Category Archives: Uncategorized

IWD performers

Three exciting acts are appearing in the second half of Our Voices, Our Lives on 7 March 2020 at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. They are Dancing Queer, Louise & the Feathers, and Kittie Belltree. Your host is Helen Sandler. Details below. TICKETS>>

Shrouk El-Attar’s Dancing Queer

Dancing Queer (photo @LeviticusHinds)

Shrouk El-Attar (She/They) is an electronics design engineer who was born in Egypt and has been living in the United Kingdom as a refugee since 2007. She is an activist for refugee rights in the UK, and for LGBT rights in her native Egypt.

She performs as a belly dancer in an act called “Dancing Queer”, to raise funds for legal defense fees for LGBT people in Egypt, and to help with relocation for those persecuted and at risk because of their gender or sexuality. It’s a performance that mixes belly dancing, Arabic songs, magic tricks, and comedy!

Belly dancers should have long hair and shave their legs and underarms? Well, not this one! Named by the United Nations as Young Woman of the Year and listed by the BBC top 100 influential women Worldwide, this Egyptian, hairy, bearded, pierced and tattooed Queer Refugee dancer will give you a very authentic performance with a twist!

As featured on Pink News, BBC, Huffpost, Buzzfeed, Reuters, and more!

“Although I don’t believe that neither I, nor anyone, needs to provide a reason to dance: I dance because where I come from being a belly dancer is considered to be shameful. I dance to break a stereotype of what a belly dancer “should look like”. I dance because I want to show the world that you can absolutely be a belly dancer and a kick-ass engineer at the same time! I dance because it connects me to my roots and culture. I dance because it makes me happy. But perhaps most importantly, I dance as a form of protest against the treatment of my LGBT+ siblings persecuted around the world just for being who they are.” – Shrouk El Attar @ShroukELA

Louise and the Feathers

Louise and the Feathers

Louise and The Feathers (the artist formerly known as Emily Farr!) is a creation after years of writing, jamming and finally wanting to share my folk, pop, rock vibe with influences from Florence and The Machine, Paolo Nutini, Alison Moyet, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox, Haim, Kate Bush, 4 Non Blondes and more.

From Birmingham originally, we moved to Mid Wales when I was 9 and I have been writing ever since, playing in a variety of bands and at numerous open mic nights. Then revisiting early written originals (in 2017), I decided to start afresh using my middle name “Louise” representing the roots of my music passion, alongside “and the feathers” linking to spiritual perspectives and a love of nature with the hope to form a band and gain feathery fans.

To test the water, I shared a demo EP ‘Fallen Leaf’, which had recorded at home and received great feedback, but felt could do more at a studio. So in 2019, I got ‘Mistress, ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About’, ‘Come Back’, ‘Faded Away’ and ‘Rich Tea Biscuit’ recorded at Aberystwyth Music Studio, with additions from Ivan Anchant, bass and backing vocals from Andy Lloyd-Williams and mixing and mastering by Steffan Woodruff’s. All steadily shared and now all together on ‘Window View’ EP. Alongside this I did various gigs including Pembs Fest, West Fest, Cwmaman Festival and Caffi Iechyd Da. Now I am excited to get further afield and work on EP2 ‘Reflection’!  #LaTF @LouiseATF

Kittie Belltree

Poet Kittie Belltree

In her debut collection, Sliced Tongue and Pearl Cufflinks (Parthian), Kittie Belltree explores fractured connections of self, family and home. At the heart of these poems are a daughter’s fraught relationships with  a mother who grew up in National Socialist Germany and her half-Japanese father, who survived three years as a POW in Czechoslovakia. These dark themes are counterbalanced by moments of comical absurdity and delightful domestic chaos.

‘Haunting yet poignant … it is poetry that will undoubtedly change your perception of modern reality.’ New Welsh Reader

Kittie’s new poetry collection

Kittie Belltree was born in south London and lives in Wales. Her poems and short stories have been published in Orbis, The North, Under the Radar, I am not a silent poet, Poetry Wales, New Welsh Review, The Lampeter Review and Brittle Star. She has been a Literature Wales Bursary recipient, shortlisted for the Venture Award and highly commended in the Welsh International Poetry Competition, the PENfro Poetry Festival Competition, The Camden and Lumen Poetry Competition and the Orbis Readers Award. @kittiebelltree


The evening is compered by Aberration regular Helen Sandler, holding it all together in a near-organised fashion.

More info and tickets

Get your tickets now for Our Voices, Our Lives! TICKETS: Aberystwyth Arts Centre 01970 62 32 32

Full programme for 7 March >>
Afternoon workshops for women >>


IWD speakers


Saturday 7 March 2020 for International Women’s Day at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

The first part of the evening (6 to 7.30pm) is a panel discussion with the theme of Speak Up! We are fortunate to have three inspiring women on the panel:

Maria Constanza Mesa

Maria is the Operational Director of Women Connect First – a Cardiff-based charity to empower BAME women – and a WEN Board member. Originally from Colombia, she arrived in Wales as a refugee and has over 30 years’ experience in social work and community development, specialising in gender and race issues.

Leena Sarah Farhat

Leena is a computer science student at Aberystwyth University and a young activist with the Liberal Democrats. She is first generation British, multilingual and international in outlook. Leena has campaigned to prevent violence against women and for improved Welsh language provision, among other passions. She is a prospective candidate for the Senedd.

Shrouk El-Attar

An activist for the rights of refugees and LGBT+ people, Shrouk is herself a refugee from Egypt. She is based in Bristol where she is an electronics engineer by day, a Dancing Queer by night (as we will see when she performs for us later on!). Named by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.

Facilitator: Helen Sandler

Our Aberration co-programmer will be facilitating the discussion. Helen runs Tollington Press, publishing new books by women. She is an experienced chairperson and enjoys getting people talking and drawing out common threads. (Photo by Heather Broster)

We will ask:

  • How do we get heard?  
  • How have our panel members been effective in their work?
  • How do they use their voices to campaign around the issues facing women in their lives today, in Wales, the UK and the world?
  • And what can the rest of us learn from their experiences?

There will be time for questions from the audience and discussion. After an interval, sit back and enjoy our live entertainment.

Get your tickets for Our Voices, Our Lives (including panel and entertainment) from Aberystwyth Arts Centre >>

Workshops for women earlier the same day >>

<<Back to previous post / more about evening

Workshop: Doing LGBT History

LGBT History Month with Aberration

Workshop: Doing LGBT+ History

Saturday 9 February 2019 3.30-6pm
Aberystwyth Arts Centre: Creative Unit 5/6 (silver pod)
£5 / £3 (concessions) – includes refreshments
Tickets on sale from Aberystwyth Arts Centre here>>

Ever fancied doing some LGBT+ historical research but don’t know where to begin? This lively participatory workshop will introduce different ways of opening up lesbian, gay, bi and trans history. Everyone is welcome, whether you are a research newbie or have some experience to share. We hope that it will be the beginning of a Mid Wales network in which we continue to uncover our hidden queer histories in the past and present.

The workshop will be facilitated by Jane Hoy of Aberration and Living Histories Cymru.

In the first part historian Norena Shopland (as seen at Aberrations past) will ask us to consider: What is LGBT+ historical research? What does it mean to use the terms sexual orientation and gender identity in history? Which sources should we use, and why? She will also introduce us to her new online research tool. Norena is the author of Forbidden Lives: LGBT stories from Wales (Seren, 2018).


In the second part writer and researcher Jane Traies will introduce her groundbreaking research with older lesbians. She will explore what oral history can offer and introduce us to ways of doing it ethically and effectively. We will get the chance to practise interviewing skills on each other. Jane is the editor of Now You See Me: Lesbian life stories (Tollington, 2018).

Tickets >>

Hidden Worlds

The workshop will be followed later in the evening by ‘Hidden Worlds’: Aberration’s celebration of LGBT+ History Month with illustrated talks from Jane Traies and artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins plus the Welsh premiere of Karen Fisch’s jukebox musical Rebel Dyke. The evening starts at 7.45pm in the Round Studio and is ticketed separately at £10 / £8. Find out more>>

Future plans

Storytelling around the queer histories of Cymru: we are considering a summer event in which individuals offer a 5-10 minute performance/presentation based on the life of someone they are interested in (perhaps one of the people from Norena’s book or someone you have found). We would explore creative ways of presenting each person, in a series of workshops using story, poetry, film, music, drama, diary, dialogue… whatever is suggested by the materials we find and your strengths. For further information email

Village Show competition entries / dosbarthiadau cystadlu

Aberration Alternative Village Show

Competition Classes

[Cymraeg isod]

How to enter: Coming to the Aberration Village Show on 17 August 2018? Want to enter the produce, baking, flower arranging, or handicrafts competitions? Here’s how…

Buy a ticket for the evening and arrive at 7.15pm to be registered by the Show Secretary and have time to display your entries.

Judging will be by appearance only (no tasting) and will be by the audience between 7.30 and 8pm and in the interval.

Fabulous Fairy Cakes and Sponges

  • 6 decorated fairy cakes/cupcakes or one sponge. Presented on a plate, depicting any aspect of LGBTQIA+ culture in fabulous fashion.

Celebrity Vegetable or Fruit

  • A vegetable or fruit (or small group thereof) decorated with flair and imagination to depict a queer icon of your choice

Titfer Tat

  • Handicrafts: an item of headgear created from recycled materials. As practical or fantastical as you choose. Entries must be not more than 1 metre width/height and wearable.

Flora and Fauna in Footwear

  • An arrangement of cut flowers and/or (dead) fauna presented in an item of footwear.



Meini Prawf Cystadlu yn y Sioe Bentref Amgen Aberration

Dosbarthiadau Cystadlu

Sut i gystadlu: Isod mae’r manylion am sut y gallwch gystadlu yn Sioe Bentref Aberration ar 17 Awst 2018…

Prynwch docyn ar gyfer y noson a chyraeddwch am 7:15y.h. mewn da bryd i gofrestru gyda Ysgrifenydd y Sioe ac arddangos eich gwaith.

Bydd y cynnyrch yn cael eu barnu drwy ymddangosiad yn unig (dim blasu). Y gynulleidfa bydd yn gwneud y gwaith beirniadu, a hynny rhwng 7:30 a 8:00y.h ac hefyd yn ystod yr egwyl.

Cacennau a teisennau gwych

Gofynnir am 6 o gacennau tylwyth teg/cacennau cwpan neu un cacen sbwng wedi’u cyflwno ar blât wedi’u haddurno efo unrhyw elfen o naws gwych LGBTQIA+. 

Ffrwythau neu llysiau selebs

Addurnwch ffrwyth neu lysieuyn (neu grŵp bach ohonynt) gyda hwyl a dychymyg i ddarlunio eicon hoyw o’ch dewis. 

‘Titfer Tat’ – Het ffansi o nwyddau wedi’u ailgylchu

Crefft: Creu penwisg allan o nwyddau wedi’u hailgylchu.  Yn ymarferol neu anhygoel, eich dewis chi! Ni ddylai’r penwisg fod yn fwy na 1 metr o led/uchder ac mae’n rhaid bod yn bosib i’w wisgo!

Esgidiau fflora a ffawna

Trefniant o flodau a/neu ffawna (marw) wedi’u cyflwyno mewn esgid.