Moon in Venus
Working with Venus Charity – an organisation dedicated to improving the life chances of women and families living in South Sefton and artist Jeanne van Heeswijk — ‘Moon in Venus’ proposes to reimagine the issue of debt.
In 2019, we invited Jeanne visited Bootle to work with Venus’ staff, and volunteer team to explore the meaning and impacts of living with debt at a community and individual level. What emerged was a proposal to develop new ways of thinking about debt bringing in different ideas about forecasting, of the financial, and astrological kind, as well as working collectively to live happy lives despite the burden of debt.
Two weeks later, the pandemic started and Venus energy went into emergency support mode. Once the crisis settled, we engaged key local women using Venus’ Money Management services in workshops with artists Fauziya Johnson and Phoebe Bachman online with Jeanne’s guidance — working with women to explore hopes, desires and collective thinking towards a future free from debt. Using a ‘commoning’ approach that acknowledges the women we support as ‘experts-by-experience’, together we began to consider new ways of supporting more women in our community through the project.
Now in 2022, Moon in Venus reaches its next phase. From the 8th March, we will be taking over a vacant shop unit in the Strand Shopping Centre to amplify Venus’s Money Management programme and deliver energy-saving advice, making their services more accessible to women in need. Alongside practical support, we will deliver a holistic programme focused on looking beyond our debt and living well, as well as learning opportunities around the historical, political, social and economic context of debt and how we got to the position we are in.
The shop will run for a month long pilot alongside a social media campaign to raise visibility of the debt and energy crisis and highlight the work of our collaborators — a network of local women, community partners, grassroots activists, healers and artists.