Are you listening? This is a question that powerful one-woman play You Heard Me asks as it tours the UK over the next few months. And it’s complemented by You Heard Us, a public photography installation. It creates a platform for women to take up space, be honoured and be listened to.
Bringing women’s voices and experiences to the forefront, writer, theatre-maker and artist Luca Rutherford presents this impassioned project combining theatre and public art.
So, what is the play about? It’s about refusing to be silent. You Heard Me is a true story that celebrates a single moment of noise that allowed Rutherford to escape an attack. This moment made her understand what it means to take up space, to heal and be part of something much bigger than herself.
It’s about having the power to re-make, re-mould and disrupt. You Heard Me is for anyone who’s been underestimated, told to shut up or been afraid to walk home. This show exists because without using her voice, Rutherford wouldn’t.
You Heard Us installation
Meanwhile, the other part of the project is a large-scale photography installation. It’s all about celebrating women, listening to women, and women defiantly taking up public spaces. It explores these important themes through a collaborative process between Rutherford and 40 local women from Stockton, Deptford, Bradford and Cambridge. Taking the women’s portraits are local photographers Jade Sweeting, Jemima Yong, Nudrat Afza and Camilla Greenwell. And they’ll collectively decide where to display them on buildings around each locality.
This is a world where those who shout the loudest are the ones who are heard. Rutherford takes the intimacy of a photograph and plasters it on a large scale, to be loud without shouting. Wordless images show how small moments of quiet can be powerful. Rutherford invites the community participants and artistic collaborators to contribute to take up public space. Ultimately asking you to harness them and their power. And question whether we are listening and being listened to.
With the core of You Heard Us rooted in intersectional feminism, representation within the photographs is key. This project is about listening to women. And by women, the project team mean anyone who identifies in any way with the notion of womanhood.
When: 16th February – 18th March 2022 (Shows on 17th, 5th, 9th &17th are BSL interpreted)
Where: Touring across the UK to Stockton-on-Tees, Newcastle, Hull, Bradford, Cambridge, London,
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the venue (suitable for ages 14+ years)
More info: luca-rutherford.co.uk/projects-1/youheardme