Silk Road Rising presents "Hollow/Wave"

Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago

May 21, 2018

Trauma! How to deal with it! When do we know that the experiences we have had are in fact traumatic? Sunday, I went to see Hollow/Wave at Silk Road Rising’s performance space, The Chicago Temple on Washington and Clark Streets in the “Loop”. This 90 minute, one-woman performance is written and performed by Anu Bhatt, and it is in fact her story. While the story is hers, about her youth and those involved in it who somehow were able to abuse her in both body and mind, she has brought this forward so that others, also abused in manners very similar, can be made to understand that they were not at fault.

Below, I have copied her statement, which relates her story and why she decided to share this very personal information with the world (well, first with Chicago).

This is not a review of her work as an actress/story-teller or that of the direction by Barbara Zahora, but rather a statement that these types of stories MUST be told and I for one, applaud the strong women ( and in other cases men) that can come forward and face their history. This is in fact one that should be seen, even knowing that there are instances dealing with  childhood trauma of a sexual nature. I am a grandfather with five female grandchildren. I cannot watch over them daily. They too, need to know that there are people out there who may act as friends and caring person who have ulterior motives in what they do.

Should you have an opportunity to see Ms. Bhatt in this show, I suggest with my heart and soul that you find the time to do so.


PlaywrightAnuBhatt.jpg

Artist Statement

I am a survivor of trauma: this I have known for many years.

However, I didn’t connect the dots between the trauma I survived and the depressive symptoms I experienced until long, long after the events had occurred.

It shocked me that it had taken me so many years to make that emotional connection, and it scared me that trauma could have lived latent for so long in my body.

In fact, I felt stupid: as a high-achieving, book-smart, educated individual, I felt betrayed by my own body!

When Silk Road Rising invited me to expand my shorter one-woman show into a full-length piece, I started exploring deeper into this trauma, to uncover the “causes” of my depression.

I started thinking about survivors, like me, who carry latent trauma in their bodies and spirits for countless years.

It was terrifying, writing about things I had only mentioned in passing to family and friends. It was like uncovering a well I had buried in my gut for so long, and that started to overflow once I dipped my hands in.

Yet I knew this was the story I needed to tell, for people like me who are also living fulfilling lives and also carrying latent trauma in their bodies and spirits.

Hollow/Wave is specific in that it is my story and my experiences, but it is universal, too. This show is for people of every color, every sexuality, every height, every age.

I want to empower others to validate their own experiences. I want audiences, especially South Asians, to be able to talk openly about mental health, sexual trauma and sexuality.

It took me so long to identify my triggers in part because it is not something openly talked about in South Asian culture.

Let Hollow/Wave be yet another indication that no population or type of person is free of trauma, and that we can embrace our shared humanity as a result.

―Anu Bhatt, playwright and performer, Hollow/Wave

Michael Mead