Patricia’s Account

I feel very honoured to be a part of The Women’s Voices Project. I joined the project for a Research and Development weekend to perform in the project launch in Durham and Darlington to a diverse audience of policy makers, service providers and women that had contributed to the project so far. It was a great experience seeing how art could provoke and contribute to very important political discussion and could touch people on a personal level.

Afterwards I helped gather the stories through interviewing women in County Durham and Darlington and I will admit at first I was quite nervous. I wasn’t sure if I should ask questions, how to start a conversation or even how I was going to document the conversations. I was pleasantly surprised that it was as simple as talking to someone and listening to what they had to say. The stories I heard were then transcribed and only edited to remove maintain anonymity for the women, which is essential for their safety. I also learned about their favourite cakes most popular were Victoria Sponge and Birthday Cake!

As an artist hearing these stories first hand has made me determined that these stories need to be heard! The stories are in turn personal, violent, heartbreaking, funny, sad and very real. I can’t wait to share them with you as part of our events in September.


Aurelia’s account

Here is Aurelia Smith’s account of our research and development day. Aurelia has been involved since the very early stages of the project.

“It was fascinating for me to witness this idea develop. It was a completely collaborative process but with distinct phases. Firstly there was meeting the women, then the collection of the stories, followed by identifying the themes and now we are at the stage of developing a piece of work which will be fine tuned in rehearsals.” Aurelia Smith. 

Our Research and Development Day

We had a research and development day on Thursday 14th August 2014 where we read all the stories we had gathered and explored the themes that many of the stories had in common as well as identifying what made each story so unique. Reading each story was as we went on a journey with the woman that told the story and we were incredibly moved by the honesty and bravery in each story. After reading the stories we spent a long time discussing how we could make a performance event that would stay true to these stories and to make the women we worked with proud. By the end of the day we had the beginnings of some very exciting ideas that we can’t wait to share with you. Patricia Suarez.