MILES APART TOGETHER Comes to the VAULT Festival
As an increasing number of women take on top roles in politics, tech, sport and beyond, three of history's most ground-breaking pioneers come together to reflect on how much - or how little - has changed since they tore apart the rule book. Miles Apart Together sees Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African American descent to hold a pilot license, Junko Tabei, the first woman to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and Annie Londonderry Kopchovsky, a Latvian immigrant and the first woman to cycle around the world, sit down for one night only for a live recording of a podcast, in which they share and relive their unprecedented feats.
The achievements of Bessie, Junko and Annie became milestones in the path towards women's rights and freedom, challenging the assumption that the "fairer sex" lacks the physical and mental stamina for big deeds. In their playful take on a 'podcast', an industry in which women's conversations lead the way, Paper Smokers unite these three remarkable women across generations and do away with ideas of timidity and fragility.
Company Co-Founder Cecilia Gragnani said, "A recent estimate from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots says that there are about 4,000 women pilots worldwide, of about 130,000: that's just over 3%. There are so few non-white female pilots that they are not even a percentage.
"Still today women have to work twice as hard as men to get the recognition they deserve. Still today men are encouraged to explore, be bold and adventurous while girls are encouraged to be quiet and good. When asked to draw an engineer, a firefighter, a doctor, children mainly draw male figures. Annie, Junko and Bessie are outstanding examples of how we can fight to change these preconceptions."
Paper Smokers is a London based international collective of storytellers producing film, theatre and installations. Paper Smokers strongly believe in the value of international collaboration and the coming together of artists from different backgrounds as precious tools to interpret today's world. They share stories of outsiders and focus on work that is multilingual, transnational and exists across borders. With Katharina Reinthaller they developed the show Diary of an Expat, which was warmly received at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.