I am performing my piece Remains at the Motherhood and Creative Practice Conference: Maternal Structures in Creative Work at London Southbank University on June 1st. The piece is based on Kathie Amatniek’s speech “Funeral Oration For The Burial of Traditional Womanhood”, which was read during the first protest of the women’s liberation movement. Amatniek’s speech explains the necessity of laying to rest this out-dated feminine ideal, that is, the submissive woman whose function is solely biological and whose only power – that of being a wife and mother – the speaker decries as ‘amounting to nothing politically’. I will read out a new eulogy, echoing the turns of phrase from the original speech, which answers the question of which contemporary female identity feminists would want to inter now: ‘Have it All’ Womanhood. This mythic figure is characterised as the perfect career woman and mother who maintains her youthfulness, normative physical beauty and hyper-(hetero)sexuality without breaking a sweat.
To download the full programme, visit the conference website.