Top Afri-love picks for the Women at the World Festival 2012, at London’s Southbank Centre

Women of the World Festival Southbank


The Southbank Centre's Women of the World Festival returns this month to coincide with International Women's Day on Thursday 8th March. Celebrating the formidable strength and inventiveness of women, there is an even more exciting line-up of activities, talks, debates and performances than last year.

If you're free at 10:30am on the Sunday morning, come watch me give a short presentation on craft, storytelling and the digital space, in the WOW Bites 5 panel. 



11:30am, 2:30pm, Speed mentoring
Share your challenge with high-level experts across all fields from theatre directors to geoscientists during 15-minute sessions and meet other women who face the same challenges. Sign up for a place via [email protected]

2:30pm: Lynne Frank's SEED Clinic
Learn how to start your own sustainable business based on the SEED values of connection, community and collaboration. Led by Women's Business Empowerment Guru and author of The SEED Handbook: The Feminine Way to Do Business, Lynne Franks.



10:30am: Women, Power and Change
Shami Chakrabarti, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and special guests talk about women's struggle for freedom across the world, distribution of power, the importance of making noise and how we can make change in our lives and communities.

11:30am, 3:00pm, Speed mentoring

12 noon: Wow Bites 1

WOW Marjorie Nshemere Ojule

A panel featuring, among others, Marjorie Nshemere Ojule, a refugee from Uganda and co-founder of Women Asylum Seekers Together London, on the life and times of a woman refugee.

12noon: Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

In a short film, writer and feminist Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah reads from her blog 'Adventures from the bedrooms of African women'. Followed by a panel discussion on the sexualisation of black women in popular culture, chaired by journalist and author Hannah Pool.

3pm: Reporting back from the Arab Spring: What's next for Women's Rights?

Salma Said

Panel, including Eqyptian pro-democracy blogger and activist, Salma Said, shares stories of revolution and debates what the future holds for women's rights in the Arab world.



10:30am: Men Talk

Lemn Sissay WOW

A panel of men including Poet and Associate Artist Lemn Sissay bare their souls and discuss sexism, the sisterhood, and whether men can be feminists.

10:30am: Body Politics: What's Wrong with you? Part 2 – Hair & Skin
Looking at women's relationships to their bodies, wading through the media mania to discuss the politics of hair and skin.  Author and journalist Hannah Pool chairs this panel including Dr Shirley Tate (author of Black Beauty: Aesthetics, Stylization, Politics), and Sali Hughes, writer, broadcaster, and the Guardian’s chief beauty columnist.

10:30 Wow Bites 5

N’Thiana Othampítjá Tríptico: A Triptych of Fisherwomen

A panel featuring filmmaker Ana Godinho de Matos who will be showing excerpts from her film N’Thiana Othampítjá Tríptico/ A Triptych of Fisherwomen and talking about her journey into the daily ritual of fisherwomen from the village of Murrebue in Northern Mozambique; Kenyan poet, activist and champion for women, Larry Lizza, performing; Nimco Ali, co-founder and CEO of Daughters of Eve talking about thinking globally and acting locally – addressing female genital mutilation in the UK and; yours truly discussing 'Digital Tapestries '– exploring how craft and storytelling  traditions are taking new forms in our digital age.

12 noon, 3:00pm, Speed mentoring

12noon: Arab Art Revolution
Whether it’s graffiti, poetry or campaign songs, revolution has always inspired art, and art has often inspired revolution. Join writers, performers and visual artists from the region as they discuss the crucial role art has played in the Arab Spring.

1:30pm: Money, Money, Money
Global finance can feel distant and irrelevant, but these decisions have a direct impact on our day to day lives. The panel explains what world money does to your life, and why we should all care about global finance.

1:30pm: Global Feminism
Women and men are fighting for gender equality all over the world, but all too often non-western feminists are left out of the dialogue. What mistakes does western feminism make in a global context, and what can it learn from its non-western sisters? Chair of gender studies at SOAS, Dr Nadje Al-Ali, blogger MsAfropolitan and writer and commentator Nesrine Malik discuss.

3pm: Mary Whitehouse – Prude or Prophet?
Mary Whitehouse was berated for her strident views on the lack of morality in popular culture  but now, popular culture is more sexualised than ever, and hardcore porn more hardcore. Is censorship the answer? Panel features the fab feminist, Amina Doherty (aka sheroxlox. View Amina's Afri-love interview here).

3pm: Fashion: The History of Decoration
Women have been dressing up for centuries. Knowing your Gucci from your GAP doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not also interested in politics, or the economy. The panel discusses the history of decoration and celebrate the innate joy of dressing up.

3pm: Wow Bites 8

Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin

Featuring, among others, "The girl from Montego Bay" – Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilki  on being the first black woman to be Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons. 



Dreams for my Daughter

Dreams for my Daughter

(Starts Monday 5th March)
Part of a worldwide campaign, this exhibition gathers dreams as poems, stories, film and artwork from parents, health workers, world leaders and celebrities from across the globe.

WOW Market
Stallholders include everyone from hairdressers, manicurists, female plumbers and DIY experts, to designer makers and charities supporting women. Browse our extraordinary market and discover activities all weekend long.

Phenomenal People – Fuel
The world is full of inspiring women who are brave, beautiful and strong; who have made a difference and whose stories have never been told. We want to hear them.  Join some brilliant artists who share their stories live and online over the weekend. Seek us out and, take home time to have a drink, hear a tale and share your stories of inspirational women.


For full listings, have a look at the following PDFs:

View an up-to-date list of all speakers here and get your day passes here.

Marjorie Nshemere Ojule photo, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah photo, Salma Said photo, Lemn Sissay photo, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilki photo, Dreams for my Daughter image

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