V-Day Activist Reports from 'Turning Pain to Power' tour in France
V-Day Activists Report from Turning Pain to Power Tour in France
V-Day's Turning Pain To Power Tour traveled to France for events in Paris, Montpelier and Brest. On March 24th, Eve Ensler and Director of V-Day Congo & City Of Joy Christine Schuler Deschryver attended a special event organized by the French Secretary of State for Human Rights, Rama Yade. Representatives from various human rights organizations participated, and prominent individuals attended including First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Eve next traveled to speak and perform at V-Day Montpelier 2009, where she met with their local beneficiary groups and took part in a public discussion "Café des Femmes." On March 28th, Eve attended the V-Day benefit in Brest, where she spoke with politicians and the community to raise awareness about violence against women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Following are firsthand reports from activists at each event:
Paris Update from V-Day's Christine Schuler Deschryver
On March 24th, Rama Yade, Secretary of State for Human Rights in France, organized an evening of advocacy for women survivors of violence in the DRC to raise awareness about the issue of sexual violence, which has affected hundreds of thousands of Congolese women and girls in recent years.
I was there with Eve on behalf of V-Day, along with representatives of UNIFEM, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch and many other organizations who are working in Europe and on the ground to end the violence. What a surprise it was when it was announced that the first lady of France, Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was confirmed to join us! The event started with a screening of the V-Day documentary Until The Violence Stops, which moved the 300-person room to tears, including me as I saw it for the first time that evening.
Update From the V-Day Montpellier Team
V-Day Montpellier 2009 was exceptional because of the presence of Eve, who came first in August 2008 to see the famous and scandalous painting in the Montpellier Musée Fabre: L'origine du monde. Ever since then our city is called "La cité du Vagin"!
So it was really easy after that to organize a formidable representation of The Vagina Monologues. The event turned out to be a great success with over 2000 attendees in the Opera Berlioz standing up to end violence against women and girls and applauding the actors: Malika Mokeddem (an Algerian writer), Laurentine Milebo (a Congolese actress), Madeleine Attal (our wonderful senior actress), and Ilène Grange and her young Compagnie de L'Âtre actresses: Chloé Albert, Lucie Lalande, Erkia Zouine.
Eve read the Spotlight Monologue, Baptized on stage, and there was a great emotion palpable among the people in the Opera. We heard through her voice the tragic situation of Femicide in Democratic Republic of Congo, and we are sure that all the women and men in the Opera will help the Congolese women.
Update From V-Day Brest Organizer Geneviève Robin
On March 28th, Eve was honored at the City Hall of Brest by politicians for her global work to end violence against women and girls. The previous day, Eve spoke at a bookstore with Moïra Sauvage, French journalist and author of Les Aventures De Ce Fabuleux Vagin, an exploration into the last ten years of the V-Day movement. With generosity, Eve answered all questions and the audience was under her charm.
On the evening of March 28, Eve joined 1395 people for V-Day Brest 2009. Twenty-seven non-professional actresses ranging from student to grandmother (19 to 72) and coming from different cities from the Finistère came on stage in front of the sold out crowd. Attendees included psychologists, obstetricians, nurses, teachers, farmers, students, politicians and many more!
Update from London
Women of Influence Luncheon attendees urge the G20 to act in Congo in the Times of London yesterday -
Read their letter "Tackling sexual terrorism in Congo" >
CNN Inside Africa with Eve and Dr. Mukwege To Air Saturday
CNN's Inside Africa, a weekly, half-hour, current affairs program that provides global viewers with an inside look at political, economic, social and cultural affairs and trends in Africa, will air a special segment featuring Eve and Dr. Denis Mukwege this Saturday, April 4, and will replay the episode several times through Tuesday, April 7.
Go to cnn.com/insideafrica for show times in your area.