Blog III: Fighting Words at the Gate

Fighting Words helps students of all ages to develop their writing skills and to explore their love of writing. Throughout the month of July, Fighting Words facilitated workshops for adults from the DCU University of Sanctuary programme in the Gate Studio.

Workshop participant, Fátima Contreiras, writes about her experience:

My name is Fátima Contreiras. I am from Angola, and currently, I live in Mosney Direct Provision Centre. I attended the workshops at the Gate Theatre organised by Fighting Words and Dublin City University of Sanctuary. It was my second time to be involved with Fighting Words and DCU. The first time I attended the MELLIE language and intercultural learning project to improve my English language skills. As part of this programme, we went to Fighting Words for a creative writing workshop.

The theatre-making workshops at the Gate Theatre were the best workshops ever. I learned that to create a story we don’t need to dream about something, or it doesn’t have to be about something really good or really bad happening. A story comes from simple things: a simple position, music, a quick idea, a quick word coming from anywhere or anything.

During the workshops, I wrote a story with seven characters: the one with the broken heart, the lonely one who is a refugee, the ex-criminal, the alcoholic, the unsuccessful singer, the one that is unemployed and the one looking for love. All of these characters, all with their problems, get to know each other when they meet in a pub and start talking to each other. This story has characters that are motivated by unpleasant events in history, but it also helps people to know that everything has an end and that we are responsible for changing our lives and having our stories inspire others.

There were great moments in these workshops, and I got to know a lot of people. I had the chance to see The Snapper and meet the writer, Roddy Doyle, and the actor, Hazel Clifford. The most amazing part was that I found one of my gifts and found the strength to continue to write. On the final day, it was my birthday, and the group surprised me with a cake.

Thank you to everyone at the Gate, DCU and Fighting Words for this opportunity. It was a pleasure to meet all the volunteers, and it was an amazing experience to be a part of this group of people.


For more information on Fighting Words, please see here


– 27 July 2018