Lost & Found in Italo Calvino's 'Invisible Cities'

It’s 4pm on a Friday afternoon. I sit alone at the dining room table. There’s a cheap, half-finished bottle of Sauvignon Blanc standing incongruously to the right of my open laptop. I stare at the laptop willing words to appear on the stark white screen. In one hand I have a book, its pages covered in highlighting with notes in the margins, in the other, an almost empty glass of wine. My hope is that I will somehow bring order to the indiscernible mass of ideas swirling in my head. Or maybe that’s just the alcohol. The names repeat endlessly – Esmeralda, Despina, Hypatia, Chloe, Clarice – 55 names, 55 places, or just one place?  

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"You Will Not Fight Your Battles on My Body Anymore": Voicing and Identifying Sexual Violence in the Congo and Iraq through Theatre

Since the turn of the century, there has been a huge surge in plays about the Middle East and other conflict-ridden nations, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Friedman 593). Through the medium of theatre, Western playwrights are finally giving ‘voices’ to the untold millions of victims subjected to sexual violence in war zones. Sharon Friedman explains that this is an attempt “to bring attention to sexual abuse, rape, survival sex, and psychological violence toward women in countries ravaged by conquest and conflict” (600). This essay investigates two plays which fit Friedman’s description, Ruined by Lynn Nottage, and 9 Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo. 

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The 'Art' of Change

The phrase ‘poetry changes nothing’ has its origins in a poetic eulogy attributed to W. H. Auden called ‘In Memory of W. B. Yeats,’ written just after the famous Irish poet’s death in 1939. Such a sweeping generalisation begs for a response – can poetry, literature and theatre change anything? And if so, how and what can they change?

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