These words by St Thomas Acquinas could be used as a motto of crusade launched over two millennia by the Catholic Church against women. Agnieszka Błońska and Joanna Wichowska seek out the sources, symptoms and consequences of this continuing offensive, particularly intensified in rent years in Poland. The story of possessed and exorcised nuns serves as a pretext for research into the long history of colonization of female body, sexual repression, stigmatization of difference and imposition of rigid gender roles. In this investigation, a woman becomes a representative of all those, who are left behind a superior norm of humankind, which is man – a heterosexual father, thinker, warrior, priest, god; she is an agent of all “misfits” – those expelled from the privileged majority.
In this performance the Church Fathers, Mothers Joans and devils living in their bodies and minds will speak. But most importantly, contemporary women and men who willingly or not take part in a supposedly defensive cultural war fought all over Europe and Poland; a war declared by the Church and politicians.
Which role in this battle is assigned to each and all of us? Which role are we accept, consciously or not? To what extent are we upholding patriarchy ourselves? And finally, does a particular female perspective have to indicate exclusion from common “human” experience?
Devils was nominated for WDECHY 2020 award in a category ‘event of the year’: “for the strong voice of women in theatre and humorous show with elements of political manifesto, reckless feminist cabaret and fierce activist performance.”
Devils was listed by Polityka, Gazeta Wyborcza and Dziennink Trybuna as one of the 10 most important shows in Poland in 2019.