The Spit it Out documentary that combines poetry and animation to tell a difficult story of sexual assault has been taken to the next level.
The project is run by the documentary’s director Léa Luiz de Oliveira. Rape Crisis Scotland contacted the project after the film premiered on BBC Scotland this past June. RCS wants to use the documentary to raise awareness and open up a larger conversation about the way we speak about and deal with sexual assault.
Léa Luiz de Oliveira shares with us the motivations behind the project.
“We wanted to work together with the organisers and everyone that took part in the documentary to spread the message of awareness and support. We want people who have been victims of sexual assault to know that they can recover and get help, and that sharing their experience can greatly help other people.”
The documentary project started as a reflection on the way we use artistic expression to deal with emotional trauma. The documentary takes an intimate look at The Honey Farm (the only existing all-female Scottish hip-hop group ) collective’s rapper and poetess Bee Asha Singh and her experience of sexual assault, going on to examine the consequential process of coming to terms with it in her life and music.
The interlaced nature of recovery and creativity in the documentary is fleshed out through Bee’s struggle with antidepressants and creative block, her trip to India, and her emotional home in Edinburgh. The film focuses on the importance of sharing our experiences and getting educated about other people’s boundaries in the context of consent and trauma from sexual assault.
The organisers of the project describe the process as a journey.
“After finding the strength to stop her medication, Bee decides to leave for India in order to reconnect with her roots and find the inspiration to write. Through this journey, she realises that her spoken words can help other women open up about their own experiences.”
Ultimately, the Spit it Out Project will focus on organising community events where everyone will be free to share their experiences of sexual assault and share how they dealt with or are trying to overcome it, with a specific focus on artistic outlets.
“Everyone should know that they don’t have to speak about their trauma, but it is crucial to feel that you are able to. We want to provide an environment where victims of assault can share their experiences and heal through creativity and friendship,” says Luiz de Oliveira.
The project is planned to start off in various cities across Scotland and eventually include the rest of the United Kingdom. Additionally, the Spit it Out Project has started planning the publishing of a collection of poems, including Bee Asha Singh’s pieces, which would encourage and inspire other people to reach out and find an outlet for their trauma.
The first event for the project will take place in Edinburgh’s Paradise Palms venue later in November. The documentary will be screened at the event, but the main idea is to use it as a foundation to start a conversation about consent, dealing with and talking about trauma, and the taboos surrounding sexual assault and sexual intercourse.
Luiz de Oliveira’s next documentary will be on an equally delicate, but extremely brave and interesting subject.
“I am developing a film about a woman working in the Roslin Institute and fighting for LGBT+ rights in the STEM sphere,” she says.
Find out more about the project: