I’m about to embark on a new arts activism project called Restless - read on to find out more....
Restless is what it says on the tin. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and as a woman who lives in a society that still wants to sweep the scale and extent of abuse and violence under the carpet - I am restless for change.
My new arts project is a campaign and protest and also an attempt to bring survivor voices (including my own) into greater visibility and community. So much abuse and violence happens in private, behind closed doors, the victims isolated, coerced and silenced, the shame, the secrecy, the fear - all making it incredibly difficult to forge community and find our voices.
With an estimated 11 million adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the UK (take it in - it’s not a typo - it’s 11 million) and two women a week murdered by violent partners and ex-partners - there is no place for societal denial and taboo propping up abusive power relationships anymore.
The most radical thing I feel I can do as a survivor is speak out, connect, rise up and call for change - each of us do that as and only when we are ready - as and only when we feel safe and supported enough.
For me that moment is now.
Stage one of the research project is an 86 mile walk along the Dorset Coast Path - walking with other survivors, artists and allies - walking in protest in a long tradition of marginalised and oppressed people voting with their feet, using the most primal means of movement to express opposition and solidarity and demand change.
You can find out more about the project on the Restless page of this website, where you can also find details of our participation day for survivors and allies on 12th August 2018. Me and my producer, friend and ally Sarah Blowers will be posting blogs here everyday - WiFi permitting.
Join us in body, online or in your thoughts.
I'll be posting my personal reflections on creating work as an artist with mental health needs, my work with the wider sector and interesting developments in arts and mental health