March 8 2013

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2013

Llan Women's Day

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In 1910, it was proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. And so, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March, 1911.

Over 100 years on, women’s voices are becoming stronger and more united once more. Eve Ensler’s campaign, to stop all violence against women and young girls, saw millions of people all over the world rise together on 14th February 2013 to say “Enough!” In south Wales some of our staff took to the stage at Pontardawe Arts Centre to mark One Billion Rising, whilst others joined in the flash mobs that took place in Cardiff and Swansea.

Alongside these international movements, we have also been working quietly in the hills and valleys of Wales in our Llan project. The aim was to explore themes of motherhood and the home with four women in rural and semi-rural locations in south and west Wales. Each woman, bravely stepped into a journey that lasted 6 months, in which they dived deeply into a role that so many of us take for granted.

The result is a quartet of films, each written, performed and directed by the women involved. As ever, our role as Valley and Vale artists was to facilitate this journey for them: to introduce structures to work within, to teach new skills and techniques when asked for, to support and encourage each woman in her own journey, and to stand at the finishing line, to cheer each one on. The films are completely unique to each woman: they represent the voice of an individual, but collectively, we think they represent the voices and experiences of many mothers. We hope you enjoy watching them, and would love if you could pop any feedback on to our blog site, www.amothersllan.blogspot.co.uk.

Today, as we watched the films together for the first time, we wondered, if every mother could create a 15 minute filmed performance about their lives, what would they want to say in it? How would it make them feel about themselves and their lives watching it back? One mum said “Seeing myself in the film, made me realise that I like myself…I think I’m ok”.

www.internationalwomensday.com

www.onebillionrising.org

The Films:

Restoration

Made by Pamela

This short film offers a poetic insight into one mother’s experience of home-building and family-making. In a moving and personal account, we are brought from the outer world to the inner, so that we glimpse the depth of the struggle, pain and healing of her journey as an adoptive mother.

Calmness in Chaos

Spirals of Wellbeing

 Wise Child