- Arusa Qureshi
- 2 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Hard-hitting political work confronts violence and misogyny
Presented as part of the Indigenous Contemporary Scene programme, ARTICLE 11 return to Edinburgh with Deer Woman, a new solo work that traces one woman's response to years of extreme trauma. A hard-hitting and raw piece of theatre, it questions the lengths that we go to when driven by severe injustice and, in turn, vengeance.
Through the monologue of ex-army Blackfoot woman Lila, the play traces the story of her sister's death, with reference to the deaths of the thousands of other Indigenous women recorded as missing or murdered in Canada in the past few decades. Refusing to sit back and do nothing when the man behind the murder of her sister – and many others – is discovered, Lila sets out to get her revenge in a brutal yet calculated manner, using the very skills taught to her by the Canadian government during her army days.
Cherish Violet Blood is an extremely powerful and affecting performer whose storytelling prowess and addition of little hints of comedy in this uncompromising tale add a great deal of weight to the severity of the situation. Delivering her story via a confession told to a camera, with her face then projected behind, the set-up feels suffocating in ways, until we reach a dark and unexpected climax that is difficult to stomach.
Deer Woman is ultimately a political work that confronts a moral and societal crisis that is not spoken about nearly enough. It embraces anger and pain, highlighting the need to move past any form of complacency when it comes to such violence and misogyny.
CanadaHub @ King's Hall, until 24 Aug (not 12 & 19), 2.30pm, £11 (£9).