Offsite October 2022 - Ongoing Free

We Rise: Voice and Survivorship began as a series of workshops led by vocal practitioner Marged Siôn in collaboration with We Rise Hub in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The project explores the possibilities of voice as tool to support women* and non-binary people, who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse and gender-based violence.Through different exercises, the group connected with their breath, resonance, body alignment, and imagination, as resources for vocal liberation.

Below are some of the questions that emerged from the project:

  • How do we speak from our hearts?
  • When is telling our stories healing and transformative? And when is it re-traumatising? And how can we create capacity within ourselves to know the difference?
  • How can voicing and sounding together enable us to find strength in collectivity?
  • How might our experiences differ if moving forward we were deeply connected to our intuition and could knowingly voice our needs and our longings?
  • How can working with the voice lead to personal and social transformation?

Following a two year collaborative process, the group created We Rise: Voice and Survivorship, sharing their experiences and exercises with other survivors*, organisers, and practitioners, who are working towards futures free from violence.

This resource draws on voice as an embodiment practice to reclaim voices, reconnect with bodies, and reshape self-perception and storytelling. It addresses the impact of trauma on one’s ability to express needs and desires and offers embodied ways to listen and imagine collective futures.

We Rise: Voice and Survivorship emerged in response to significant cuts to survivor services over the past thirteen years, which have made it harder for women to leave dangerous situations and heal from trauma. The resource advocates for community and survivor-led initiatives, providing a trauma-informed embodiment practice not widely available in public services.

The resource will be launched at the Women’s Museum in Barking on 4 June 2024 at 5:30pm – 8pm, please email [email protected] if you would like to attend. This event centres the experiences of women and non-binary people, but is open to all folks and allies.

*We use the term women inclusive of all people who identify as women.

* We are grateful to the words of Sisters Uncut when understanding the use of the term ‘survivor’ in the context of this project:

We use the term ‘survivor’ when referring to those who have experienced or are experiencing violence and abuse, but we know that this language isn’t perfect. We recognise the resourcefulness and resistance of those living with the impacts of violence whether in the present or the past. We acknowledge that not everyone who experiences or has experienced abuse defines themselves as a ‘survivor’, and that society may determine who is allowed to identify as one. We also recognise that not everyone does survive domestic, sexual, gendered, and/or state violence; we remember those who haven’t in our fight.

Voice practitioner

Marged Siôn

Workshop facilitation

Layla Gatens, Elizabeth Graham, Marged Siôn, Meenadchi

Poetry

We Rise, Katherine Acevedo-Aricapa, Jasmine Butterfly, Jessica Searle, Kayleigh Tumber

Editors

We Rise, Katherine Acevedo-Aricapa, Jasmine Butterfly, Layla Gatens, Elizabeth Graham, Marged Siôn, Kayleigh Tumber

Copyediting and Proofreading

Pip Rowson

Design

Elisabeth Klement

Illustration

Sofia Niazi

Voice Advisor

Bernadette O’Brien

 

Thank You

Sonia Boyce, Staci Haines, Prentis Hemphill, Amal Khalaf, Barking & Dagenham Domestic Abuse Commission, Barking Learning Centre, Kristin Linklater, New Town Culture, Jessica Searle, Sisters Uncut, Alex Thorp, Liv Wynter and all those who have shaped this resource.

We Rise: Voice and Survivorship is commissioned by Serpentine Civic Projects.

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