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June 2019

The Social Bite Women’s Group The Women’s Creative Company

Stories to Survive t


Stories to Survive to

A Moment’s Peace has a long history of working with women across Glasgow. At each turn we re-discover the way in which women’s experiences and expertise are undervalued, side-lined and often made invisible. Stories to Survive to – alongside our forthcoming project Resisters – is our productive and creative response to this silencing; facilitating processes and creating work that draw women out of the margins and into the centre, whilst building solidarity and peer networks that strengthen individual and community capacity.

Participants/ Authors

Stories to Survive To brings together our oldest group The Women’s Creative Company, and our newest collaborators Social Bite’s Women’s Group. Between March and June 2019 the two groups have worked with Fringe First Award winning playwright Lynda Radley to create and present short pieces of new writing that tell stories of resilience and hope; that celebrate the strength of women pushed to the margins. The project has focused upon developing participants’ imaginative voices and crafting individual and collective experiences into performative stories. Rose Daly Shazia Shabbir Donna Miller Dania Thomas Agnes Mitchell S. Sadaf Aninar Margaret McMillan Annie Love Johanna Gray Veronica

Rosa Alexander Carolina Perez Uma Bashir Tina Spence Margaret McKellar Tracy Polson Linda Tulloch Angie McTague Linda Lyons Bridget

Ndey Faye Kirsty Hunter Margaret Morrison Ann Rodger Evelyn Ringrow Janice Michelle Amanda Paula

This publication provides us with an opportunity to bring the work of the two groups together, and created a route through which we hope the work can begin a conversation with a wider audience. #StoriesToSurviveTo

Supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and funded by The Robertson Trust, the Tampon Tax Community Fund, administered by Foundation Scotland. In partnership with Social Bite.


It has been my pleasure to work with the women of Social Bite and The Women’s Creative Company. We’ve explored stories of survival, achievement and triumph. We’ve worked from images and created interesting and complex characters. We’ve lost ourselves in stories, and shared pieces of our own lives. We’ve learned skills, and grown in confidence to speak and be heard. Both communities of women are supportive and encouraging of each other, and both spaces provide that now rare thing: a place where folk can go for free, to be together and listen to each other. My sincere thanks to everyone who has worked on this project.

Lynda Radley Lead Artist


Broken Wings Will Heal by Uma The Women’s Creative Company

A young girl Sat in a summer garden, surrounded by others. Her family at her Auntie’s house. The sound of chirping birds fills the air, then: silence. The young girl zones out. Rays of sunshine beaming on her face. The young girl reflects on the events of the past: a broken home, domestic abuse, oppression, arguing. Words echo from the arguments : “Do you not know what I have done for you?” A guilt trip. Then suddenly: nothingness. No thoughts, no feelings, just in the moment. Until the young girl notices a blossoming rose: the deepest royal red ever seen. Then a brightly coloured butterfly lands on the rose. The young girl thinks: “It looks so beautiful and free: how? For it must feel pain like me: yet it looks so effortless and free”. From this point onwards, the young girl makes a promise to herself: “Life is a test, but I will always do my best because I am beautiful, just like the butterfly, and one day, I will grow wings”.

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The Social Bite Women’s Group

Katherine Switzer in the Boston Marathon

Runners There are men pushing a woman. “Capture the runner” Someone from the sidelines pushing her out of the race. A couple of guys shoving him away. It’s all men, and one woman. Wee man behind a pole, smiling. Why on earth would he be smiling? It doesn’t seem right to me. Some men are helping her. And some men are hurting her. Some feel threatened. She thinks:

“I don’t care. I’m going to keep going. It isn’t fair.” Anger. Discrimination. I don’t think that’s right. See, if they tried that with me?

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The Wee Girl from Bible Class by Jo The Women’s Creative Company

My bible studies teacher. He had nothing to say to me. He completely ignored me. He would say things that weren’t true, but he would say them as if they were just to make you laugh. But when challenged he would say they were true. Basically, he never said anything serious, always full of lies. He was tall, overweight, with a big personality, mouthy, thought he was the bee’s knees. A businessman. Full of banter to sell you things. Had a flashy car with seatbelts. I always felt I was being conned. He played the piano, and he liked to have a gaggle of girls around him. He made me feel inadequate. Too quiet. Too boring. Unable to ask question. Not taken seriously. Voice not heard. Always asked to prepare the food. I felt I was no good.

Him: So, Jo, when is your wee brother going to grow a beard like your dad? Jo: Don’t know. Him: Why don’t you just eat your hat!? Jo: Ha, ha, ha. Him: Barbara is sitting in the front of my new car this week. Jo: Why? Him: Because it’s got seatbelts unlike your dad’s old banger, ha, ha, ha. Jo: Ha, ha. Him: I’ll be playing Old Johanna… Johanna! Pause Can you prepare the food for the Bible class since you’re quite the little woman? Jo: OK. Some years later… he barges into the wrong room. A woman is speaking at a podium. Him: Hi, sorry I’m late. Is this the business seminar? Woman: No! Sit down. Shhhh! Him: You’re right. It wouldn’t be business. It’s a female speaker. Woman: Very funny. Shhhh! Him: What’s she selling? Sandwiches? Woman: No, she’s a bestselling author. Him: Really?! Self-published, I assume. Ha, ha, ha. Woman: No, it’s the Jo Gray. Him: What’s Jo short for? Joseph? She has balls! Woman: No. Johanna. Him: She looks very familiar. She’s very witty. Woman: Yes, she’s was a “nobody” from Dunfermline. Him: You’re joking. I’m from Dunfermline. Woman: Really? Him: She was the wee girl with no voice in my Bible class. Woman: Well, now she’s a world-renowned public speaker in feminist circles. 4


by Linda Tulloch, Kirsty, Ndey and Tracy The Social Bite Women’s Group

Call Centre

A call centre. Sad. Regimented. Everybody concentrated on their computers. Head sets in. Very close together. Trying to listen to somebody and something else in your ear. Beep, beep, beep. Customer service, emergency service or just those people who make annoying calls. She is working to support herself but her mind is elsewhere. She looks so tired. Black lines. Tired eyes. No life in her eyes. In her twenties. Downcast and fed up. Headphones in. Hand against cheek to comfort herself. She’s had enough. Isolated in her booth.

She had a bad fight with her boyfriend last night. She’s down because this is her full time job. She’s being naughty and looking at clothes shops on the internet. Something to take her mind off the place. She would like to be doing anything but this. Be anywhere but this Wishes she was shopping with her friends. Wishes she could work in beauty or fashion. Rather be outside than here. She’s a city girl. A Bridget Jones type. Living with some other girls. Nowhere fancy. She likes her Boss, fancies him. She has that boyfriend but the Boss is exciting because he’s married. She’s fed up with her life and bored in general. She’s confused. It’s a secret.

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She dreams of a car and a holiday. A great big ship to take her away. I’d like to see her smile and be happy. I’d like something nice to happen. I’d like to see her leave work and jump into Penelope Pitstop’s pink car.


Through The Thatch by Dania The Women’s Creative Company

It was late. Dark, very dark that night. The village was quiet but tense after they heard about the Hindu boy who was stabbed. The huts in the small hamlet huddled together. She was safe between Abba and Ammi on the rope khatia, but fear in the pit of her stomach made her rigid. Ammi patted her, humming her favourite song, faster than usual through broken breaths.The banging on the door rattled and shook the hut. “Kholo, kholo, open up,” voices shouted. “Kaun, who is it?” Abba shouted back, as he got up to answer. “Nahi, Nahi, please don’t open…they will kill us!” Ammi pleaded futilely. “Theek hai…they will not harm us when we have a child.” Abba patted her gently as he moved towards the door, feeling his way in the faint light. Ammi cried softly and held her close. Time stood still…before the door burst open and the room glowed with the fire. It was a few moments before they felt the heat. The fire caught the clothes rack and Ammi screamed. The men rushed in. Her dad fell to the floor silent, still. Her mum pushed her out through the thatch wall into the night air. It was cold and someone grabbed her and ran across the fields. The stale smell of food, sweat and cow dung was reassuring. She felt safe and held. “Ammi Ammi, Abba…” She cried. “CHUP, Shush, shush. Quiet. They are looking for us.” The man held his hand over her mouth and covered her body with some cloth. She heard other voices. The earlier smells receded, replaced by a fresher, detergent odour. She felt the car pull away…. 6


by Linda Tulloch, Kirsty, Tracy, Margaret and Ann The Social Bite Women’s Group

Marie

In the Doctor’s office we meet Marie: Doctor: I’ve put you on the waiting list for a cycle of IVF, Marie. Marie: How long will that take? Doctor: Anything up to eighteen months. You need to cut back on your units of alcohol. No binge drinking. You don’t smoke, do you? Marie: Course I don’t. (Aside to the audience) We just won’t mention all the vaping I do. What are the chances of success? Doctor: At your age? About 30%. Losing some weight would help. Marie: How much would it cost if we went private? (Aside to the audience) Whatever it costs I won’t be able to afford it. Doctor: Anything between three and nine thousand pounds. Marie: Will it be faster? Is there a better chance if I go privately? Or should I stick with the NHS. After all Boris Johnson says it’s going to have loads more money now! The Doctor laughs. Doctor: We could certainly do with it. Look, no matter which way you go you want to do the best you can to maximise your chances. You should try not to be stressed. Here’s some information about counselling. Marie: I might pop along to that. (Aside to the audience) I probably won’t. I feel a bit embarrassed. Doctor, is it true what they say about red wine being medicinal? Doctor: Not in pregnancy, no. Marie sits at a bus stop. She feels vulnerable and sad. She knows she has to change: Maire: David really wants kids. It’s the only thing we don’t have. I feel scared. What if I can’t do it? It’s a lot to give up. Will he love me less because of it? Course it’s the woman that has to do all the work. As usual. The following day at work, Marie is working in her boring job. She’s having a snack. Boss: Is the diet starting on Monday, Marie? Marie: You don’t need to be like that. Boss: I’m only joking. Marie: That’s not a joke, saying that to somebody. Boss: Just get on with your work. Marie: Do you know what, I’ve had it with this place. And with your attitude. To hell with you! Boss: Where are you going to go? Marie: I’m going to do something better with my life.

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Cut to the weekend and we see four bridesmaids, yellow bridesmaid’s dresses. Marie is one of them. She is out in front, clearly storming off. With a face like fizz. The three others all look the same. Three friends who know each other very well. They are the perfect girls. But Marie is different. Her hair is different. She is not the perfect size. She doesn’t look like she’s enjoying the day. So far at least. In the morning, getting ready, the perfect bridesmaids say things like: “Oh no, we have to sit with her! Look at that tan. She’s bright orange! Did nobody tell her? Catriona should have told her to lay off the cakes! She never stopped eating at the hen. She’s going to need a table to herself!” And they laugh. But our Marie is a strong one. She’s not staying with them. She’s got confidence. Sweary words in a thought bubble over her head. “Fuck them!” She’s going to leave the venue in the middle of the day, storm into the nearest pub and have a couple of vodkas. She thinks: “Today’s my last blow out. I just really want to have a good time. I have to lose weight before the IVF. But tonight I’m going to eat what I want, and drink what I want and then everything starts tomorrow. It’s going to work. I just know it is. I’m bigger than those girls talking about me.” At the reception she gives it welly on the dance floor. Head up high. Hot Lips. Chain Reaction. It’s Raining Men.

I WILL SURVIVE. Later we meet Marie again, as she sits in the hospital and looks at her baby. Marie: I did it. I’m a different person. A mum. That was hard work, but you were so worth it. Marie’s card making business takes off online. Her husband is a hands-on Dad and he stays at home with their baby. She juggles everything, which is hard but she has it under control. Her old boss is now working for her. But he keeps messing about on the internet instead of doing his job. She’s thinking of giving him the sack… 8


by Annie The Women’s Creative Company

Looking for Help

She is sitting, waiting to be seen. Her children are with her in the waiting room. She is called forward, and approaches a man behind a desk. Man: Mrs Brown? Mrs Brown: Yes, sir. Man: Right, tell me why you’re here. Mrs Brown: I’ve left my husband, but I’ve been staying with my sister for the last few months. Man: Are you still living there? Mrs Brown: No, her husband wanted us out. The children are getting on his nerves. I’ve been walking the streets trying to find somewhere to stay. Man: Why don’t you go back home? Mrs Brown: I can’t. Man: Why? Does your husband beat you? Mrs Brown: No. Well, not all the time. It’s the weans, they get him angry. Man: Does he work? Mrs Brown: Yes. Man: Well, I can’t see why you are walking the streets. Your man works, you have a home. There’s many people out there who would love to be in your position. Go back to your man and don’t waste our time. How many children are there? Mrs Brown: Six, but I just can’t go back there with them. Man: Sorry, we can’t help you here. Have a nice day.

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A Woman Waits in a Courtroom by Linda Tulloch, Tracy, Kirsty, Ndey and Janice The Social Bite Women’s Group

A young woman And she is feeding a baby. A fawn coat. She looks vulnerable, Poor. A courtroom. New York in the past. The courtroom is empty, She’s the only one there, Just before it starts. The baby looks settled. The baby doesn’t know what’s going on. But the woman’s hands look worried, Clenched. She’s looking to see who is coming in the door. The room feels lonely, Panicked, Worrying. They might be trying to say that she’s done something. But I don’t think she’s done anything wrong. She’s waiting on a decision coming back. What’s going to happen next? She’s looking for someone to help her.

“We’re going to improve your living conditions”. She must be fighting for her life. She looks vulnerable. But I think she’s got strength too. ‘Cause her head is up. She’s petrified, but she’s there for her baby.

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by Shazia The Women’s Creative Company

Detention

I was hungry, thirsty, and crying. I was in so much despair and with hopeless feelings. I felt different. The smells were mixed up. I can’t give any name. Chemicals, food, paint… The officers were moving with heavy shoes. They were giggling and in a happy mood. The room was so cold, and I was feeling thirsty. I did not know what was going to happen next. My visa expired and I applied for asylum. I did not know what the consequences will be. I was so fearful, and I didn’t know what to do.

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A Nurse in Uniform by Tina, Margaret and Angie The Social Bite Women’s Group

A nurse in uniform 1910’s Army guys behind her. She is holding a book of do’s and don’t for her job. She’s in a city. Victorian buildings. She’s young. She’s happy. Though sometimes she’s down, apprehensive. But she likes being a nurse. Helping people. Horses, carts, ambulances go by. She’s surrounded by men. Waiting for the next siren to sound. She full of fear and excitement. Brave and content. She gets rushed back to cleaning wounds. Maybe saving someone’s life. Afterwards she relaxes by sleeping Going out for a jig. She has a wee bottle of something hiding somewhere. She will go up the ranks and become a matron. Or a doctor. Why not?

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by Margaret The Women’s Creative Company

She Dances

Her heart is lifted as she dances To the rhythm of the music Her heart feels enlightened By the feelings of joy She is bare footed on the floor As the beats surround her Twirling and turning The way she danced a long time ago Remembering the lyrics from her yesteryear Happy memories encrust her heart Of times and places Where she heard these songs before And also of the people she was with And the venues they were in Her hair flows freely As she shakes her head And her hips gyrate from side to side She listens intently to the words in her ears The melodies The ballads The dance tracks The love songs Rock and roll Rhythm and blues Classical She loves them all Each genre of music Defined in its own style The variation of artists Who sing so melancholy Thrills her Therefore She dances

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Juggling

Right, that’s me washed and dressed. I’ll get the boys up and feed them while I do my make-up. Better wake him up while I’m at it. Wish he would just get the bus to work. Right, that’s my make-up done, and the boys finished their cereal. Cameron, you get dressed. Kieran, you come over here and I’ll dress you!

by Donna The Women’s Creative Company

Buzz. The alarm, I just wish I could lie in. It’s never going to happen. I better jump.

ALLAN! Will you move?! If you don’t get up, we are leaving without you. Come on, Cameron, don’t stop, keep moving! You can go to dinner hall today; I haven’t made up a packed lunch. ALLAN, that’s us going out the door! Every morning it’s the same thing. I fucking hate him. How can he not just get the bus like everyone else?! I’m just gonna leave, so I am! If he’s not down here by the time I get the weans strapped in, I’m leaving. Ahh, here he comes. Idiot. Arsehole. Thank God that’s him dropped off. Hope there’s not a lot of traffic at Shawlands.Right, Kieran, out you get. Hope he goes in alright today. I’ve no time for taking him in over and over again. Right, Cameron, out you come! (At my brother’s house) (Getting dropped at work by my brother) Right, I’m working till 6 tonight, see you then. Made it for 9:15, that’s quite good. 15 minutes off the limit. The phone rings. “It’s for you. It’s your brother.” (Taking the phone) What’s wrong? You know how your handbrake was broken and you said to park it in gear? Yes! Well, I did that. But it’s a roasting day so I left the windows down in the car. The weans climbed in through the window and were jumping about in it – and they knocked it out of gear. I was sitting in my living room and I just saw the car going past my window with the two boys in a panic. Jumping up and down and screaming. It’s not too bad. It just rolled into a hedge! 15


What does survival mean to you?

When you spend your childhood just getting through the day, you realise you missed out on quite a lot. Home was a dark place. But you would close the door behind you and be all smiles. Everyone thought you were okay. I used to say I had a head full of words, but no voice.

The way music can save you from a dark moment: turning on the radio and hearing songs that lift you out of despair. I am a cancer survivor. They don’t say I’m in remission. They say that there is no trace because it’s not curable. But they are learning more all the time. So maybe by the time it comes back things will have moved on. When I was told I had cancer I said that I could not die for at least ten years because my daughter was only fifteen at the time. I stay positive. Home is something that helps people to survive and continue. But it’s always people, it’s never a location. And it can be a momentary thing. It can be hard to find the place where there is an emotional feeling of home. It can be food shared, a cup of tea. Some people feel sorry for me. They look at me like I must be dead. But I’m not dead. I’m surviving here. People want to box you in. Label you. They think that’s how to help you. Or medicate you. But the groups that are not fee paying, that are here to help the community, like Writing for Fearties at Glasgow Women’s Library, and this group. Things like this are changing my perspective.

Working with older folk: people who don’t know where they are, who they are. But when the music starts they are like flowers, opening up. People who don’t speak are suddenly singing. It is food for the soul. 16


What helps?

Gardening Photography Drama Poetry Singing Enjoying people It brings you out of yourself Realising that you’re not the only one in the boat People who lift you up and empower you Learning skills to look after yourself Age helps you survive Not caring what anyone thinks

I enjoy myself. I was shy, but now I talk to people.

It’s a get together. You hear other people’s ideas on things. The workshops have been enjoyable, something different. And everybody’s ideas get put in.

It gives me confidence, meeting people and getting to socialise. And learning things. I like getting to know everyone. Achieving tasks. Every bit of it I like. See when I went away last week I was looking forward to coming back to do this play.

It’s good being involved because I’m normally a volunteer. Working, developing something. Watching people’s imagination grow. It’s really motivated people. And myself as well.

What does this group mean to you?

It’s stability, routine. It’s always there. If you need anything or help, especially from Ewain (Social Bite support worker), you can always speak to him about it.

I have enjoyed it. My confidence is a lot better.

It means a lot to me. Makes me feel so good. I have depression but everybody in here makes me feel different. I’m in the community. 17


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by Margaret, Tina, Angie and Linda Lyons The Social Bite Women’s Group

Michelle

Michelle is a seamstress. She works from a room in her home, and has done since she was very young, to support her family. She has had to look after her brothers and sisters, and she became a mother too young herself. She came into this family when she was a small child. She remembers living in the countryside before that and then she was taken to the city. Nobody asked her if it was okay, if she wanted to go. She was scared. The day she was introduced to her “new parents” she was terrified. They put her to work straight away. She remembers her wedding to her first husband. She didn’t want to marry him but her parents insisted. He came from a good, well-off family, which was good for the family business and reputation. However, today her lover enters the room. She is surprised but happy. They usually meet in secret but today he has come to the shop. She worries about people seeing them in public together. The lover is fed up pretending he is a customer, he wants to go public about their relationship. Michelle is scared. Does she do it or not? So much to gain and lose. What if her husband, who is away in the war, comes back?

A man barges through the door.

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Michelle: Hello, how can I help you? Robert: I’m here to collect my suit: you said you would alter it for me. Is it ready yet? Michelle: Almost. Just a few finishing touches. (She gets up to close the door) Robert what are you doing here?! We can’t be seen in such a public place together. People will talk. Robert: It’s OK don’t worry. I’m here as a customer. Perhaps we can meet again later though: is it possible to see you again? Michelle: Yes, maybe later tonight. I need to wait until the children are asleep. I hate leaving them in case they wake up. Robert: I can meet you by the duck pond about 9:30 pm. I have something to tell you. I may need your help. Michelle: I don’t understand. Help with what? What has happened? Are you in any trouble? Robert: The bank have offered me a senior position and I wanted to talk to you about it. Michelle: That’s brilliant news. I’m so happy for you. When do you have to leave? I will miss you though. Robert: What? Miss me? That’s exactly why I’m here, silly! Michelle: What do you mean? I don’t understand. Robert: This is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. We can finally run away and be together. Michelle: But what about the children? Robert: I love them as much as I love you. Because they are a part of you. Let’s do this!


Later… Michelle: I don’t know what to say! Are you serious? I mean there’s so much to think about. Robert: Like what? Michelle: The children can’t just leave school! And what would people say? I am still a married woman, remember? And what about me? What would I do? Robert: Well, you don’t have to do anything. I will take care of everything. You don’t have to work anymore. Michelle: Oh, I still want to work and earn my own money. Robert: But why? I can give you everything you need. Michelle: So I can have something of my own. Robert: Hmm, that’s not really how I had planned things, but is that what you want? Michelle: Yes, it’s important to me. I need to know I can also support myself. Robert: We need to think about planning this properly. Let’s meet tonight. Usual place? Robert waits in the park. Ten minutes later, he is still waiting... After what seems like a lifetime, Michelle arrives. Robert: You made it! I thought you might have changed your mind... Michelle: It’s a lot to think about... Robert: Look, I haven’t been completely honest with you. The change is probably bigger than you imagined. My new job is actually stationed overseas in New York. I don’t want to go on my own. I need you to come with me. Will you? Michelle: The thing is, I’ve had a letter from France. He’s been injured quite badly and won’t be able to come home for a few months yet, certainly not before Christmas. They both pause and think to themselves. Both: This could be the perfect opportunity.

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by Rose The Women’s Creative Company

Hospital Waiting Room

Didn’t they know that this was an emergency? There she was in this stupid room, watching, listening, waiting. Standing, sitting, shuffling… “Sit down”, he said, as gently as possible given the situation. “It’s his fault anyhow”, she thought. “If it wasn’t for him and his stupid…” “Miss P”, the nurse called, “This way”. He jumped to his feet and grabbed her arm, a little more gently than last time. “Wait here”, the nurse said efficiently, probably desperate to get home. “You’ll be seen as soon as possible”. Tic, tic, tic, tic. Grey walls, grey floor and those bloody curtains! Tic, tic, tic, tic. She looked at him closer and realised how old he’d gotten. He also needed a shave. He was actually quite ugly, if you looked close enough. Tic, tic, tic. “So many things going on in my brain, the heart beat deep inside seems to be keeping time…” Tic, beat, toc, beat. “Tic…tic…beat. Aha! It’s like a wee symphony!” Tic, beat, toc, beat, tic, thump…tic…tic. “He looks wild. He cannot hear my tune. My song is mine and can only be changed if I allow it…” Tic, tic. “Where is the thump and the beat of the heart? Where has it gone?” Tic… “The tic is slowing down I’m sure.” The pain shot around her like a violent internal storm. She knew. …tic…tic…tic. It was gone. No one needed to come and tell her. Her baby was now gone.

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A Bar At The Folies-Bergère The Social Bite Women’s Group

A woman. A barmaid. A moon and a sun. Chandeliers Oranges and tangerines. It’s Christmas. A mirror reflecting her. People all around. In for a wee drink. They’ve got champagne And bottles of beer. A man there too. Opposite. Speaking to her. Waiting to be served. Or is he the Boss? A whale bone corset. Could be she’s in pain.

“Hurry up, my feet are killing me”. She wants to go home. Looks a bit sad. In her own wee world Thinking of other things

“Get out, get out!” She just gets on with it. A job, she has to do it. It’s the last orders now.

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by Carolina The Women’s Creative Company

The Lemon Dress

A woman with a small baby knocks on her neighbour’s door. “I’m so sorry”, she says as another woman answers. “I feel terrible.” The woman smiles, “That’s okay, I was only trying to help. How is the little one doing?” “Yeah, she’s doing ok, never stops eating though. Look, I didn’t mean to offend you…I realise how that was an extremely kind thing to do and I am grateful. It’s just... That’s not how we do things in my country. I’m still learning how things work here.” “Are the clothes okay, do they fit her?” “Yes, especially the little lemon dress. She will look so lovely in the summer. Thank you.” “Look, I know you won’t have much. I’ve been watching the situation about your country on the news. I want to help.” This is a true story. And that wee baby was me.

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An Act of Kindness by Sadaf The Women’s Creative Company

First time in Glasgow, one rainy day. I go on my way and I am thinking about my son’s birthday gift. How to get a gift, what will he want? Suddenly, I see a bicycle shop. I go in and ask how much a bicycle would cost, but it is too expensive. The shop owner calls me and gives me three gift packs. He surprised me. It was expensive, but it was so nice of him. I don’t know why he did it. I think it was arranged by God.

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The Social Bite Women’s Group

The First Mother in Space

A female astronaut, She’s in space, You can tell by the look in her eyes. There’s a reflection in her helmet: Concentrated, Focussed, One hundred per cent there. She’s pretty. And pretty young. Dark hair, Dark eyes, In her helmet like she’s in a goldfish bowl. She looks excited. She’s seeing something she’s not seen before. Is she wondering about how she gets back? Maybe she’s glad she’s not doing the dishes As far from all that as possible. “I hope the sitter is watching the weans”. “I hope I get to come back.” Watch this space.

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Swimmer The Social Bite Women’s Group

A determined swimming person Achieving. Happy with the attempt. In a race or competition, Contented. Calm.

“I’m going to do this.” “I’m cracking this.” A strong swimmer, No protections for the eyes. She wants to enjoy it. It must be cold, but she’s concentrating on the swimming. It’s exhausting But there is freedom and peace in the water. She can forget anything else that’s going on, Anything difficult in her life. She belongs in there. Gritty. Focused. The end is in sight.

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by Ndey, Sandra and Evelyn The Social Bite Women’s Group

Aretha

Aretha works as an airhostess but likes to sing in private. When we first meet her she is waiting to get a train to go to church for Christmas. She is going to be singing in the church. She is happy to be going home. She was born in the ghetto of Washington DC. She grew up with lots of friends and family but there wasn’t much to eat. Even though it was a happy life. Growing up she worked very hard. Years before this she really enjoyed singing: she was focussed more on singing than school when she was growing up. But she left school because she was pregnant with a man’s baby who she met in church. She did have the baby but wasn’t married to the man. It was really hard: she couldn’t focus on singing anymore because she was pregnant. Her friends and family didn’t accept the pregnancy. The church didn’t like it and she wasn’t able to sing there. She needed to change her life. She couldn’t sing and needed money. She also wanted to travel. She wanted to leave the city. So she became an airhostess. She has missed her first train and is thinking about going home and her ten yearold-son who is being raised with her family. She is excited that today she will be singing in a new church. She feels like she has come back after travelling the world to sing because that is what she is born to do. That night when she is singing in the church there is a record producer there. He asks her for a trial to see whether she has a powerful voice. She does have a powerful voice. She’s got the voice and the record deal, but the thing stopping her from international fame is her concern for her child.

28


Aretha and James’ apartment. Their son is asleep in his bedroom. Aretha has just come back from church. Aretha: (entering) I’m so excited James! I have so much to tell you! I got a record deal! James: What do you mean about a record deal? Aretha: This is not like singing in the church. This is professional music. I’m going to be a big music singer! James: How did this happen? You mean singing with a big band? Aretha: I’m going to earn a lot of money! This is the future for me and my family. A man heard me singing in church and he’s from a record label and he offered me a deal. James: Yeah, that’s good. If it’s a good deal, that’s ok. Aretha: You don’t sound very happy. James: If you go everywhere in the world with this record deal how will I manage with the child? Take him to school and bring him home? Aretha: I have to take this deal otherwise I will lose it. Just let me do what I’m good at. I don’t want to lose this deal. I have to focus. James: I won’t be able to look after the child because I have to work. We have rent to pay. We’ll need a child minder. Aretha: He can go to the after school club and you can pick him up after work. James: Okay, so long as I can do my job. Aretha: Great. So I can take the deal then. Everything will be fine with the boy as well.

Scene 2 At the recording studio Mr Smith: Ok, that’s the end of the recording session. You did well today. Aretha: Thank you so much Mr Smith. Now that I know my child is in good care I can travel the world and concentrate on my music career. Mr Smith: That’s good. Aretha: I know that my husband will look after him so when I’m travelling. I don’t have to worry because he’s in safe hands. Mr Smith: I’m not really interested in your family life. You’ve got this deal. You really need to concentrate. You know what to do. Aretha: Yes. Fine. Of course. Mr Smith: Ok. See you here same time tomorrow to discuss the tour…

29


by Linda Lyons The Social Bite Women’s Group

My Day

Sun was lightening. Clouds were clear. Then came to me And angel appeared. It was frightening When I saw her sparkling light. The wind fell It was through my body. Then came the rain To say Goodbye my dear.

30


A Moment’s Peace

A Moment’s Peace Theatre Company exists for artists, participants and audiences to explore the links between the personal and the political, the local and the global. We create innovative performance projects and work with community groups to deliver high quality artistic work that explores and makes visible marginalised narratives and experiences.

Lynda Radley Lead Artist www.lyndaradley.com

With new work and participation at the heart of our vision, we create productions, interactive arts events and participatory projects that are rooted in the relationship between arts practice and social action. We pride ourselves on not being bound by one specific style or form, working across theatre, dance, film, as well as the visual and digital arts. We are driven to constantly search for the most imaginative way to share each unique story.

Ewain Black Social Bite Training and Support Worker

The common thread running through all our work is that our projects encourage artists, audiences and participants to re-imagine the world we live in; to see it as a place brimming with the possibility of positive change and to recognise their capacity to be part of enacting it.

Liz Malnar Photography AMP/Glasgow University work placement

Social Bite

www.amomentspeacetheatre.org

Social Bite is on a mission to end homelessness in Scotland. Within Glasgow, Social Bite operates a social enterprise café, which puts its profits and space back into working with those affected by homelessness, as well as those with social and financial vulnerability. Our women’s group has been running for over two years and gives an opportunity for women to eat a meal and spend time together; a chance for a haircut and the occasional game of bingo. Working with Lynda and A Moment’s Peace has been a fantastic experience and has allowed the women to come together and be creative, as well as to reflect on the strength that they have and their support of each other. www.social-bite.co.uk

Sara Marshall AMP Producer Catrin Evans AMP Artistic Director

Saffa Khan Designer www.safka.co.uk Jenny Soep Illustrator www.dropr.com/jennysoep

Carolina Perez Belle Jones AMP Volunteers Maria Chalmers Cecilia Tracey Lynn Martinez Cathy McCallum Lorri Pollock Social Bite Volunteers


Profile for amomentspeace

Stories to Survive to  

AMP has a long history of working with women across Glasgow. At each turn we re-discover the way in which women’s experiences and expertise...

Stories to Survive to  

AMP has a long history of working with women across Glasgow. At each turn we re-discover the way in which women’s experiences and expertise...

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