Ayesha's Blog

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HIV: “A Time To Speak”

31 May

On 8th October 2014 at The LOST Theatre in Vauxhall…

I’m taking part in the next stages of Hugh Wyld’s exciting  and important project to raise awareness and open discussion about HIV in people’s lives today. The project is called “A Time To Speak”.

With a small group of actors and writers, “A Time to Speak” is more than an evening of monologues. We are using music, chorus and drama to imagine different viewpoints and experiences of people affected by HIV. 

I’ve been researching HIV in Ghana where HIV and AIDS is still extremely serious. Women are affected the most and a high number of those infected are in their 20s. I’m interested in the experience of being HIV positive in Ghana because of the stigma and culture of silence around the illness that I know exists. A culture of silence exists for many sad and difficult issues that as a nation, Ghana finds it difficult to face. So that is what my personal piece is about. I’m putting it to dance. My first attempt at choreographing my own work. Musician Hatty Carmen is in charge of our music and by pure fate, Hatty is a drummer and has been to Ghana. It’s as if we’ve been working together for years. 

The other voices are a mixture of men and women. Voices of people who are HIV positive or who fear becoming HIV positive. Youthful voices reflecting on living day to day life and thinking about their future. We hope to be sensitive, reflective and honest in our presentation. 

This is the start of a piece of theatre that we hope will have a great future. Being HIV positive is not the end of the road. We want to keep talking about it. In partnership with Positive East “A Time to Speak” was first performed on 7th June. We have further performances leading up to our performance at The Lost Theatre on 8th October as part of the Face to Face Festival of Solo Performance before the official launch of the project with Positive East, in December 2014.

All are welcome  – the audience is an essential element of solo theatre, come and share our journey.

My first (serious) dance rehearsal:

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