Category Archives: Aberration

Queer-themed events for all at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Between the Lines

Aberration online for LGBT+ History Month UK: talks, music, poetry & our cult quiz!


7pm to 9.30pm Fri 26 Feb 2021

Many thanks to our amazing contributors and audience for an intense night of talks, info, sharing, solidarity, poems, song, chat and quizzicality! Here are some links (in red) to find out more:

Check out the English translation of the verses recited by Rhys.

Jane Traies and Maggy Moyo talked about LISG (Lesbian Immigration Support Group) and their new book, Free to Be Me – mention Aberration to order your copy at a discount!

Chris Lee from the Romani Cultural and Arts Company in Cardiff told us about the new Gypsy, Roma and Traveller LGBTQI+ Spoken History Archive.

Cheryl Morgan has written a special blog post with more about the quest for Trans Celts.

Norena Shopland launched her new Welsh Pride timeline as an e-mag.

We heard music from Cerys Hafana whose new album Cwmwl is available now.

And watch this space for more about queering the museums of Cymru!


These event details are here as part of our archive but the event has now passed. 

Join us on a voyage through history, from antiquity to our own lifetimes! As we can’t manage to celebrate LGBT+ History Month and International Women’s Day separately this year in the Weird Times, we’re unashamedly biased towards women speakers for this special event.

7pm CROESO / WELCOME from co-host Ruth Fowler, followed by…

Cheryl Morgan speaking on ‘Trans People in Celtic Britain’. This talk will look at the evidence for Gender Diversity in early Britain, from the Roman invasion through to the legends of King Arthur. Cheryl is a writer, critic and publisher with a strong interest in the history of trans people. She is co-chair of OutStories Bristol, and is a regular speaker on the LGBT+ History Month circuit. (In fact, that’s where we met her and first dreamed of inviting her to Aberration.)

7.30pm Norena Shopland launches her Welsh Pride timeline e-mag along with our co-host Jane Hoy. Norena has been an inspiration to the rest of us as we dig into the LGBTQ+ history of Wales. Now she’s about to make that history even more accessible with this new treasure trove. Norena is also the author of lively and informative books like Forbidden Lives: LGBT Stories from Wales. DOWNLOAD THE E-MAG NOW!

Mark Etheridge from St Fagans (National Museum of History, Amgueddfa Cymru) will tell us about his mission to queer up the archive. As curator of LGBTQ+ history, he is keen to include Mid Wales. As well as objects, documents and photographs, Mark is collecting oral histories.

Discussion: What would you put in a queer museum and why? Bring along your object and let’s chat in smaller groups (or just listen if you prefer).

Tickets on Eventbrite>>

8pm Jane Traies is the editor of new book Free to Be Me: Refugee Stories – interviews with members of the Lesbian Immigration Support Group (LISG) in Manchester. Jane previously spoke to us about Now You See Me, her volume of oral history interviews with older lesbians. She has spent the last year working with LISG members (and our own Helen Sandler) to produce this moving and important new collection.

BOOK OFFER: Free to Be Me is out soon from Tollington Press. Mention Aberration for a £2 discount when you pre-order direct from Jane: (reduced to £10 + postage).

Maggy Moyo is a contributor to the book and will share a journey of self-discovery. Maggy fled  from her highly conservative home country in Africa to the UK. The attitude of the authorities here to lesbian asylum seekers has caused further distress to herself and her friends in the Lesbian Immigration Support Group. Maggy is a tireless human rights campaigner and works for Right to Remain, campaigning to end immigration detention in the UK.

8.30pm The Romani Cultural and Arts Company in Cardiff recently launched their Gypsy, Roma and Traveller LGBTQI+ Spoken History Archive. Chris Lee will tell us about this exciting collection of interviews and the social movement behind it. Chris is a community champion and researcher at the company, and conducted the oral history project with Isaac Blake and Daniel Baker. In 2019 she spoke at the Senedd at the first GRT LGBTQI+ conference in the UK. 

Ruth Fowler

9pm Ruth Fowler presents her cult quiz: ‘Who Wants to Win Three Quid When This Is All Over?’ with a special queer history focus.

9.20pm Jane Hoy then presents ‘Out In Aber’ – our contribution to the new Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum virtual tour:

Rosie Collins, a retired top international scientist, and Sara McAleese, a very short midwife from Somerset, together founded the mythical ‘Wrecked@TheBoatClub’. This monthly night out for all kinds of queer women, in a dilapidated old building on Aberystwyth harbour, is now memorialised on audio.

Followed by ‘Lesberados’ lyrics from our previous oral history workshop about Wrecked – now put to music by talented musician Cerys Hafana.

Jane Hoy (second from right) with the crew, including Sara and Rosie, at last year’s tour from the museum


Interludes: favourite tracks for you to sing along or have a bop.

Queer poems from Wales: read by Rhys Lewis.

Closing toast around 9.30pm

BOOK NOW on Eventbrite>>

Suggested ticket donation between £1 and £5 (goes towards event costs). This is an online event. Book one ticket per device, eg if two of you are watching on one laptop, book one ticket. Zoom link will be sent to you on the day. Above timings are approximate.

~ Spirit of Aberration ~

Come along in the spirit of Aberration – queer arts, activism, community and diversity. We are (of course) trans-inclusive and anti-racist. You are welcome whether you are lesbian, gay or bi, trans, genderqueer or non-binary, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual… or an open-minded ally! Yes that absolutely includes straight friends 🙂 so stop wondering and come along!

Aberration Pride

7pm Saturday 18 July 2020 online

Aberration Pride: A great night in for the LGBT+ community of Mid Wales and our friends! Music, comedy, drag, spoken word, speakers, contests, dancing + more

This fab sold-out event is now over and is included here as part of our archive.


After running a series of low-key Aberration Adre (Aberration at Home) events, we are delighted to announce the first-ever Aberration Pride! Cyffrous!

Author Mike Parker will open the event followed by amazing acts including gender-bending lip-sync from Rhys’s Pieces, queer comedy from Shelf, spoken word from Dean Atta, music from Zoey Allen, Toby Carvery’s Good Dog Show, and the return of the cult quiz ‘Who Wants to Win Three Quid When This Is All Over?’ with Ruth Fowler (who co-hosts the evening with Helen Sandler and Jane Hoy).

We will hear inspiring words about Pride and LGBT+ rights from activists including Laolu Alatise, Aled Gustafson and Kate Rose. We also hope to hear from friends in Poland.


Pride from your sofa

Take part or take a back seat, but take pride! There’ll be a Virtual Pride March and lots of chances for you to have a bop.

We’re showcasing artists and speakers from near and far. And if you’ve never managed to travel to Aberystwyth for Aberration, now’s your chance to ‘be part of the queer arts scene that’s taking Mid Wales by storm’. (DIVA)

Bring your dog (real or stuffed) for a chance to enter Toby’s Good Dog Show


Please join us at Aberration Pride! Tickets are free on Eventbrite but we’ll be suggesting good causes for you to make donations if you can afford it. You’ll see instructions for how to get the Zoom link after you register. See you soon! Edrych ymlaen!

You can also join the Facebook event page to stay in the loop >>

~ Spirit of Aberration ~

Come along in the spirit of Aberration – queer arts, activism, community and diversity. We are (of course) trans-inclusive and anti-racist. You are welcome whether you are lesbian, gay or bi, trans, genderqueer or non-binary, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual… or an open-minded ally! This online event is aimed at people aged 16+ and includes adult themes.

International Women’s Day 2020 ~ ‘Our Voices, Our Lives’ evening

Aberystwyth 7 March 2020

Diwrnod Rhyngwladol y Menywod 7 Mawrth

Shrouk dancing with rainbow flag
Shrouk El Attar performs her ‘Dancing Queer’ act
Photo: @Diego_Maeso_ 

Celebrate International Women’s Day (a day early) on Saturday 7 March with a sparky and inspiring evening of talks, discussion and live music! At Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Organised in partnership by Aberration / SpringOut, Aberystwyth University and WEN Wales.

English details below // Cymraeg >>

6 to 10pm
Our Voices, Our Lives

Talks and live performance to challenge, dazzle and inspire. Hosted by Helen Sandler. £7 / £5 (concessions) – your ticket is for the whole evening. TICKETS>>

6pm Panel discussion on the theme ‘Speak Up’: amplifying crucial issues affecting women’s lives in Wales and beyond. How can campaigners be heard and be effective? With activists Maria Mesa, Leena Sarah Farhat and Shrouk El-Attar. Read more about speakers >>

8pm Live performance

Shrouk El-Attar’s gyrating and gender-bending Dancing Queer (pictured, top) brings us magic tricks and Egyptian belly-dancing. Plus beautiful live music from Louise and the Feathers, whose second EP is now in progress; and truth-telling poetry from Kittie Belltree whose new collection Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks came out recently from Parthian. Read more about performers >>

Evening open to everyone interested in women’s equality, whatever your gender (women, men, non-binary – all welcome). Events mainly in English. Age guidance 14+. Programme has changed slightly since we printed our leaflets due to unforeseen circumstances.

TICKETS: Aberystwyth Arts Centre 01970 62 32 32

WORKSHOPS: Earlier the same day we are running an afternoon of creative workshops for women. Release your inner rock star with our ‘Encore’ music session run by The Rock Project, or make your own zine with artist Nicky Arscott. More about workshops here>>

Women’s Equality Network Wales Cymru
Prifysgol Aberystwyth University

International Women’s Day workshops

Saturday 7 March 2020, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

An afternoon of workshops for women at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

There are three inspiring creative workshops to choose from, listed below with ticket links. Book now – and be sure to buy tickets for the evening event, ‘Our Voices, Our Lives’, too.

12 women per workshop (age 16+, trans women and non-binary people welcome at all sessions).

1. Our Selfies, Ourselves – Zine-making workshop for women

12.30 to 2.30pm in the Digilab, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, £5/£3 TICKETS>>

Fed up with the portrayal of women in the media? We’ll take matters into our own hands as we draw, cut, stick, stamp and collage our very own ‘zines’ with artist Nicky Arscott.

Zines (short for ‘magazines’) are hand-made or low-tech booklets and magazines with a creative, DIY feel. No experience or special talent is needed to make them!

‘Blind Carbon Copy’ by Nicky Arscott

Nicky Arscott lives in Llanbrynmair and specialises in making poetry comics. She has exhibited at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, MOMA Machynlleth and Oriel Davies Newtown. She has an MA in Creative Writing and is one of the directors of Ennyn CIC, which promotes art and creativity in schools and communities. Nicky is a friendly and encouraging workshop leader. TICKETS>>

2. Sounding Off! – Theatre workshop for women CANCELLED

Unfortunately this workshop has been cancelled due to low numbers.

Apologies for any disappointment. The box office have written to everyone who booked to offer them either another workshop or a refund.

3. Encore! – music workshop for women
with The Rock Project

3-5pm in the Students Union, adjacent to Aberystwyth Arts Centre, £5/£3

As of Friday 6 March, a small number of places remain – vocals or guitar only – please phone the box office on 01970 623232 to book your place!

Release your inner rock star! This one-off taster workshop starts with a lesson on specific instruments or vocals in small groups. This is followed by a ‘plug and play’ session where you will all be able to put into practice what you have learnt by playing together as a band. Mentored by the tutors throughout. 

You do not need any experience – beginners are welcome. On the other hand, if you have been a bedroom player all your life and want to play with other musicians, then this is your chance. So whether you are 20, 30, 40 or 70-something, if you have always dreamt of being in a rock band, Encore is just what you’ve been waiting for.

All instruments provided. Capacity: three drums, three guitar, two bass and four vocals. Express your preference when booking. Led by Lisa and Liesa: friendly and knowledgeable tutors who also offer longer courses for adults and children with The Rock Project Aberystwyth.

Evening event

See details of ‘Our Voices, Our Lives’>>

International Women’s Day programme is organised in partnership by Aberration, Aberystwyth University and WEN Wales, with support from The Rock Project.