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MASH offering free photography workshops ahead of Victoria Baths exhibition

MASH is proud to be launching a creative photography project for its staff, volunteers and service users, set to culminate in an exhibition of ‘ambiguous portraits’ at Manchester’s iconic Victoria Baths.

The ‘Face to Face’ project has been launched by MASH as part of its ongoing commitment to providing opportunities for women in the arts and to learn new skills. The charity is inviting any women who have ever been involved with the organisation to take part in free creative photography workshops led by Manchester-based photographer, Shari Denson.

The aim of the project is to encourage participation in the arts and enable women to experience the healing and therapeutic value of photography and creativity. Everyone taking part will have the opportunity to have their work exhibited at Victoria Baths on 8-9 September at its heritage open days.

The workshops will be suitable for complete beginners and experienced photographers alike and participants will learn a variety of skills including how to take ‘ambiguous’ portraits, meaning every photographer and participant remains anonymous.

Photographer and workshop lead, Shari Denson, said; “Portraiture can be a challenging theme for women who sex work due to the stigma and prejudice they may have experienced. With this in mind we decided to make all our pieces in this art project ambiguous.

“It’s a real privilege to be running this project for MASH and to have the opportunity to exhibit the photographs at such a prestigious venue. The healing and therapeutic value of photography and other creative endeavours is immeasurable – learning new skills, looking at the world in a different way, and seeing the beauty and mystery in ourselves and others.

“Sometimes we forget how to dream, and maybe picking up a camera and being creative allows us to dream once again…and make that dream come true, in a photograph, at least. We felt the theme of ‘Face to Face’ had a number of different meanings which embody what we aim to achieve through the curation of these photos.

“We wanted to create an initiative that staff, service users and volunteers alike can get involved in and when the photos are exhibited it will be impossible for anyone to determine the nature of each person’s involvement with MASH.”

People interested in taking part in the Face to Face project or getting more information about the upcoming workshops can get in touch with shari@mash.org.uk  0161 273 4555

For over 25 years MASH has provided support to street sex workers, offering help from its drop-in centre in the red-light district and, late into the night, from a mobile drop-in vehicle.

Shari added; “We are all women. We all have histories and stories. We all carry shame and guilt. We all have problems and issues in our lives. We all work for our living. We are all creative. We are all strong. We can all love. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends. We all have something powerful to say.”

MASH photography workshops

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