A revolution doesn’t have to be bloody, it doesn’t need to be violent. A revolution can be a change of mind, a turn of attitude. The insurrection can be brought about by people with minds strong enough to lead, and hearts tough enough to endure. A revolution can be as much about love as it is about hate.
Something’s happening in Bristol at the CoochieCrunch burlesque show, and there’s a little hint of revolution in the air. A little corkscrew of change. But this isn’t a bourgeois dinner party, there is no time for embroidery, there is no evidence of a fanciful rebellion. There is actual change. A rhythm. A beat. A trident thrown lovingly into the heart of hate.
At the 2017 Bristol Burlesque festival we saw, under the banner of a show named PARADISE, President Trump portrayed as a cheerleading FEAR LEADER, an acid house Maggie Thatcher decorated with smiley faced bras and thongs, renegade strippers baring their nipples, breasts, bottoms and vaginas, and tampons not only used as a prop, but as the basis for an entire act.
Is this PARADISE? Is this where our nemesis become walking satirical illustrations, figures of fun, entertainment, where bloodied tampons can be paraded in daylight, maxi pads shattered like ticker tape over a prom queen? Where women, non-binary persons, and men of any shape, size, look and persuasion are allowed to perform and be themselves?
Is PARADISE where we are free to speak openly, perform freely, celebrate ourselves and find a place for our views? Is the Coochie Crunch a meeting room for revolutionaries? A place for cunning thoughts and secret treaties?
This is how revolutions start: in the back rooms and bar rooms. A conversation here and there, a demonstration of a view point. Dialogue. Anger. Frustration. Agreement. Plans. Fury. Celebration. A desire to overcome censorship, power and control. A desire to create and spread freedom.
If the revolution at the Coochie Crunch isn’t about overthrowing a government, then it certainly is about overthrowing a mindset.
After all, this is where revolution happens most of all. It’s a state of mind. It isn’t about control – it’s about freedom of thought. And expression.
It’s about blasting the doors wide open, not slamming them shut. It’s about running and dancing, not shuffling and surrendering. It’s about colourful flags rather than the white flag of shame and defeat. This is a peaceful war, fought hard, and over treacherous terrain, against an enemy holding all of the advantages.
Revolutionaries are required. Free minds need apply.
CoochieCrunch is run by Dis-Charge and Tuesday Laveau. Go to CoochieCrunch for more info on shows and performers…