Coco Cabasa

Coco Cabasa
A Documentary by Klaartje Til
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funded project
donated of €6.000
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Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINECoco Cabasa is a portait about the Tunisian Kaouthar Darmoni. Who is she and where does her drive to emancipate women with bellydance come from?


Coco Cabasa is a documentary that tells the story of the fierce Kaouthar Darmoni. Who is she and how did she become this person? We will seek for her roots in Tunisia to learn what the core is of her motivation. Her suppressed life as a youngster in Sousse is one of the reasons she began her mission: empower and heal women from all over the world using her taboo-breaking Goddess Belly Dance method.
Her unmistakably down-to-earth partner in crime Henny Koerselman is irreplaceable. Not only would the impulsive Kaouthar never have thought of the Goddes Belly Dance if it wasn’t for her, she wouldn’t be able to combine her busy life with motherhood either. While Kaouthar is off to promote her life’s work, the loving ‘heart-granny’ looks after Sacha.

In Tunisia we search for the roots of her drive. We dig up her memories in Sousse. As a young girl she regularly stood up against the Islamic regime of her father. With the help of her mother and only 100,- in her pocket, she escaped from the domestic violence towards Paris, where she barely managed to make a living. Now, at places she went as a child, she tells us what it is like to be raised in a Muslim-community and how she succeeded to break away. 

Coco Cabasa seduces the mysterious world of femininity to come out of the twilight by a woman who, against all odds, defeated everything that suppressed her femininity.



Why would you support us?

Kaouthar is turning into a public figure. She frequently appears in the media, and therefore you could say you already know her. But this documentary is the first to show Kaouthar’s whole life and career. To really understand that her life is all about ‘healing’ our femininity, you've got to understand where she comes from and what she has been through.
A lot of what she has experienced as a young girl has a big influence on this. Her past still has a daily place in her life. Therefore it is crucial to go to Tunisia with Kaouthar to create an as pure, honest and precious documentary possible.

Additionally, there is an extra dimension in this film: Kaouthar emancipates women through dance. You have got to feel this dance instead of reading about it. Unfortunately we can not convey this feeling, you have to participate to do so but this film offers a compromise: seeing it. With this documentary we want to immerse people as if they are there themselves, women and men.


Who's Kaouthar?

Kaouthar Darmoni was born and raised in Tunisia. At the age of 14 her parents decided to practise the strict Muslim life. Kaouthar protested, she didn’t want to be veiled and live to standards she didn’t agree with. A period of domestic violence followed. At the age of 17 she wanted to follow her dream: leaving Tunisia to study in Paris. The moment her father forbids her to leave, she went on a hunger strike. After she collapsed her mother had enough of it and at the end she was the one who made the choice to let Kaouthar go.

Kaouthar graduated her Gender studies at the Sorbonne, and hasn’t left the west since then. After working at several universities in Europe and the United States, she has settled in Amsterdam. She thinks that modern day feminism forces women to not be feminine because they are scared of not being taken seriously if they do. As a result, she founded her Goddess Belly Dance method, through which she wants to help reconnect women with their femininity through... yes: belly dance!

“On the workingfloor I see more men using feminine qualities, while women are afraid of using their femininity out of fear for not being taken seriously"

Watch Kaouthar's TedTalk:

Quote that inspired the maker

"As a child, I was very often told to not do this or that while the boys could do all they wanted; and when I questioned the reason the answer was ‘because you are a girl’. I found it so unfair."
Kaouthar Darmoni
This project was successfully funded on 11-11-2015

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