Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler

Best known for her play The Vagina Monologues, this American playwright talks about her travels around the world

Vaidehi Iyer
January 13 , 2015
03 Min Read

OT: You have travelled all over the world extensively with your play, The Vagina Monologues... So where do you feel you belong to?
Eve Ensler:
I think that belonging comes from the heart, from the people you are with. I feel that nations have a patriarchal construct because it’s all about dividing up land, boundaries and who owns what. I don’t see the world like that anymore. I feel that all of us are refugees, all of us are immigrants, all of us are travellers. I think the insane amount of travel that I do has spun me into the understanding that we are just fluid people.

OT: Could you name some of the interesting places in the world to which you have travelled?
Eve Ensler:
I have had the chance to really see the extraordinary world that we live in, whether it is here in India, or in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Congo, Istanbul, Prague, all over the Balkans, the Philippines, Tibet — I have seen some of the most amazing places and met some of the most incredible people, especially women — grassroots women, doing extraordinary work to transform their communities.


OT: What are some of the most scenic places you have been to?
Eve Ensler:
The Congo is very, very beautiful, in spite of the war. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Lake Kivu, which is in eastern Congo, where the conflict is, is a heavenly place. The Mukavu area is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s green, fertile, alive. It’s rich in its fertility, rich in its greenness, rich in its potential. Hmm, what else? Himachal Pradesh is absolutely beautiful, being in Tibet was incredible. I love Kathmandu. I also think Afghanistan is one of the most spectacular places ever — driving through the Khyber Pass from Peshawar is totally extraordinary. There is something about the vastness of Afghanistan’s landscape that is gorgeous.

OT: Do food, culture and craft shape your understanding of people when you travel?
Eve Ensler:
Oh, totally. I like all food — there isn’t any food that I don’t like. I have an obsession for pillows and women’s crafts. For example, in Peshawar, there is this amazing market of Afghan crafts where they have these brilliant pillows that have been made by women and they obviously take months and months to make. I just go and sit with these women and I just love it there. I don’t do massive shopping but I always take something from each place to hold and keep and remember.

OT: If you were to go on a vacation, where would you like to go?
Eve Ensler:
I have been a lot to the waters in Croatia. It’s the cleanest and most beautiful water anywhere and I love to swim there. The Adriatic is one of my favourite places in the world. Oh, it’s just beautiful.

OT: Where has The Vagina Monologues not played yet?
Eve Ensler:
Well, it’s been to 130 countries so, let me see, where have we not been yet... I don’t know if it has ever been to Bali. I think there are some countries in Africa where it hasn’t played yet. Oh, yes, I would love to see it play in Saudi Arabia!

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