Drama Workshops have been running, to create a drama performance called 'The Journey'. 'The Journey' has been performed at Blackburne House and the Liverpool Museum, and has given the women opportunity to grow in confidence, and to be given a platform to share their personal stories.
The drama was a collaboration between the Toxteth Women’s Centre and Lina Sebuyange from the theatre company I am a Voice. The drama workshops came about because of a desire to see the women empowered and to give them space to explore their feelings and emotions. As the women slowly started to share their thoughts they began to see that they are incredibly strong women that have endued hard situations. Words that they had spoken over themselves for years like ‘I’m nothing, I’m just a mum’ or ‘I’m ugly and fat’ were replaced with ‘I am loved and I am beautiful’.
There were lots of tears and laughter over the weeks as the women processed their thoughts and feelings; the women were determined to share their story and wrote the drama.
"I had such a good time. I really enjoyed there and the teacher was so friendly, and it was a new experience for me."
"We feel proud on ourselves that we can do everything everywhere."
"It helps us to bring ourselves from the shell."
- Participants in 'the Journey' performance
"It was very moving. What made it so moving and emotional was the following: I often felt emotions rise when seeing the suffering of refugees and their struggle when reported by others on TV, and now for the first time felt that I was meeting them face to face and hearing their voice telling me their story. What made it more powerful and moving was that they were women telling me their story.
Women made a great impact because you rarely hear women of Arabic countries being outspoken… but now they were talking loud and clear, telling their own story. It makes me think of my home country when black South Africans for the first time in many years were no longer treated by law as second class citizens when they received the right to vote in the first democratic election after Mandela’s release."
- Dean Saunders
"The performance was very moving.
I felt very privileged to be able to hear the often difficult journeys of the participants in the drama. I felt that it was very brave of them to share their experiences.
I believe that the women who participated in this project demonstrated the trust they have in TWC, and they feel it is a safe space for them. I saw a genuine warmth in the women’s relationships with each other and their English teachers and friends made at TWC and I am so thankful that this work is happening in Liverpool, which inevitably breaks down potential barriers between communities amidst challenging times."
"To say I’m proud of the women is an understatement; I was bursting with pride seeing the women perform and share their story. I am humbled by their determination and their strength to overcome situations; many of the women have faced huge obstacles and often not only have their voices not been heard but also their rights ignored.
The women were scared about performing but were rightly proud of themselves for not only performing but performing with men in the audience, what an achievement!"
- Felicity Dobrushi
TWC Centre Manager