The Body Takes Me Home: Creative Writing Workshop for Survivors of Violence

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Sunday April 30th, 1pm-6pm
University of Victoria, Lekwungen & W̱SÁNEĆ territories
Co-presented with The Anti-Violence Project
Facilitators: mia susan amir & Ria Nishikawara

Applications due April 21, 11:59pm
Selected applicants will be notified by Mon April 24
Apply here!

Workshop Description


Our bodies are wise.

As survivors of violence, our bodies create ingenious strategies to help us cope with the impact of traumatic events. For some of us, our bodies tuck the wounds that experiences of violence leave us with, into our skin, our muscle, our fascia, our sinew, our bones. There, our bodies hold the stories for us.

In their resourceful creativity, our bodies look for ways to protect us from further harm. For some of us our bodies become sensitive receptors, always awake and analyzing the environment for potential risk. For others among us our bodies become still and quiet, to dull our fear, to simply feel less. Many of us traverse the wide spectrum between. For many of us our bodies rarely have the opportunity to speak their stories.

The Body Takes Me Home is an interdisciplinary creative writing workshop for those of us ready to explore how our bodies have responded to experiences of violence, and who are curious about the possibilities for healing and transformation that exist in interpreting our embodied knowings through writing and creative practice.

What to Expect


Using readings, as well as exercises that draw from Theatre of the Oppressed and Authentic Movement, in combination with writing prompts, and processes emerging from Expressive Arts Therapy, we will:

  • Tap into body-based awareness
  • Explore the ways our bodies have made the world safe-enough for us to live in
  • Explore our bodies as carriers of story
  • Engage practices of embodied imagination to begin to write a story we feel ready to tell
  • Work with impulse and boundaries to generate new possibilities for relating to the knowings of our bodies

On Our Process


  • We will work individually, in partners, in small groups, and as a large group
  • We will co-create a safer space through the development of community agreements, and by bringing an awareness of our own triggers, needs, and self-care practices to the workshop
  • Exercises will centre access to support a variety of learning styles and ways of participating
  • There will be one writing assignment that participants will need to complete before the workshop

 

This Workshop is For


  • Individuals who are 18+, who self-identify as survivors of violence, who are invested in exploring embodied creative practice as a tool for healing and transformation. You must be willing and able to participate in group-based work. No prior experience as an artist is necessary.
  • This workshop is premised on the understanding that the violence many of us face is inseparable from intersecting systems of oppression. As such this workshop challenges approaches that pathologize survivors of violence. Further, this workshop will prioritize the participation those who identify as, IBPOC, LGBTQI, Two Spirit, gender nonconforming, disabled, chronically ill, crazy, neurodiverse, poor, as well as those organizing in the context of social, cultural, racial, gender, and environmental justice.
  • Those wishing to participate should have established practices around self-care in relationship to triggers.

 

Cost


Participation in this workshop is $0.00 – $25.00, sliding scale. Those earning a living wage should consider paying the full amount.

 

Accessibility


  • In order to create an inclusive and safe environment for members of our community who live with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, this workshop will be scent/fragrance free.
  • ASL interpretation will be provided upon request.
  • Further accessibility information regarding the venue will become available soon.
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