News: WOW announces initial programme for 10th anniversary festival

The WOW Foundation has announced initial programming for its 2020 10th anniversary WOW – Women of the World Festival in London, which runs from 6 to 8 March across Southbank Centre. Day passes for Friday and Saturday went on sale in July and the Festival have now added a selection of additional ticketed evening events across the weekend featuring some of the world’s most exciting performers, activists and voices.

On Friday evening, campaigner and author Caroline Criado Perez will discuss her Sunday Times bestseller Invisible Women, exposing shocking data bias excluding women and the real-life effect it has in a world built for and by men – everywhere from government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media.

The following evening WOW will celebrate critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster Emma Dabiri’s book Don’t Touch My Hair. Dabiri will be in conversation to explore why far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

To mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, surprise guests will perform in a special edition of Letters Live, marking the first time the event has featured an all-female line-up dedicated to telling women’s stories. Audience members will find out who is performing on the night – past contributors have included Olivia Colman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Kylie Minogue, Gillian Anderson, Nick Cave, Riz Ahmed and Jarvis Cocker.

On Sunday the festival will see legendary performance artist Bobby Baker return to WOW to reprise her seminal work on motherhood Drawing on A (Grand) Mother’s Experience, updated over 30 years after its original conception.

Tickets also went on sale today for the return of WOW’s groundbreaking Under 10’s Feminist Corner, specially developed workshops for budding gender equality champions, for both girls and boys.

Jude Kelly, The WOW Foundation Founder said: “Over the last decade around the world a seismic change in global women’s affairs has begun to accelerate, and the programme for WOW 2020 London, our 10th anniversary festival, will reflect that. It’s a chance to reach outward and forward; everyone needs to be part of building a new gender equal world. It’s a chance to look back at what’s been achieved, and to continue to set an agenda for the next steps towards equality. In the last decade we have celebrated, discussed and debated with 2 million people involved in festivals in 30 countries across 6 continents. More and more people want to celebrate the lives and achievements of women and we’ll continue to provide a space for that – this year with our boldest festival yet.”

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of WOW – Women of the World Festival and to celebrate, The WOW Foundation is presenting the biggest and bravest festival yet. This year’s festival will take place over the 17 acre Southbank Centre site and see the return of WOW Speed Mentoring, WOW Bites and the WOW Market.

Day passes, which are on sale now for Friday and Saturday, enable ticket holders to access a packed festival programme of workshops, talks and discussions running through the day across Southbank Centre. Over the weekend there will be stories from Arab journalists on reporting from their changing homelands, panels on everything from having good sex to feminist foreign policy, interfaith activism and the scale of mental health challenges affecting women of colour. Amongst a schedule of performance, comedy and more there’ll be dance workshops, disability life hacks and pop ups throughout the building. WOW will also be hoping to define exactly what is the meaning of “a big girl’s blouse” in 2020.

The WOW Foundation produces festivals across the world to celebrate women and girls, and raise awareness globally of the issues they face and possible solutions. Led by Jude Kelly CBE, it is an independent organisation that works to build, convene and sustain a global movement that believes a gender equal world is possible and desirable through WOW festivals and empowering women and girls.

Over the past 10 years WOW Festivals have reached more than two million people across six continents, from Baltimore to Brazil, Cardiff to Karachi. Join us in 2020 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this global movement.

WOW festivals are presented by arrangement with Southbank Centre.

To book tickets click here

Photo Credit: Rachel Louise Brown

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