5 events to wow you at 'WoW'

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The Women of the World Festival is returning to Perth for its second year, this September – and to say I’m excited would be an understatement. Originating in 2010 London’s Southbank Centre, and then expanding to a global scale, the festival now takes place across 23 countries, spread across five continents.

#WOWPERTH is Scotland’s sole festival date. Having a read through the programme, there’s a hugely diverse range of workshops, talks and activities on offer this year – events that seek to provoke and challenge, that continue to foster the conversations we need to be having to strive for a fairer and more just world.

I was posed the weighty challenge of picking just five events that I’m really looking forward to this year – so in no particular order, here are the events I’ve got penned down in my diary:

  1. Women in the Criminal Justice System: A Conversation Café.
    In this workshop, Lucy Mulvenna (Perth One Stop Women’s Learning Service) and Kirstie Morrison (Peer Mentor for OWLS, and former offender) aim to create an inclusive conversation about what’s being done to support women in the criminal justice system, and what changes are taking place in Scotland specifically.

    This discussion is extremely timely, as Scotland has the second highest female prison population in Northern Europe – across Scotland 3,000 women are imprisoned every year, with the average daily female population being around 400. Angela Davis famously stated that, “Women prisoners represent one of the most disenfranchised and invisible adult populations in our society”.

    Breaking this invisibility, through having these discussions publicly is so important to ensure that we are advocating for the rights of all women.

    Saturday 29th September, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Space One

  2. Bearing the Burden: Women and Poverty.
    Set to be an interactive discussion, Twimukye Mushaka (Senior Fieldwork Development Officer from The Poverty Alliance) aim to “explore the social and economic injustices facing women in Scotland today”. Much ground will be covered, with topics ranging from changes to our welfare system, to child poverty, to challenging stigma.

    With the topics such as period poverty recently garnering much attention in Scotland, and with recent studies showing 1,000,000 people in Scotland are currently living in poverty, the ways in which poverty’s impact can be gender specific is extremely timely.

    Saturday 29th September, 2:30pm - 4pm, Space One
    Part of DAY or WEEKEND PASS

  3. Project X: Dance Workshop.
    This is a really unique event – a dance workshop that aims to “change conversations and perceptions around dance within the African Diaspora in Scotland”. It is run by Project X - a Scottish artist collective who state they “celebrate the cross-pollination of identities, ideas and forms”, while celebrating an Afro-Caribbean heritage and fostering representation.

    Strengthening and celebrating heritage within diaspora communities is so important as it provides a sense of belonging, connection, and self-love, and it’s great to see projects like this based in Scotland. Plus, using your body to engage your mind is something that looks set to be really fun, and a great creative outlet.

    Sunday 30th September, 11:30am - 1pm, Norie-Miller Studio
    Part of DAY or WEEKEND PASS

  4. The Digital Gaze: Surveillance is a Feminist Issue
    Exploring the intersections between technology, women’s rights, and systems of power, this looks set to be a downright fascinating event. Technology experts Clare Duffy (Perth Theatre Associate Artist, creator of the Big Data show), Rupert Goodwins (technology journalist), and Freda O’Byrne (Artistic Director at Tragic Carpet) are hosting “a hands-on, interactive workshop which will provide practical information and advice about how you can stay in control of your online experiences” – so bring along your digital devices!

    When thinking about surveillance, it is important to ask who is being watched; who is doing the watching; and why? Surveillance has always been a feminist issue - especially now with the emergence of new technologies - and I’m looking forward to learning more about this.

    Saturday 29th September, 1pm - 2pm, Space Two
    Part of DAY or WEEKEND PASS

  5. Badass Women from History: Pride Edition
    This panel discussion brings together prominent Scottish LGBTQIA+ people – featuring Carrie Lyell (editor of Diva Magazine), Horse McDonald (musician), and Mridul Wadhwa (activist and trans rights campaigner) – to “discuss some of the greatest LGBTQIA+ women in history”.

    I’m really excited about this because often the contributions made by LGBTQIA+ women in the feminist movement – and even just as existing generally - are erased from popular consciousness. Being able to look back into history, and see that people like you have been existing for a long time, and learning their stories is something very powerful.

    Sunday 30th September, 1:30pm - 2:30pm, Main Stage
    Part of DAY or WEEKEND PASS

WoW - Women of the World Festival in Perth takes place from the 29th to the 30th of September at Perth Theatre.  Download the full brochure for all the details here >>>

You can purchase a WOW day or weekend pass at Horsecross Theatre in person, or via their website from August 3rd 2018. 

Keep up to date on Facebook at ‘WoW Perth’, and Twitter

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