The Ciba Punch
Before the punch in this inaugural performance, our 22 performers collectively wrote the words for chanting using the Exquisite Corpse method. Their prompt is an imagined conversation between the writer and a womxn figure whom they want to speak with. Some people wrote towards their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, or towards themselves, whereas others engaged with goddesses in mythologies or recently arrested/disappeared feminist activists in China. In the process of this collective dialogue and food-making, at the intersection with diaspora experiences, our vulnerable stories, feelings, and struggles of transnational feminism emerge.
Rooted in a feminist ethics of care, the Ciba Punch subverts the Chinese traditional ciba-making (food-making) process and reveals the often-hidden domestic labor performed by womxn. By punching, chanting, making together, this collective performance of Chinese feminists reclaims our own definitions of (em)power(ment) from patriarchal definitions of force and gendering. Together, we reimagine a powerful yet non-punitive way of community building and healing.