03 October 2018
WOW Perth returned for its second year to Perth this weekend – and what a weekend it was. Around 750 people flocked to Perth Theatre to enjoy two days filled with inspirational, thought-provoking and creative events.
Prior to the official opening on Saturday, schools were invited to participate in the Schools Day on Friday, where various workshops were on offer. Amongst these, The Empowered Women Project facilitated conversations about feeling comfortable in your own skin in a world that profits from insecurities, while Glasgow Women’s Library worked with participants to construct a women’s history timeline, which placed prominence on the incredible women from history – something very important when women’s roles in creating change frequently go unacknowledged.
On Saturday WOW Perth 2018 officially began – and there were two options to get those positive endorphins flowing – a relaxing session of morning yoga, or a 5k run around the North Inch. Founder of WOW, Jude Kelly delivered an opening speech to kick us off after – highlighting both the incredible things women are doing around the world, and the importance of continuing these conversations and actions because there is still a long way to go before liberation is fully achieved. “I think out of generosity, but also out of self-survival, we need to make our societies better for girls and women”, she told us. There was something for people of all ages – an Under 10’s Feminist Corner took place, alongside simultaneously hilarious and all-too-relatable songs from the Menopause Choir – a particular favourite being ‘Hot Flush’ to the tune of Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’!
Pop-up performances took place across the weekend, with Bollywood dancing from Shweta Jariwala, to the WOWsers re-enactment of suffragette protests capturing attention and awe. And there were plenty of opportunities to get stuck in too – Project X led an energetic, fun dance workshop which got people engaged with dance from various African regions both physically and through conversation.
Picks from Saturday ranged from a workshop on digital privacy and surveillance, a conversation café on motherhood, and a panel discussion on ‘Breaking the Silence’ on sexual violence and abuse. While Sunday's top picks included a puppetry workshop which explored gender equality in Scotland and Pakistan with Yamina Peerzada, to a panel on Badass Women from History: Pride Edition with Amy Watt, Mridul Wadhwa, Carrie Lyell, and Horse McDonald – where LGBTQIA+ women - including Sally Ride, the first known LGBT astronaut - were celebrated.
Saturday closed with an incredible performance of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ by Perth & Kinross and Dundee & Angus RASAC Centres, while Sunday – and the festival – closed with an intimate, soulful performance from Horse McDonald.
Leaving WOW, you were left feeling inspired to take on the world’s challenges, and empowered to do so with a community of resilient, creative, bold and downright incredible women surrounding you.
Jassy Earl is a photographer, videographer, facilitator and performance maker based in Glasgow. Working across fields which include performance, music, visual art, architecture and community based projects; she photographs people, places and happenings.
At the core of her practice is a sensitivity to narrative, storytelling and connection as well as an ongoing consolidation of a multi-disciplinary vocabulary across visual media and performance.