West Central Women’s Resource Centre (WCWRC) and Sarasvàti Productions have partnered to work with women on a new story-sharing project focussing on women’s experiences with homelessness.
The public is invited to “Can You See Me Now,” a presentation of readings at 7:30pm on Tuesday, October 24th at the University of Winnipeg Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Admission by donation at the door. Doors open at 7pm. The presentation will also be part of the National Conference on Ending Homelessness and on October 25th.
“If we want to promote social change and human understanding we need to start by listening to folks who are often neglected in our community,” says Sarasvàti facilitator Nan Fewchuk. “These women are the epitome of strength, courage, and resilience. They share their harrowing stories with complete honesty, and are somehow able to still laugh at themselves, and at the absurdity of the situations in their lives.”
A group of 8 women at WCWRC have been working with Sarasvàti’s facilitators every week to develop and telling their stories of homelessness. Some of the women will be performing their stories on stage themselves, while others will have their stories told by actors. Sharing stories can be healing, but it can also be re-traumatizing or exploitative. That’s why Sarasvàti and WCWRC work together with the women in a safe, healing, and transformative way.
This project creates space for the public and policy makers to hear directly from those with lived experience. Women’s experiences of homelessness are nearly invisible. They are more likely to be couch-surfing with friends, family, or people they barely know. Shelters can be dangerous places for women and they often avoid seeking help for fear their child or children will be apprehended by CFS. They struggle with domestic violence, sexual exploitation, exhaustion, stress, addictions, and poor mental and physical health.
“Women in our community want to change things for future generations, but too often don’t get the opportunity.” says Lisa Spring, Director of Community Engagement at WCWRC. “This project showcases their expertise and their voice.”