Birmingham’s quirky Victorian Jekyll and Hyde Gin Parlour is to host the launch of the Goddess Foundation on Sunday 28th February. The opening ceremony will see a celebration of women who have overcome adversity or worked within the community to empower others during 2015. Among the nominations for the first Goddess Award are a transgender campaigner, a young artist, a carer, and a spoken word poet. One of these fabulous women will be presented with the Goddess Award in recognition of her achievements. The afternoon of lunch and cocktails will include performances from musicians, artists and poets – and possibly even the Goddess of Fabulousness herself, Swingerella.
Swingerella is Goddess founder Andrea Smith’s formidable alter-ego. Her outrageous show, Swingerella’s Dark Fairytale, about surviving and escaping an abusive relationship, combined burlesque, poetry and comedy to enjoy huge success at last year’s Edfringe. After escaping domestic abuse, battling PTSD, and being evicted from her home with her children, Smith wants to raise awareness about domestic violence and help women leave situations where they feel trapped or in danger; she wants to help other women “get out”.
Abusive relationships feed off secrets and silence.
Smith’s work and belief in art for social change has become so prolific that she has been invited to perform at the WEF (Women’s Economic Forum) in New Delhi in May where she will also deliver a workshop on “finding your voice”. Her own experiences and journey to self-discovery have made her passionate about encouraging women to speak out. She explains “abusive relationships feed off secrets and silence.” Although viewing her alter-ego as somewhat toxic due to the anger and other negative emotions she has used her to express, Swingerella has allowed Smith a platform that will help her provide support for other women in abusive relationships. Swingerella has become a positive – a force for good, and returns to Edfringe this summer with part two of her story. In the mean time, she will be at the Jekyll and Hyde on 28th February, spurring on her tribe of fabulous goddesses.
Tickets for the Goddess Foundation Launch are available here.
For further information, see swingerella.co.uk
For support and information about domestic violence, visit refuge.org.uk
Kim is a writer who enjoys celebrity gossip a lot more than she lets on.