Empowerment by Art (2008-2012)

Category: Projects

A long-term project implemented in four cycles.

The overall goal of the first project cycle (March – July 2008) was raising the level of general information and education of women with and without disabilities. Women with disabilities had an opportunity to disclose types and kinds of discrimination using creative workshops as a tool for it. By engaging in artistic creation, they have spoken about their own social position in an authentic women’s voice.

Over the course of the following three cycles, the project was focused on women’s sexuality.

The second cycle dealt with women’s bodies. One of the results of project participants’ creative activities is a video entitled PERSONAL + INNER + SOCIAL + CLIMATIC + ETHEREAL = MY BODY. The video contains authentic participants’ stories and their dance and movement improvisations the elements of which had been discovered during the workshops. The video is a documentary and represents a recording of a social, historical and personal moment in the participants’ personal histories. This project cycle ended in a public performance and photo exhibition of women with and without disabilities (on 21 December 2010).

The third cycle (September  2010 – February  2011) resulted in an applied theatrical play entitled My Name is the Unspoken evolving from a series of psychological and theatrical workshops aiming at discussing women’s sexuality as a non-taboo issue. The project and workshop participants, women with and without disabilities, expressed their both their position and their readiness for conquering equality. Women’s sexuality, especially that of women with disabilities, is a matter of silence and denial. Artistic expression provides an opportunity to articulate, (re)define, accept, problematize and share with the public sexual experience that could otherwise not be spoken of. The bravest among the participants stood before an audience to tell about the Unspoken Of and to challenge prejudice publicly. The play was staged once a month in the CK13 Youth Center and it used to end in a open dialogue with the Novi Sad audience. Its director was Ivana Inđin, while the actors who took to the stage were Jelena Zdravković and Tanja Đurić.

The fourth cycle was implemented in the form of psychological workshops aimed at empowering women with and without disabilities, as well as arts and creative workshops collecting unique material later to be used for writing a theatrical piece concerning sexuality of women with disabilities, as well as creation and distribution of a workshop manual concerning women’s sexuality.

Funded by: Mama Cash, Reconstruction Women’s Fund, City of Novi Sad – Culture Department.

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