Miss Represented: A chance to hear the voices you never do, but should

Miss Represented
Miss Represented

Domestic abuse, sex and consent and the way women are represented in the media are topics being explored.

Domestic abuse, sex and consent and the way women are represented in the media are among an array of topics being explored tonight (Friday) and tomorrow at Brighton Dome.

Arts collective Miss Represented, which has been put together as part of Brighton Festival, will attempt to use art to provide an insight into a range of issues facing women today.

And it promises to be a unique cross-art performance coming from a unique perspective because each of the women involved are either vulnerable young women who have been involved in the criminal justice system, or isolated women from the local community.

The purpose of the project is to inspire socially excluded young women and raise their aspirations by allowing them to take part in a meaningful and reflective exploration of the issues which have affected their lives.

Key to that aim is the way organisers have used the arts as a safe and reassuring environment to act as a starting point, encouraging self-expression where perhaps it has

been denied the participants in other parts of their lives.

The results have been impressive. Through Miss Represented, the women have taken part in a range of projects, with the end product being a number of exhibitions, events and performances of high artistic quality.

This weekend sees the latest of these take place at Brighton Dome, with a trio of energetic and powerful performances taking place over the course of the next two days.

The young women taking part have been working on themes of love, family, boundaries, forgiveness and friendship and, according to Rebecca Fidler, creative learning manager at Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, they have created “a refreshing and exhilarating piece of personal performance.

Ms Fiddler is enthusiastic about the impact Miss Represented has had on both the people taking part and the audiences of a performance built around “the voices you never hear, but should”.

Poppy 3She said: “Miss Represented seeks to shine a light on the children and young people whose humanity, intelligence and talents have been obscured by simplistic labels and a lack

of opportunity to discover their potential.

“The scheme encourages young women to reclaim the tools of the media and the arts to tell their own stories and dismantle some of the myths and stereotypes surrounding

young people.”

As well as being a useful route towards self-exploration and empowerment, Miss Represented also places an important emphasis on progression among its participants. The workshops which have taken place throughout the year, in artistic fields including photography, fashion, drama and dance, serve another purpose: that of creating potential pathways to further education, employment or apprenticeship schemes.

Despite its quality, Miss Represented is far from a case of art for art’s sake. It genuinely looks to chance the lives of the women taking part.

Ms Fiddler continued: “The project promotes the young people positively in their community, creating vital dialogue towards greater understanding and greater inclusivity and makes the young people visible in their community in a positive light.”