Written and Performed by Taji Senior
A warrior goddess created by the Black Mother Goddesses and adorned in glorious robes of divinity, the celestial Ishtar fiercely guards her temple until the moment a stranger appears and disrupts her sanctuary and her sense of self. Under the counsel of The Black Mother Goddesses, Ishtar flees from the stranger abandoning her home and her beloved companion, The Bull of Heaven. Overcome with loneliness and grief, Ishtar makes a damning choice that forces her to choose between her divinity and her desire.
devour., is a theatrical contemplation of the ways in which desire and desirability are further complicated by blackness. What does it mean to long for love while inhabiting a body you’ve taught to fear and hate? At its core, devour. is a synthesis of lived experiences, literature, academic research and activist movements that spans centuries and continents, from the study of the iconography of black bodies in nineteenth-century European art, such as Edwin Long’s The Babylonian Marriage Market and Édouard Manet’s Olympia to the contemplative examination of black womanhood in the poetry of June Jordan, Lucille Clifton and Pat Parker. devour., deeply excavates facets of the Black American female experience and returns to the surface through movement, poetry, myth and theatrical magic.