Playing With Fire is a platform for survivor writing organised by the artist Jet Moon. A live reading is taking place on Saturday April 24 at 6pm, which will be live streamed and you can book a ticket here: www.eventbrite.com/e/playing-with-fire-live-reading-tickets-146772214645
A free zine collecting the readings for the event and tips for survivor writers will be posted out to the first hundred pre-registered guests, and the artists invite guests to read along with them and connect on the page. Please RSVP on the link above before Monday 19 April to receive the zine.
The Live Reading is the culmination of a series of events funded by Arts Council England, which allowed Jet the time to finish their book, hold two peer to peer survivor writing workshops and produce this live reading event.
In this blog, Jet Moon maps part of their Playing with Fire journey:
Beginning to write the book:
ITSY began as forty small scraps of paper spread out on a table top. A few words noting down each incident I could recall. Sitting looking at those scraps of paper was the first time I had ever seen all of those memories in the same place all at the same time.
This was a book I thought I could never write. A book I felt compelled to write. To get out onto the page things that crowded my internal world. Memories that haunted me, while at the same time internal voices told me ‘nothing really happened’.
Shape Arts disabled writers workshop
I took the first 10,000 words of ITSY to the Shape Arts workshop for disabled writers at the TATE Modern. In the freedom and safety of a disability aware space I felt able to write without being judged. Spending time with other disabled people helped me to relax, they didn’t frown at the things I needed or the subject matter I brought to the group. In those weeks I produced a further 25,000 words and made friends with other writers.
Mentoring with Kirsty Logan:
Arts Council funding meant I was able to have mentoring while finishing my book. Having a mentor who is on your side and who ‘gets’ the work is incredibly important. From the beginning Kirsty Logan was enthusiastic, care-full and shrewd in her assessment. Receiving criticism about such a personal piece of work was still not easy. The HUGE change Kirsty suggested was to let the book become a novel. After such a battle to get the initial memories down on paper this was a difficult idea to process but I realised I could write about the emotional truth in experiences, without needing to be tied to fact. Now it feels like an exciting way to develop the book and let myself evolve as a writer.
The peer to peer survivor workshop
I wanted to hold a peer to peer survivor workshop for the longest time. I obsessed about it, craved the space, but could not figure out how to do it without all of us as survivors triggering the F* out of each other. The idea built over time. I’ve been part of collectives and peer to peer communities for decades. I’ve learned a lot about how to hold non-hierarchical shared spaces.
On the 6 and 7 March 2021, I ran two digital workshops for survivor writers. Originally planned as a single workshop, due high demand an additional day was added. That weekend was astonishing, exhausting, nourishing, exciting. I’d forgotten in all the work of preparation that this was also MY first time to share a space with other survivor writers. Listening to others speak, slowly things started to fall into place. I loved being with the group, holding the space, but it also massively expanded my own understanding of myself as a survivor.
Playing With Fire – live reading from survivor writers – will take place on April 24 online, hosted by Live Art Development Agency featuring Jet Moon, Dolly Sen, Elinor Rowlands, Ayotomi IF, Andie Macario and guests readers from the workshop. A Free zine of the featured writing will be posted out to the first 100 pre-registered participants, so you can read along with us and connect on the page. Register for a ticket here: www.eventbrite.com/e/playing-with-fire-live-reading-tickets-146772214645
The event will include BSL interpreters and subtitles.
Jet Moon is a queer, working class, disabled writer, who creates intimate spaces of sharing often with the LGBTIQ, kink, sex worker, disabled and survivor communities they belong to. Jet believes in collaboration and mutual aid as a practical way of building transformative communities.
Linocut by Jenni Andreotti
Design by Fierce Love Design
Published 22 March 2021