Silvi Santoso: Dishonour on Your Cow
As Silvi noted “tragedy and comedy are on different sides of the same coin”. Silvi is using her experiences as healing but also as a way to get a powerful point across.
Dishonour on Your Cow, an expression that I heard a lot in this show, has a strong message for dark subject matter. It also happens to be a quote from the Disney movie Mulan which Silvi evidently appreciates.
Silvi provides a rich background before dropping the heavy parts on the audience. This is a story about Indonesian cultural nuances, love, marriage, divorce, sexism, preconceptions about sexual assault survivors and an adorable pug.
Silvi is a skilled orator lacing song, character performance, and images in the profound story of her life.
While there were some jokes that ended lost in translation, there is definitely a consistent wordplay element to her jokes’ punchlines. Her joke about the metaphors of food and sex was well received by the entire audience.
By sharing her story, Silvi allows the audience to share in her healing process. She makes it acceptable to find humour in dark places – which there are several in this show.
One thing which I took away from this show:
Empathy is important when hearing sexual assault survivors’ stories. Some FRINGE WORLD acts encourage active audience participation, this is one of those rare moments where quietly listening is equally effective.