We questioned what globally connects us as women and this led us onto the first ideas where we talked about loss and the effect that this can have. We managed to develop the piece into a set of short monologues which we performed as part of a scratch night at Yorkshire Dance and further developed ideas through emerging artist schemes at West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Unknown is a piece that allowed three artists from different backgrounds: Spanish, Zimbabwean and English-Kittian to come together and experiment. As collaborating artists we were interested in this motto: The voice speaks,the body speaks, the woman speaks. Our diverse voices are how we are heard. Our bodies are vessels that carry our experiences. Our womanhood bound us together. Our identity as a collaboration comes from an intercultural practice that allows us to cross cultural boundaries when making work; and build relationships with audiences, primarily as BAME artists living and working in England. https://youtu.be/m9Hxwmx8gd0
Soledad & Betto
Leeds-based female artist collective, Speak Woman Speak is to bring the stories of two women from different worlds to life. Using the real facts from the stories of Soledad, a Republican Activist caught up in baby trafficking during the Spanish Civil War and Betto Douglas, a slave who lead a revolt in St Kitts in the 1820s, Soledad & Betto imagines a meeting of these two characters, across space and time, fighting for their rights under oppressive regimes from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. Performed mostly in Spanish, Soledad is set against the background of the Spanish Civil War and the baby trafficking that took place during Franco’s dictatorship and for some years after. These ‘los niños robados’ (‘stolen babies‘) were taken from their mothers and rehomed with other families, a drastic attempt to restrain revolutionary thoughts through the generations. Soledad is a Republican activist, charged with the need to fight for her rights and community. Following a love affair with Miguel, a fellow activist who is one of the Guerrilleros who fought against the Nationalist regime, she finds herself alone, pregnant and trapped in some of the most oppressive conditions Spanish history has seen. Betto is inspired by the true story of Betto Douglas, who is somewhat of a hidden national hero in St.Kitts. In the 1800's Caribbean it was unheard of that an enslaved female would be able to fight against slavery. Her tenacity defied the plantation structure and justice system and she was able to purchase her two sons freedom and fight for her own. https://youtu.be/aBSoFPidlSU
White Walls examines mental health, black spirituality and what really lies behind the disproportionate amount of black people being admitted into Mental Health Hospitals in the UK. If we all have mental health, then are we all being treated fairly? Written and performed by Leah Francis, you are invited to join us for a script reading of this brand-new work, followed by a Q&A with the creative team and invited guests.