About Resilient & Resisting
Who we are
Resilient and Resisting is an oral history and collaborative story telling project. D.I.Y. research and interviews from people at the intersection of several kinds of marginalisation. People who have some connection to disabled, queer, kinky, sex worker and survivors communities.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and developed with support from Arcola Participation, the project was devised by Artist Activist Jet Moon to bring together voices from those directly creating a contemporary history of stigma and social change, communities are doing powerful work.
Founder of Resilient & Resisting
Resilient and resisting project found its’ inception in my personal experience of austerity. At the time I was bed bound and isolated. The only socialising I was able to do was via social media, where I noticed many people expressing a similar sense of isolation and despair. I wanted to document some of those communities and individuals, to create a pool of information about resisting difficult social conditions. Complex stories of overlapping struggles that often go untold, or when others write about us, are sensationalised or sanitised. The project was primarily about us, by us and for us.
My interest is in intimate history, how people take action because they were driven by necessity. How by living their lives they created conditions, conversations, spaces and knowledge.
Before the project I had very little contact with archives. I’m a person who finds it difficult to feel at home in institutional spaces. I was also aware of how much knowledge is currently being lost, connections across generations of struggle that are undocumented, and this is what Resilient & Resisting sets out to do.
The project has been funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, with the support of Arcola Participation.
The stories that appear here often speak about invisible lives and work. So it has been with the process of preparation: long months of research, working within the limits of illness, finding ways to begin. In forming the first networks of connection and collaboration there has been a sense of excitement but also overwhelm: as these hidden stories of struggle come to light, so too have the reasons why they are less heard.
Bringing together a series of stories on stigma and social change is to speak in plain terms about structural inequality. To see that people are constantly working at survival: organising, running support groups, taking direct action, lobbying. Living with demanding situations, while fighting for recognition, legal rights or basic support.
This project is a necessarily slow and careful assemblage of fragments, pieces of a complex and yet simple whole. With the hope that others will join in the process, adding their own perspectives. As this process takes place over time, there is another hope: that we can practice patience in the process of collaboration, to allow differences and gaps. To reach for understanding, as we read across the similarities in each others stories, to see a wider picture emerge.
What we do
Communities involved, but not limited to, include:
- SM Dykes London
- London Alternative Market and it’s surrounding kink network
- London Gay Mens Leather Community
- SWARM (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement)
- ECP (English Collective of Prostitutes)
- Sex Workers Opera
- Xtalk Migrant sex workers
- Radio Ava sex workers radio station
- Sisters of Frida (women’s disability community)
- D.P.A.C (Disabled People Against Cuts)
- Mental Health Resistance Network
- Core Arts – Mens GBT mental health group
- London Queer and transgender communities (including Trans London, TransLiiberation Assembly and TransMan UK)
- Project Indigo LGBTIQ youth group
Collaborative relationships have taken place with Bishopsgate Institute, Hackney Museum, MayDay Rooms, and Arcola Participation. Welcoming communities into archives and institutions to investigate, add to and learn. Workshops, readings, and travelling archives that you can read more about below.
The intimacy of storytelling brings warmth and life to what could be dry political perspectives. Storytelling makes it possible to see where another persons experience might meet your own. It gives relatable examples and proof of how we’ve lived and what we’ve done. Helping us to understand our current situations and find strength for the future.
Out in the community
Individual submissions, community responses to archive material, interviews and transcripts of panels held at events.
One to one
Personal storytellings of lived resistance. Written in a collaborative process with the artist Jet Moon.
Building skills in the collection of community oral histories and material archiving. Encouraging the valuing of personal histories and our right to stand alongside others.
Theatre, performances & live events
Resilient and Resisting holds events including: workshops, readings, trainings, exhibitions, discussion groups and radio broadcasts.
We welcome collaborations & workshop opportunities
Looking for a space for sharing skills and ideas on recording and writing our own histories? We host workshops covering key points on how you could document your story, or that of a community you are part of. We also discuss why is it so vital to collect narratives that run counter to the mainstream and how to do this effectively. We can also host interviews and material that result from group archive visits, group discussions, interviews and other submissions.
For more information, please get in touch using the form below.