minutes. She talked about periods as if she was talking about any old thing. I was all the more sensitive to this because in my upbringing, when you ask someone for a tampon, you do it very discreetly. For me, talking about periods in the middle of a concert, in a church, is crazy, just crazy.
Monument Ordinaire by Mansfield Tya.
Foufoune by the Swiss singer Mara. If you want to dance, that's great! I am one of the DJettes à Paillettes. The other is Agathe Cornez. When we mix, we love to play Foufoune at the end of the evening. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
Deux by Filippo Meneghetti. It’s is a secret love story between two women in their seventies, Madeleine and Nina, who are next-door neighbors. Love, feminism and ageism. These are areas that are too little explored. Like most women, I'm afraid of getting old. In daily life, I’m meeting more and more women who are getting ‘Thread Lifts’, non-surgical facelifts based on the insertion of tensor threads: the pharmacist, the florist, the secretary. Aging is a real social issue. It raises the question of happiness, of well-being. I'm sure I'll ask myself the same questions at that age. When we look at American actresses, we say to ourselves: they no longer have any facial expression. How ugly are they?! In all honesty, getting older is going to depress me! I also like Clint Eastwood's The Bridges of Madison County.
I don't want to quote THE podcast that everyone would mention. The performer Lylybeth Merle advised me to listen to the Camille podcast intended for lesbians, gay, bi, trans and especially straight people in order to raise my awareness of the issue of gender and trans identity. I don't think I have it all figured out yet. She especially advised me to listen to episode Camille #5 : Comment être un·e bon·ne allié·e des personnes non-binaires ? [Camille #5: How to be a good ally of non-binary people?]
Without hesitation, the Quebecoise TV series M’entends-tu [Can you hear me] created by Florence Longpré. She describes the daily life of three great Montreal friends Carolanne, Fabiola and Ada, from a disadvantaged social background that reminds me of the one in which many Charleroi residents are immersed. This series is very relevant today. It blew me away.
The city! Even if walking in the city is complicated when, like me, you like to wear low necklines and high heels. Cycling has become one of my essentials to feel safe in the city. On a bike, I feel invincible!
In which country do you feel good as a woman? It is always said that Northern Europe is at the forefront of gender equality. I don’t know. In any case, it is a real political concern, my fellow female citizen!
– Interview by Sylvia Botella in September 2022