Today marked the end of my sessions at Ashiana Community Centre and phase one of Run The World. Over the last five months we’ve battled snow, ice, summer storms, drunk lots of tea, eaten lots of samosas and shared lots of stories. The never-ending bad weather resulted in the project having a few false starts.
Nevertheless, undeterred one lady joined me every week for a body weights circuit session in a small office upstairs in the centre, proving you don’t need much space or any equipment to get a good workout! We’d then sit in the kitchen and drink lots of tea and chat. As the weather perked up so did the numbers, as we ran, walked, talked and lunged around the park.
Everyone who turned up to the exercise sessions wanted to make a change. Some were taking a stand against a difficult home situation, some just needed an excuse to get out of the house, one lady had only been in the country for a week and wanted to make some friends. By the end of the session she’d done just that. “They speak Arabic too!” she laughed as she tapped new numbers into her phone.
It’s been a wonderful safe space to exercise and share stories of hopes, dreams and difficulties. Ashiana really is a hub of women coming together and supporting one another.
I’m now into phase two which means I have many many hours of recorded material to sift through and transcribe in order to make the interactive audio piece of theatre which will be shared at the centre in July.
I’ve had a meeting with brilliant sound designer Jeanette Maggs. We listened to some of the recordings and talked about the shape of the piece and how we can layer sound to create atmosphere. We are also looking at which actors we can use to voice the stories with integrity and honesty.
I’m really excited about how we can shape the landscape of the stories and create an accessible interactive piece and sharing all these ideas with the women at the centre. Together I’m hoping we can create something really special.