EDINBURGH will this week play host to the second half of the Aye Festival, with a diverse array of performances and events focusing upon healing from trauma and supporting those who have suffered from it.

Founded by the Edinburgh-based, women-run consent and mental health charity Spit It Out, the Aye Festival will arrive in the capital on Thursday following its initial run in Glasgow, promising exhibitions, workshops, talks and live music.

Spit It Out co-founder Bee Asha said: “This event has been curated with so much passion and dedication, and is the result of months of hard work. We are so excited to present the Aye Festival to Scotland in hopes to inspire those that take part, in whatever capacity, to find ways to better talk about trauma and support those we see struggling.”

The Edinburgh-based five-piece Grace & The Flat Boys, who will be playing at the Wee Red Bar as part of the festival, told the Sunday National: “We think that taking ownership of yourself and your feelings is really important in overcoming trauma, and what better way to do that than to celebrate, have fun and freely express yourself? The fact that the line-up of the night consists of people from communities who are no stranger to trauma – be that due to race, gender, sexuality or anything else – really drives this point home.

“It is really important to make a point of celebrating the creative outlets and products of these communities. Celebrations like these can inspire other people from these communities to explore creative passions and outlets that can sometimes seem inaccessible to them.”

Songwriter and composer Nani Porenta added: “Song writing to me has always been this safe space where I suddenly seem to find words to express thoughts and feelings that I would otherwise struggle to verbalise. Music is a great way for people to connect, and at Aye Festival we will create a safe, live music space for people to enjoy and maybe have a wee dance at together.”

Elsewhere, Ltd Ink Corporation will present One Of Them, a collective exhibition by Lea Luiz de Oliveira, Callie Rose Petal and Seina Baalouche, featuring a series of audio testimonies exploring themes of trauma, healing and forgiveness, taken from anonymous interviews. The exhibition, says Baalouche, was created to “give a voice to people, showing that healing is possible, in order to break the circle of abuse. We want our audience to feel that they are not alone”.

Ruth Eliot, who is running a series of Better Sex Workshops as part of the festival, says that they are “trauma-informed”.

“The ones happening at the Aye Festival are not explicitly about trauma per se, but all the workshops I facilitate are sensitive to the statistical reality that there will be survivors, those who’ve enacted sexual violence, those who have been bystanders to it and those who fall into more than one of those groups in the room.

“As a former Rape Crisis worker, I am keenly aware of how conversations about sex positivity and pleasure are incomplete when they fail to address this reality. Equally important, and often overlooked, is that healing from trauma does not only mean easing pain, just as crucially it means accessing joy – those who’ve experienced sexual trauma are no less concerned with maximising their pleasure than anyone else. As such, the Better Sex Workshops fit into the Aye Festival’s focus on destigmatising and healing from trauma.”

The Aye Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday.