Paula Cabaleiro (EFE) interviews leading Dominican writer Chiqui Vicioso in “La poeta dominicana Chiqui Vicioso descubre la verdadera identidad femenina.
Dominican poet, sociologist, playwright, and essayist Sherezada Chiqui Vicioso turns to poetry to discover the true identity of women since the first figure of all, Eve.
In an interview with EFE, she recalls her recent recital at the Casa de América in Madrid on the occasion of International Women’s Day, surprised by the large attendance of the public interested in listening to verses from her poetry collection Eva/Sión/Es.
The title already anticipates the topics it examines. On the one hand, Zion, a biblical placename; and on the other, Eve, understood as “the most maligned being in the history of mankind,” she explains. Thus, she urges us to “reread the Bible in order to vindicate Eve,” since she is condemned “unfairly” beginning with “Genesis.”
“It is she who causes us to be expelled from Paradise, but no one stops to understand that it is the serpent that offers Eve the apple of knowledge: they are condemning her for wanting to know,” explains the author. Therefore, the collection of poems looks for Eve in all mythologies, from Chinese to African, passing through Nepalese or Hindu “because she is present in all cultures, and in all of them she is presented as the person responsible for the misfortunes of man, ergo of humanity.”
HER OWN IDENTITY
She wrote her first work, “De viaje en el agua,” upon returning from a trip to the African continent in 1977, and it served to discover her origins and racial identity. “Before I went to Africa, I thought I was white,” she recalls. She took three trips that year, one to Haiti, one to Cuba, and the third to Guinea-Bissau, and she laughs about the fact that it was like a “neutron bomb” to her [previous] vision of her society.
Thanks to her travels, she says, she acquired a new view of society, and specifically the role of women in it. That view culminated when, in the United States, “I was classified as Hispanic or mulatto from day one,” she adds.
CREATING AWARENESS THROUGH ART
She explains that the women of her country carry out awareness actions, since being 52% of the total voters in the elections, they have a power that must be used “to demand programs” that meet their needs.
Vicioso takes the opportunity to recall that her country, the Dominican Republic, is one of the five in the world that does not approve abortion in the following cases: “A girl who was raped is forced to give birth; a woman in danger of death by giving birth must deliver the baby, even in cases where a fetus is found to be non-viable.”
Because of this, for her, poetry, theater, and other arts are necessary elements for “the creation of awareness.”
She comments that, when she wrote the play “Whiskey-sour,” the women did not leave after the performance, “they stayed and tearfully told us their testimonies of their lives, and the next day, they came back with their mothers and grandmothers.”
Currently, the Dominican writer continues to research the presence and role of women in mythologies with a clear idea that guides her: “If we did not exist, there would be no humanity.”
Translated by Ivette Romero. For original article (in Spanish), see QuéPasa Media/EFE at https://quepasamedia.com/noticias/entretenimiento/la-poeta-dominicana-chiqui-vicioso-descubre-la-verdadera-identidad-femenina-2/