MARGINAL VOICES, founded in December 2009 and led by Caryne Chapman Clark and managed by Odanadi UK, is a pioneering theatre project specially designed for women who have been trafficked into the UK. It aims to enable these women to cast off their ‘victim’ role and transform their traumatic experiences into positive change. Participants have been taught performance skills and given the opportunity to tell their stories in their own words.
Marginal Voices’ impact reaches far beyond the theatre: it is a powerful agent of social change; raising public awareness about trafficking among the public and front-line professionals. As one MV participant has said, ‘We’ve been there – we know what it’s like – we can help others.’
Marginal Voices has developed three main areas of influence:
• As a theatre performance company raising awareness about trafficking issues.
• Leading pioneering ‘sensitisation’ workshops that incorporate theatre skills to re-enact scenes based on real life experiences, which are used as teaching tools to help professionals when working with victims of trafficking.
• Initiating a mentoring programme through which Marginal Voices members can help guide and advise newly rescued victims of trafficking.
RECENT MARGINAL VOICES EVENTS
1st Sensitisation Workshop Marginal Voices led a sensitisation workshop for delegates at a major anti-trafficking conference at the LSE. This one-day national event about strategies for supporting trafficking victims included representatives from a variety of anti-trafficking support agencies and front-line services including the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, SOCA and the UK Border Agency.
HERA Marginal Voices led sensitisation workshops for HERA (Women Entrepreneurs Against Trafficking). See: www.herequality.org.
Rehearsals and sell-out performances of ‘Journey to Freedom’ performed as part of the ‘Migrations Festival’ in the studio theatre at The Ovalhouse Theatre. For this, their first ever theatre performance, Marginal Voices teamed up with award winning playwright Bola Agbaje.
MAMA commissioned by Fuel Theatre for their Phenomenal People Project: this one-woman show ‘Mama’ featured Comfort Iroegbu-Agwu of Marginal Voices and was created as a homage to Comfort’s mother from whom she was separated when she was only seven years old. (www.phenomenalpeople.org.uk/live-event/profiles
Direct beneficiaries of Marginal Voices work total 500, including:15 former victims of human trafficking who are members of Marginal Voices; 50 former victims of human trafficking who attended and participated in the HERA sensitisation workshop led by Marginal Voices; 60 students; 60 professionals whose work brings them into contact with victims of trafficking and who attended sensitisation workshops led by Marginal Voices; 15 professional theatre professionals who have worked with Marginal Voices on their productions; 300 audience members who saw ‘Journey to Freedom’ and ‘Mama’.
Indirect beneficiaries include the many people who have viewed the Marginal Voices documentary films as well as the trustees of Odanadi UK who manage the project.