Drawing from her experience working with women from a wide range of backgrounds and struck by the pervasive sense of disempowerment in post-disaster New Orleans, Eve Ensler saw the need for a catalyst that could help women through their enormous distress and also provide an outlet for them to convert their pain into power. Together with the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Ensler formed a workshop that created Swimming Upstream from personal stories of grief, loss, infringement, violation, disempowerment, insight, resolution, recovery, healing, and resilience.

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