Scar Tissue: Beyond Surviving

Scar Tissue is a 6-week writing workshop for racialized survivors of sexualized violence. Developed by lee and Pragya, this workshop will use a combination of writing activities and prompts, group exercises, textual assignments (including readings, videos, websites), and workshop discussions to guide participants in exploring  their own experiences of sexualized violence within the context of white supremacy.  Beginning with how to build safety when confronting trauma and abuse, the workshop will then address questions related to the politics of survival; family & relationships; justice & accountability; moving from coping into living; and how to experience desire & pleasure.


For those of us who have survived it, sexualized violence is often felt as a particular form of abuse and trauma that leaves lasting marks — scars.  while the topic of sexual assault has gained mainstream media attention in recent years, what is missing from public discourse is an analysis which addresses the particular experiences of racialized* survivors. When we — black, brown, and indigenous survivors — live in a context of white supremacy, how do our bodies respond? What kind of scars do we form? How do our flesh, our spirit, our beings, come to heal?

This workshop is designed for those who:

  • Identify as racialized survivors of sexualized violence

  • Are interested in examining the links between white supremacy, racialization, and sexualized violence

  • Are willing to commit to offering the time and emotional energy required for full participation and engagement in the workshop

  • Are aware of their triggers* and what they need in order to recognize and respond to them

  • Value writing as an artistic medium for self-expression and discovery

Who is facilitating:

Pragya Sharma is a fat, brown, cis, queersurvivor of child sexual abuse.  She has worked in the field of sexualized violence in various capacities for the past decade, including activism, public education, crisis support, hospital accompaniment, and counselling. Exhausted by white feminism, she is thrilled to be working on the specificity of sexualized violence within racialized communities in the context of white supremacy.

lee williams boudakian (uses they/them/theirs pronouns) is mixed race, queer, non-binary trans & a survivor of intrafamilial sexual abuse and sexualized violence throughout their teenage and adult life. they have lived through court proceedings and the criminal injustice system in (not)prosecuting some(any) of these experiences. lee has been grappling with, making art about, and organizing around sexualized violence since their teens, and is very excited to be facilitating this workshop where our experiences as racialized people may sit at the center of the work we do together.


*Racialized – there are many definitions of this word. A verb, “racialized” recognizes that categories of race and ethnicity are not biologically determined, but are created by particular societies in particular times and places. Although some definitions of “racialized” include whiteness, for this workshop, “racialized” is limited to those who are seen as, or identify as, Black, Indigenous, and/or people of colour (including those who are mixed, or who “pass” as white).

*Triggers – A trigger is a word, phrase, action, behaviour, sound, smell — anything — that unearths memories or feeling associated with a past experience of trauma or abuse.

What Sessions Will Look Like:

  • Participants will meet once a week for three hours

  • Emotional safety will be collaboratively built and maintained by facilitators and participants

  • Each week will focus on a specific topic related to sexualized violence & racialization

  • Topics will be addressed through writing activities, individual and/or group exercises, and discussions

  • Participants will be assigned texts (readings/videos/songs/etc.) to generate activities, discussions, or writing on a particular topic

  • The workshop will be guided by principles of collective learning – knowledge will be built through the input and experiences of both facilitators and participants


Thursday evenings, 6pm-9pm, November 3rd-December8th, 2016


Vancouver Status of Women, 2652 East Hastings Street,, Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish lands

**This work takes place on the traditional and unceded Coast Salish lands of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.**


Sliding scale** 300-500

**sliding scale suggests that you pay according to what feels affordable to you within the range. folks making a living wage are encouraged to pay the full amount, as it makes space for others who need the reduced prices to access them more readily. If cost is a barrier or you have further questions on how much you can or want to pay, please be in touch. Payment plans are also options.

Venue Access Info:

  • Vancouver Status of Women is a wheelchair accessible space with an accessible, gender-neutral washroom.

  • The space will be scent reduced, though scented cleaning products are used by the VSW collective. We will have an air purifier in the space, but cannot guarantee a completely scent-free environment.

  • Seating will include couches as well as armed and armless chairs.

  • We are committed to accessibility for a variety of learning styles and will incorporate discussions, readings, videos, and other methods. Please contact us with any further questions regarding accessibility.

Applications Now Closed

Thanks to everyone who applied. We are looking forward to more workshops like this soon.

Find Us

#202-739 Gore Ave
Vancouver, Coast Salish lands

contactshapeshiftarts [at] gmail

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