Not Bound Within
Image created by Naomi Cortes
Naomi's play Not Bound Within, is a battle-cry response to the exploitation of women both past and present - all the more relevant in light of the #MeToo movement - which also addresses the urgent need to tackle the stigma associated with mental health, especially in how it affects the well-being of our young people.
After a successful research and development phase under the Albany’s Hatched programme, with funding by Arts Council England, Naomi was invited to bring Not Bound Within back to the Albany for a play reading as part of the venue’s series of events for Black History Month 2017.
Since then the play has continued to attract audiences - “powerful, moving, people need to see this!” It was selected to be part of Blacktress UK’s first season of work in 2018, in association with the John Thaw Initiative at the Actors’ Centre, celebrating the diverse experiences of Black British womxn and placing their voices centrestage. “An amazing piece of theatre, such a strong message...” audience member.
Venus, a young Black woman, is in the middle of a crisis. In the darkest of places, her feelings of vulnerability and loneliness are overwhelming. After a traumatic experience with social media, she seeks refuge in a long-forgotten museum exhibit, ‘the Hottentot Venus’, about a real historic character - Saartjie Baartman. What follows is a poetic and surreal story of sexual degradation and economic exploitation, as these two women battle with their pasts, the present and their unknown futures. For Venus to discover who she is, she must reveal the truth about Saartjie to the world.”