Migrant Artists Mutual Aid

humanity is the only status

Migrant Story Slam / Cartographies of Justice

Cartographies of Justice
Liverpool Hope University
Saturday 8th December 2012, 1-7pm

Cartographies of Justice was  a creative investigation into citizenship, migration and belonging with an eye on social and ecological justice. The event brought together internationally renowned art activists, writers, poets and performance practitioners (in feminist alphabetical order) Jennifer Verson, Katherina Radeva, Natasha Davis and Sai Murray with Liverpool-based artists and members of the migrant community (Migrant Artists Mutual Aid and Merseyside Refugee and Asylum Seekers Pre and Post Natal Group).

As part of the Cartographies of Justice, Migrant Artists Mutual Aid organised a Migrant Story Slam:

Imagine having just three minutes to tell your story. This is the story that your life depends upon and for one night only the judges are not from the courts but are members of the audience.

The Migrant Story Slam brings together the lively world of slam poetry and the high stakes reality of storytelling that is part of the lives of migrants. From passport control through asylum hearings to the check out at supermarkets, people who cross borders must continuously explain where they come from and why.

Slam Performers included Ben Belmar, Jennifer Verson, Lorena Rivero de Beer, Mark Loudon, Pa Modou Bojang and Zodwa Nyoni amongst others.

Liverpool Hope University
Creative Campus
Hope Park
L16 9JD

Penny’s Great Manchester Swim – £600 raised!


On Sunday 1st July, Penny swam a mile in Salford Quays, to raise funds for Migrant Artists Mutual Aid.

We raised £600 towards Fatima’s legal fees.

If you would like to donate, you can do so either through paypal (link below), or by transferring directly into the Migrant Artists Mutual Aid bank account:

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid
Co-operative Bank
Sort Code: 08 92 99
Account Number: 65562282

Click on this button to make a secure donation through Paypal:

You can also donate in person with cash or cheque (payable to Migrant Artists Mutual Aid)

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid is a network of people who come together to produce community cultural events that aim to promote cohesion and intercultural understanding while raising money for migrants in crisis.

Mutual Aid is not charity, it is a safety net that is based on shared values of justice and equality, it is a safety net that affirms that even in the toughest times when we stand together we are stronger.


VDAY Liverpool


Read Sebastian Gahan’s review of Migrant Artists Mutual Aid’s performances of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues here:


Sunday March 11th 4 pm International Women’s Day Performance at the Lantern Theatre
Sunday March 18th 4 pm Mothering Sunday Performance at the Lantern Theatre
Saturday March 24th 7pm Grand Finale at Ullet Road Unitarian Church

What are The Vagina Monologues
Hailed by The New York Times as “funny” and “poignant” and by the Daily News as
“intelligent” and “courageous,” The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed offBroadway by Ms. Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and
excitement buried in women’s experiences. Ms. Ensler has performed the play to great acclaim
throughout the world – from Zagreb to Santa Barbara, from London to Seattle, from Jerusalem to Oklahoma City. Villard Books/Random House first published The Vagina Monologues, which
includes a foreword by Gloria Steinem, in February 1998. A special edition was released in hard
cover and paperback in February 2008 in honor of V-Day’s ten year anniversary.
The Vagina Monologues will be performed at (insert location and address), (time), (date). Tickets
are (price) and may be purchased (or reserved) by phoning (insert).

What is V-Day?
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. V-Day is a catalyst
that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of
existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day generates broader attention for the fight to stop
violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation
(FGM), and sex slavery.
Through V-Day campaigns, local volunteers and college students produce annual benefit
performances of The Vagina Monologues, A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer, Any
One Of Us: Words From Prison, screenings of V-Day’s documentary Until The Violence Stops,
and the PBS documentary What I Want My Words To Do To You, Spotlight Teach-Ins and V-Men
workshops, to raise awareness and funds for anti-violence groups within their own communities.
In 2011, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events took place produced by volunteer activists in the U.S.
and around the world, educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women
and girls.
Performance is just the beginning. V-Day stages large-scale benefits and produces innovative
gatherings, films and campaigns to educate and change social attitudes towards violence against
women including the documentary Until The Violence Stops; community briefings on the missing
and murdered women of Juarez, Mexico; the December 2003 V-Day delegation trip to Israel,
Palestine, Egypt and Jordan; the Afghan Women’s Summit; the March 2004 delegation to India;
the Stop Rape Contest; the Indian Country Project; Love Your Tree; the June 2006 two-week
festival of theater, spoken word, performance and community events UNTIL THE VIOLENCE
STOPS: NYC ; the 2008, V-Day 10-year anniversary events V TO THE TENTH at the New
Orleans Arena and Louisiana Superdome; the Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power To The
Women and Girls of the Democratic Republic of Congo Campaign; the V-Girls Campaign, and
the V-Men Campaign.
In Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, V-Day commits ongoing support to build movements and
anti-violence networks. Working with local organizations, V-Day provided hard-won funding that
helped open the first shelters for women in Egypt and Iraq; sponsored annual workshops and
three national campaigns in Afghanistan; convened the “Confronting Violence” conference of
South Asian women leaders; and donated satellite-phones to Afghan women to keep lines of
communication open and action plans moving forward. V-Day was instrumental in the founding
of Karama, a program working in Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Syria and
Lebanon that works to build upon and strengthen efforts to end violence against women by
bringing together local women’s organizations and other civil society groups in collaboration,
analysis and advocacy at national, regional and international levels.
The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, in 140 countries from
Europe to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and all of North America. V-Day, a non-profit
corporation, distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs
that work to stop violence against women and girls. In 2001, V-Day was named one of Worth
Magazine’s “100 Best Charities,” in 2006 one of Marie Claire Magazine’s Top Ten Charities, and in 2010 was named as one of the Top-Rated organizations on GreatNonprofits. In eleven years,
the V-Day movement has raised over $85 million.
The ‘V’ in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine and Vagina.

Charity versus Mutual Aid

Thank you to everybody who came to the launch of Migrant Artists Mutual Aid, we raised just under £600 for Fatoumata’s legal fund!

Mutual Aid is not charity it is safety net that is based on shared values of justice and equality, it is a safety net that is recession proof, that affirms that even in the toughest times we can stand together to help ourselves.
If we keep our resources inside of our communities we can create prosperity even when times are difficult. It was wonderful to see the exchange of presents, cakes, cd’s and books. People left the Lantern Theatre with full stomachs, arms filled and hopefully renewed.

This is the beginning of a group of artists who can come together to raise small pots of money to grapple with huge problems.  In January of 2011 my family faced the grim reality of not being able to stay together for the lack of 900 pounds.  There were no exemptions in the immigration rules to deal with families facing financial hardships short of human rights protection once we faced deportation.

With the support of another artist, Lena Simic, through the Becoming British project I was able to pay the fee.  It is not enough, however, just to solve one person’s problem.

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid will be a network of people coming together to produce and attend events that can raise between 1000 and 3000 pounds.

December 11, 2011 we will be hosting our first event to support Fatoumata Sowe, a Gambian mother claiming asylum to protect her 2 year old British born daughter from FGM.  We will need to raise 3000 pounds in order for her to have the top barristers to represent her case to the highest level necessary.

The event will be hosted by the Lantern Theatre and we need artists that are willing to perform, give short workshops, donate small works for auction, attend the event, and help spread the word.

This is not a one off however.  Mutual Aid is a type of social insurance where everybody feels more secure knowing that there is a community of support that is there for you if you are in a crisis.

The Lantern Theatre

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid is based at The Lantern Theatre. The theatre was recently taken over by Margaret Connell. Her work putting on some of the best live performance in the region and supporting Liverpool’s creative artists at every stage of their career is ground breaking.
Liverpool’s most intimate “Fringe” Venue

The Lantern Theatre is a family run, cosy and welcoming Theatre situated in a converted warehouse near Liverpool One. The auditorium holds around eighty five seats and has a fully licensed bar. The Lantern hosts regular performances from touring Theatre companies, local community groups, comedians and musicians, and is home to resident Theatre Company Tiny Giants who produce regular Theatre pieces throughout the year. The Theatre is family friendly and offers a variety of performances and activities for families and children including; birthday parties, summers schools and family fun days. The Lantern is a beautiful space that offers its audience a more personal Theatre experience and hosts a variety of different events to suit all tastes. Since opening in 2009, The Lantern has received fantastic feedback from artists and the general public, and continues to operate as an independent, family run Theatre that supports local artists and is at the heart of Liverpool’s community.
The Lantern Theatre also welcomes any theatre, music and comedy groups/promoters to contact us if you have any special events or productions that you would like to present on our stage.


In many ways I have started to think about this as a world music kids love disco, there is going to be all sorts of music, activities and entertainment that everybody can relax and dance to.  tickets are on sale now at the lantern theatre website

it would be really helpful if people could book tickets in advance and offer as much as they can afford, if you are feeling flush, buy some tickets for friends.  The Lantern only has a capacity for 100 so we would like to sell as many tickets in advance as possible, if you can’t make it please consider donating to Fatamouta’s legal fund.


1 pm Doors open
1:30 Dance sessions for under five’s
2 pm Circus Skills Workshop from Fools Rush In—plate spinning, juggling, stilts, all ages and stages

3 pm Global Sunday Lunch featuring African Specialities vegetarian and non vegetarian

3:30 Dance sessions for over fives with live music and some moves to try out with Carpet Trip

4 pm All ages Jazz grooving with Carpet Trip

5 pm Performance: Betting on Being British
Take the Life in the UK test, see if you can beat the 70% pass rate. Lena Simic and Jennifer Verson
6 pm Senegalese Contemporary with Taara
7 pm Pentland Brigg Irish Folk Music
and on and on
rumour has it that there may be some dead belgians

plus holiday book,  music, and toy buy and swap

bring a book, cd, dvd or good quality children’s toy and donate it, swap it for a new present or purchase a gift to benefit the people’s legal aid fund for Fatoumata Sowe

Pentland Brigg

Irish Folk band Pentland Brigg has been confirmed. There are also strong rumours that dead belgins may be rising so stay tuned

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