Men’s Voices Project

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Audiences of our Arts Council funded play Make Do and Mend –  sharing women’s Domestic Abuse stories asked; Why men do it & called for men’s side of story.

Men’s Voices was a research & development project bringing together emerging & experienced practitioners from varied disciplines to deliver creative arts workshops with diverse groups of marginalised men & boys, gathering testimonies exploring experiences & bringing them together in story-sharing, performing, creative writing & visual arts processes to explore contemporary narratives of masculinity.

We created an original artistic exploration of masculinity, and questioned why violence shapes the narrative so often (most male homicide perpetrators = men) & the impact on well-being for men & their families (suicide biggest killer of North East men<45);

We aimed to empower men (and women) to question destructive norms & explore healthier patterns in their relationships with themselves and each other, using art as a platform to reach young men & boys at an identity-forming time.

Our artists faciliated participatory arts workshops & recorded individual testimoonies as part of our creative researcg process. They went on to produce their own body of work responding to the theme & group sessions. Their work, together with artwork produced by the men & boys who took part in the project, was displayed in a public art exhibition in Empty Shop’s TESTT Space in Durham City, October 2017. Public workshops were offered in during the exhibition, together with a panel discussion  – ‘A Crisis in masculinity?’ – during Durham Book Festival, hosted by New Writing North in Durham University’s Palace Green Library, which also showcased our collaboration with author of ‘A Natural’ by Ross Raisin who we co-commisioned to write the piece ‘Manufacturing Men’ which featured in the Guardian –

The exhibition presented the work collaboratively produced by sound & visual artist Rupert Philbrick, performance poet Chris Robinson & visual artist Polly Turner, featuring work created by men & boys from Deerbolt Young Offenders institution, Barnardos Domestic Violence Perpetrator programme, The Woodlands School and Stanley & Eldon Men’s crees, combined with public arts workshops & generated a school resource which we have so far delivered to two secondary schools working with groups of boys and girls aged 14-17 extending engagement in our artistic outcomes longer term.

For more information about this project please contact Managing Director & Project Co ordinator