One artist’s story in finding her freedom

Best on the Box highlight for June 29th…

Cardiff born and raised singer and artist Marged currently travels the world with pop group Self Esteem as a backing vocalist-dancer and supporting act. Rebecca Taylor’s Brit nominated project Self Esteem, with their much anticipated Glastonbury festival performance on the horizon, is recognised for shedding light on the challenging experiences that women face on a daily basis.

In an honest and moving documentary, Hunan Hyder, shot during Self Esteem’s tour of Britain and America, we’re invited into a visual portrait that captures the power of Marged’s story so far – with emphasis on how performing on stage liberates and enables her to process trauma.

“I love singing and being on stage,” said Marged. “It was at chapel that I first learned how to perform, how to deal with nerves; getting in front of people to sing.”

There’s no doubt that singing and performing are in the blood – Marged is the daughter of popular Welsh language folk artist Delwyn Siôn, but the influences at home extended beyond music:

“At home it was always important to live by the motto that we fight for equality, and to always act from a place of love. I’ve learned that in times of darkness, you must create light for yourself,” she adds.

Marged’s life changed significantly in her early twenties after she survived a sexual assault:

“There’s something about being a survivor of male violence – where choice leaves your life entirely. I spent a year feeling heavily depressed, drinking . . . taking drugs, and I feel like I attracted the energy field that I held at the time. I ended up in an abusive relationship that lasted nearly five years, during which time I developed an addiction to alcohol and drugs.”

Marged who’s currently working on her own solo project, offers a raw insight into the experiences of women as a result to male violence.

“It doesn’t matter what you wear, what’s out there is still going to be out there, and that’s their responsibility, not mine.”

Becoming a member of Self Esteem was a turning point for Marged:

“Being on stage means I can re-claim my body every evening. I can move my body and no one can touch me while I’m doing it. I feel totally safe on the stage and for the first time in my life it gives me a place to be angry. We choose how we move and what energy we give out.”

The film, which is directed and produced by two of Marged’s friends – singer and poet Casi Wyn and photographer and director Carys Huws.

This is Carys and Casi’s first experience of working together to create a film with Marged’s remarkable journey and courage being the source of their inspiration. The story is told in Welsh – a natural progression for the team as Welsh is Casi, Carys and Marged’s first language.

Casi said: “Self Esteem is no ordinary pop group; unlike most mainstream artists they don’t attempt to gloss over the sometimes harsher aspects of reality. The film paints only a fragment of Marged’s journey so far as she discovers and shapes her place in the world. Marged is proof that the power of light, hope and radical acceptance can help us heal from the deep wounds of trauma. Dance and song as a form of expression is a way of working with our darker experiences in life – rather than resisting and concealing from them, Marged confronts her hurt. I for one am very grateful for her courage – in sharing a story that will undoubtedly allow countless others to heal and perhaps learn to trust life again.”

“Marged has always been an inspiration to me in how she speaks so radically openly about themes that are often framed as taboo within our society. I have tremendous respect for her for being open to sharing her personal trauma to help other survivors, and to represent the reality women are experiencing today as a result of male violence and toxic masculinity.”

Hunan Hyder, Wednesday 29 June 10 pm, S4C.

English and Welsh subtitles available
On demand: S4C Clic, iPlayer and YouTube

Share Button