Shame and self-blame are common culturally mediated responses of minoritised women with experiences of sexual violence, and this is a huge barrier in being able to talk about experiences and access support. This project aimed to take a step towards focusing on empowering survivors of violence and abuse and provide a platform to amplify the voices of survivors through a creative arts collaboration and occupying a self-care-based approach.
Not My Shame was an art-therapy initiative which successfully facilitated healing by recipients of abuse. Five participants shed feelings of shame and self-blame by producing poems and other creative output during creative writing workshops, facilitated by Andreena Leeanne. The project was hosted by the Maya Centre (a community-based women’s charity), in collaboration with their Women’s Hub project. This included their Women’s Hub Manager as well as a therapist that was present at the workshops. Following this, a zine was created by Zoe Thompson (founder of Sweet-Thang zine). The zine is a collaboration of the work produced by the participants of the self-care workshops and captures the work they were able to produce.
The zine was launched and celebrated at the Science Gallery London which brought together facilitators, participants, and creators to share the creative work with a wider audience. The participants of the workshops shared written poetry and Andreena delivered a short well-being activity based on positive affirmation cards.
Some quotes from the event and around the project: