Sex, citadel and the cross. Intimate life in big religions
Partycja Sasnal's talk with Monika Bobako
Patrycja Sasnal’s interview with Monika Bobako was another event of the summer cycle accompanying the exhibitions "Lest The Two Seas Meet" and "After Year Zero".
In the 19th century Gustav Flaubert travelled across Egypt for sexual entertainment - such ‘wonderful creatures’ as in the world of Islam could not be found in Europe, which was full of religious bigotry. Today, a century and a half later, sexually liberated artists of the West are indignant at the Muslim conservatism. In the grand narrative only extremes characterise the intimate life of the people of the South – they are viewed either as unbridled or full of inhibitions – standard sexuality is hard to notice.
One of the factors shaping the intimate life of Europeans, Arabs, and Africans is of exceptional importance: religion. Two big religions – Islam and Christianity – have been shaping the sexuality of the population inhabiting both sides of the Mediterranean Sea, but not in a vacuum. The social and political conditions and technological advancement periodically increased or decreased sexual frustration.
Patrycja Sasnal and Monika Bobako discussed the boundaries of sexual behaviour in Islam and Christianity, how they changed over the past quarter of a century, what standard sexuality is, and where a woman can be found in it on the basis of the exhibitions “After Year Zero” and “Lest The Two Seas Meet” and the book of Shereen El Feki entitled “Sex and citadel. Life in a Changing Arab World”.