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WOW - WOMEN OF THE WORLD Announces Day Pass Events For 2023 London Festival

The festival runs from 10-12 March.

WOW - WOMEN OF THE WORLD Announces Day Pass Events For 2023 London Festival

WOW - Women of the World has announced the first guests for its 2023 London Festival, which returns to the Southbank Centre to mark International Women's Day, supported by The WOW Foundation's Global Founding Partner, Bloomberg. From 10-12 March, the 13th London edition of the world's biggest, most comprehensive festival celebrating women, girls and non-binary people will be back with three days of laughter, joy, discussion, world-class speakers, artists and activists.The programme will include Julia Gillard, Kathy Burke, Elif Shafak, Shani Dhanda, Sali Hughes, Mary Robinson, Megan Barton-Hanson, Shobna Gulati, Stephanie Yeboah and WOW Founder Jude Kelly.

WOW have announced the day pass programme for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each day features a different line-up, offering audiences the chance to choose from dozens of events in multiple spaces and venues. Panels will be diverse and fresh, ranging from conversations about true crime and deepfakes to baby loss and a history of Bengali activism. There will be female friendship, the future of sex, fillers, fat activism as well as conversations around hair loss, accessable spaces, burnout and addiction. WOW will talk about the climate emergency, housing, childcare, financial crisis and misogyny in 2023. It will ask how we can all work together to create change, and invite audiences to join workshops on the right to rage and radical self care.

A programme of ticketed evening events and WOW Presents... digital events will be announced in the coming months. The festival will feature the much-loved WOW Marketplace, a programme of free WOW Pop Up performances, free WOW Speed Mentoring and Under 10's Feminist Corner for budding young feminists everywhere.

FRIDAY 10 MARCH

Jude Kelly CBE will open the Festival with a powerful session on women, misogyny and power with Australia's first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, activist and author Laura Bates, best selling author Elif Shafak and activist Josephine Kamara.

Award-winning speaker and activist Shani Dhanda discusses what the cost of living crisis really means for women and disabled people who are already disproportionately affected by poverty. And elsewhere WOW has frank conversations about misogyny at the highest levels of business, and glass ceilings and working cultures. Despite massive 'diversity pushes' and calls for better representation, only nine of the 100 FTSE companies listed in the UK have women CEOs.

In a light-hearted session featuring columnist, podcaster and TV personality Megan Barton-Hanson and other speakers to be announced, we ask if fillers are anti feminist or can you be feminist and get the odd tweakment? In another part of the building, Good Fatty / Bad Fatty invites fat activists Dr Charlotte Cooper, Stephanie Yeboah and Phoebe Patey-Ferguson to explore the intersections of fat identity that are too often left out of conversations on fatness.

Health plays a central role at WOW 2023 and on Friday gendered diagnostic methods will be explored in a session with psychologists Sanah Ahsan, Lucy Johnstone and Gilli Watson about how trauma can inform our medical outcomes.

Later in the day miscarriages and baby loss burnout will be discussed in a supportive session with award winning journalist Jennie Agg and Miranda Ward, debut author of Adrift - about her own experiences with pregnancy loss. Other talks with line ups to be announced will cover everything from leadership to stories of global resistance and the 'feminism problem' with some of the industry's most respected speakers including Shahed Ezaydi, author of The Othered Woman: How White Feminism Harms Muslim Women

The building will be alive with pop ups and performances, from double dutch skipping to Krav Maga and more and there'll be a meeting point for festival goers who'd like to meet other attendees to go to sessions with.

SATURDAY 11 MARCH

On Saturday there is a huge range of timely topics from the history of Bengali activism in the UK with academics, Fatima Rajina and Shabna Begum, and activists Farzana Khan and Raisa Hassan who will open the session with a beautiful poetry performance; through to an an interactive workshop on our Right to Rage and a sharing space with Homegirls Unite to explore and celebrate life as an eldest daughter.

Author of All the places I've ever lived in, Kieran Yates and award winning journalist Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff come to WOW for a session on how to radically reimagine ideas of home in a frank and lively discussion on housing.

There'll be pressing political conversations on making the case for free childcare as childcare costs rocket in the UK and an urgent conversation on Climate with former Irish President, Mary Robinson and activist Pat Mitchell.

There will be an exploration into women's obsession with true crime and the factors behind the addictive viewing in Murder is Girl Talk: Why women love true crime.

With 8 million women in the UK experiencing hair loss, WOW brings together speakers who have experienced hair loss including Gina Atinuke Knight.

Sex Talks Founder, Emma-Louise Boynton joins us for an unmissable discussion on shifting sexual desires and the future of sex with guests to be announced.

English actress, comedian, writer, producer, and director Kathy Burke joins WOW for the first time ever, in conversation with WOW's Founder Jude Kelly about her highly individual fascinating life and career.

A variety of pop-ups and performances throughout Saturday's programme will explore everything from speedcubing to Goal Diggers, a non-ability woman and non-binary football club in London.

There will also be a separately ticketed children's event on Saturday - Joyful, Joyful: Celebrating Black Voices. In this fun and interactive event, Dapo Adeola - the illustrator who has inspired little girls all over the world to dress up as his character, Rocket, from the children's book, Look Up! - will be joined by writers Hannah Lee and Maame Blue for a chance to enjoy readings and live drawing by this much-loved trio.

SUNDAY 12 MARCH

Sunday at WOW explores women's history, how kindness can change your life with Shahroo Izadi before finishing up with a special session with WOW Founder Jude Kelly and guests to bring the day to a close.

Journalist and broadcaster Sali Hughes will be in conversation about her new book 'Everything is Washable' - with advice on everything from cutting your own fringe to splitting finances with your partner. Expect tips and insight on the big and the small - and everything in between.

RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) will return to the festival for the ninth year as part of the Day Pass. To mark the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya's murder on 7 October 2006, and to honour Anna and other women like her in the world, RAW in WAR annually presents the Anna Politkovskaya Award to female human rights defenders from conflict zones who, like Anna, stand up for the victims of conflict, often at great personal risk. This year the award will be presented at WOW by Founder Mariana Katzarova to Tetiana Sokolova, a courageous midwife from Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine, and Svetlana Gannushkina, a human rights activist from Russia who uses her platform to speak out about the war in Ukraine.

There will be a session on deep fakes and revenge porn with award-winning journalist Jenni Savin who brings experts working in the world of deepfakes to talk about weaponized misinformation in a world where anyone can pay a bot to alter a happy holiday snap into a nude.

Writer and broadcaster Octavia Bright joins a range of speakers still to be announced to speak out about addiction and recovery and the recognition of associated trauma.

Across the weekend there'll be WOW Big Ideas on all three Day Pass days. These are Big Ideas to change the world, with everything from Milk Honey Bees founder, Ebinehita Iyere on Black Girlhood; comedienne Alice Sherwood on what she's learnt from conwomen; and actress Shobna Gulati who will perform a moving reading from her book, Remember me?

On Sunday, there will be two exciting new children's events featuring award winning authors and illustrators. Tolá Okogwu brings Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun to life - Onyenka is a dazzling superhero story starring a British-Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers. Emma Carroll & Lauren Child come to WOW with Little Match Girl - their reworked the Hans Christian Andersen with a new feminist twist. Both are separately ticketed events.



Review: BUTCHERED, VAULT Festival Photo
There are some shows that fit perfectly within the walls of The Vaults. Magic is made when old bricks and humidity meet the right production. Expial Atrocious’ Butchered is one of those that feel at home enveloped by the horrid architecture and the rumblings of Waterloo Station. The love child of Sweeney Todd and Hannibal, it’s a grim look at life and death in a dog-eat-dog world.

Review: THE LAMB DISAGREES, VAULT Festival Photo
It’s equally funny and stimulating, opening up a broader conversation about people’s use of foreign cultures and experiences to further their own goals. Wang only gives a taste of the issue in The Lamb Disagrees, but we hope her budding career will explore the subject in more detail.

Review: FOR A BRIEF MOMENT AND NEVER AGAIN SINCE, VAULT Festival Photo
It’s a missed opportunity to explore young parenthood and the effects of thoughtless actions on a couple.

UK Stage Directors Release Census 2023, Conducted By SDUK Photo
Stage Directors UK (SDUK) has released the findings of the 2023 Stage Directors Census. Over 500 UK based stage directors participated in the survey, representing all levels of the profession.


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