The Superheroes Project at Riverside Correctional Facility, an arts-based community workshop for survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
THE SUPERHEROES PROJECT
What is your superpower?
This question comprises the core of the Superheroes Project, an arts-based community workshop in which survivors of sexual trauma are provided the opportunity to create their own superheros.
Through a series of prompts for writing, drawing, and storytelling, each participant is invited to create her superhero character and tell her story. In the final sessions of the workshop, we storyboard our characters and create our finished stories in panels. We prepare for a photoshoot (this includes selecting costumes and other props), and in the most recent iteration of the workshop, the participants prepared scenes and were interviewed for a Superheroes Project documentary film.
The foundation of the workshop is to provide opportunities for participants to tap into the power of story to transform and heal our lives, to access our core strength, to celebrate our triumphs and victories.
Traditionally, stories of valor, of going into battle, of winning the fight, are male narratives. Men are the victors, to men go the spoils, and men are the ones who are charged with defending and protecting their fellow citizens and the honor of their homeland.
A main goal of the workshop is to appropriate these classic masculine narratives in order to resist violence, to re-imagine the notion of victory or triumph, and to empower women in their daily lives.
The workshop creates a safe space to revisit traumatic experience so that participants can access long-held or repressed stories and find ways to re-imagine them. The goal is to transmute a legacy of violence into powerful survivor stories and stories of triumph and celebration.
Superheroes Advance! Photoshoot in Center City
“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”—June Jordan
“The more I act out of my own power and strength, the less important it becomes that I’m afraid.”—Audre Lorde
“I write to record what others erase when I speak, to rewrite the stories others have miswritten about me, about you.”—Gloria Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My Back