The Glasgow Women’s Library Mixing the Colours: Women Speaking About Sectarianism project was set up as part of the Scottish Government Action on Tackling Sectarianism, with the aim and purpose of enabling women to speak about sectarianism in Scotland, and to give them the opportunity to make contributions to the dialogue on what sectarianism is, how it impacts on them, and how it can be addressed.
Women’s historical and contemporary experiences of the traditionally male-focussed issue of sectarianism have, until now, been marginalised and excluded from the social history of Scotland, with women frequently being seen simply as the passive ‘victims’ of a sectarianism which is limited to domestic abuse after football matches.
Since its inception, the Mixing the Colours project has worked with diverse groups of women across Scotland, creating a safe environment for them to own and share their personal histories and insights through creative methods including group reading, photography – and creative writing.
Women have told us that collective contributions, using creative methods, gave them a powerful voice in a safe environment, and an opportunity to discuss both overt and more subtle stories of bigotry and violence that they were not asked about previously.
The stories, views and insights these women have shared with us have thrown their previous exclusion from discussion of this issue into sharp relief, validating their experiences, increasing their confidence and fostering their active citizenship. They have provided invaluable reflections which will enable a range of national organisations to reassess everything they previously thought about the impact of sectarianism on the people of Scotland.
Mixing The Colours Podcast
The podcasts in the Mixing the Colours Podcast collection will offer a selection of writing and performances created by some of the women who have worked with the project in workshops and events, and have shared their work with us for the purposes of highlighting the need for the inclusion and engagement of women in dialogues around sectarianism in Scotland.
This series of podcasts has been launched as part of our Mixing the Colours Conference on Friday 20th March 2015 – a day on which we celebrate all of the support and contributions of all of the talented women with whom we have worked so far in the project. As we move forward with Mixing the Colours, we look forward to continuing to work with these and other women in supportive, enabling and creative ways to further develop our socio-cultural and socio-political understanding of what sectarianism is in Scotland, and why it matters.
Women are ready to speak about sectarianism. And they are ready to be heard.
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For more information on the Mixing the Colours project, including a list of resources and ideas on how you may be able to get involved, please visit www.womenslibrary.org.uk/discover-our-projects/mixing-the-colours/
We extend our thanks to all of the participants, colleagues and organisations who have supported our work so far. We look forward to the future with excitement, and with positivity!