Between 2018 to 2022 Sampad will deliver a series of projects which focus on girls and women, to involve them in creative projects and to get their voices heard through the arts.
Sampad’s Sakshi (meaning Witness in Hindi) strand will create safe spaces for women to speak and write with freedom, to feel valued and create work they are proud of. Through workshops, conversations, writing and sharing stories, readings and performances, we will aim to have a lasting positive impact on participants’ independence and confidence. We might even create some female leaders of the future!
In April 2018, Sakshi’s first project Create & Change was launched, offering a series of free creative workshops to women of Birmingham’s Ward End and Washwood Heath communities, in partnership with the mental health charity Mind and Dolphin Women’s Centre. Participants learned a variety of creative skills like film-making, photography, drama, singing and crafts, to discover their inner artist and build their supportive network. They will use these new skills to contribute to a bigger creative project throughout the summer, which will be presented in a public celebration in November 2018 (details to be announced).
This strand of Sampad’s work will build on our existing track record of empowering women to take part in the arts. Most recently, our director Piali Ray OBE continued to fly the flag for professional BAME women by chairing the panel discussion ‘Creative conversations with Asian Women’ at Ikon Gallery, as part of their Migrant Festival this June – just one example of how we support and create platforms for women in the arts.
Sakshi will aim to generate experiences of discovery, creativity and awareness in women of all ages. A regular fixture of the programme will be Chai and Chat, a safe and exciting space for girls and women to engage with arts and culture by meeting inspirational artists, sharing creative ideas from different cultures, discussing cultural and generational issues, and discovering professional opportunities.
We also hope to deliver other key projects including a rework of Anon the Opera, in partnership with Birmingham Conservatoire and Birmingham Womens’ Aid, depicting the secret journey through the shadows which millions of women take every day. Finally, Sampad hopes to develop an ongoing creative writing project with women from Birmingham, Brick Lane and Bangladesh called It’s MY story to tell. During Sakshi, we will welcome new writers from wider minority cultures to the project to gain professional development, publish their work online, experience readings by established writers, and take part in events such as Birmingham Readers and Writers Festival.
Sampad are proud to continue their active involvement in opening new dialogues and projecting unheard voices. Keep checking our website for more announcements about the Sakshi project and how you might be able to take part!