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Project ArmHer performance coming to NU


The ArmHer Collective, Sex Workers Advisory Network of Sudbury (SWANS), AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area (ACNBA) and Nipissing University proudly present Project ArmHer, a powerful multi-media presentation based on the creative contributions of women with lived experiences in sex work and their allies, to campus on Wednesday, May 23, at 2 p.m. in the Nipissing Theatre (F213).

“Project ArmHer was born out of the frustration of systematically being silenced, spoken for and about, and purposefully excluded from conversation about our work and our lives,” said Tracy Gregory, Project ArmHer facilitator and SWANS founder. “SWANS came together with Sarah King Gold, Cait Mitchell and Sarah Gartshore to develop a project that would foster an opportunity for us to speak our own challenges, triumphs, wisdoms, and experiences. Our experiences are complex and diverse, and we believe that this performance will reflect that. Throughout this process, we have developed a strong community of peers and allies. We have shared in education exchanges with non-sex working service providers, and we look forward to continuing this work. It has been an absolute labor of love, frustration, pain, and celebration.”  

The theatrical experience is based on the stories of women with lived experiences in sex work.  It features visual art (including body maps and a life size armour), masks and film. It explores the complex realities of women’s lives who have experienced sexual violence and highlights the idea that sexual violence is everyone’s concern.  

“ACNBA is thrilled to support Project ArmHer as and the work of SWANS because lived experience is invaluable,” said Caitlin Dobratz, Hepatitis C Community Coordinator. “This unique performance provides an opportunity to learn more about the sex industry and how it relates to sexual violence, safety, support and resources for everyone involved. We look forward to celebrating their work during Hepatitis C Awareness Month.”  

Women with sex work experience hold important knowledge that needs to be highlighted in our collective efforts to end violence against women. Audience members will hear how social attitudes accompanied by women’s inequality impacts risks, trauma response and healing. The audience will gain an understanding of how they can become community allies and partners in the prevention and recovery from sexual violence.

“We are honored to share space with Project ArmHer,” said Amy Raymond, sexual violence prevention and education coordinator at Nipissing. “We believe in the transformative power of hope, healing and change and we are humbled to have the opportunity to engage in deep listening with so many courageous and creative voices to that end.” 

Please note that this performance deals with mature, explicit subject matter relating to sexual violence, sex work and other topics that may be triggering to some audience members. Emotional support will be available during and after the performance by Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing. Students are welcome to access support through Student Counselling Services in B210 or to text 705.498.3091 to connect with a NU counselor between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. 

Project ArmHer has restricted the attendance to individuals 13 years of age and older.  

Admission is “pay what you can” with a suggested donation of $20. Guests are encouraged to consider paying after the show. All proceeds will go towards Project ArmHer. 

Light refreshments will be served following the performance.

Free parking is available in in Lot 1. Doors open at 1:45 pm. 

Funding for Project ArmHer was provided by It’s Never Okay: Ontario’s Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment through the Ontario Arts Council.

For more information about Project ArmHer, please visit their website.
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