MY BODY IS MINE
As I ready myself, I shape the bed sheet around me into a womb-like altar. Pulling the focus to the pomegranate, a symbol of my Iranian heritage, I knead the fruit, a technique practiced in Iran, chanting “My body is mine.” The seeds can be heard popping, releasing juice and staining the sheet. Cracking the pomegranate in pieces and breaking it against the floor, I continue to chant “It is my body, my bones, and my flesh” as the pomegranate begins to break open. Repeating the full chant several times as the fruit and seeds fall from my hands and scatter, I then silently stand and begin to collect the pieces in the sheet, folding it over, creating a shroud. I end with, “Her name was Sara.” The host then carries out the remains, leaving a red stain from the pomegranate juice on the floor.
Either through daily harassment, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, reproductive rights, and / or war, my body is under constant threat. The performance is a revisiting of trauma in relation to my body and reclaiming ownership of it.