All About Women celebrated its third year on 8 March – International Women’s Day 2015 – as part of the year-round Ideas at the House program presented by Sydney Opera House. It featured nineteen talks, three sacred Crying Country women’s ceremonies, a classical recital and much more.
The festival was buzzing with local and international speakers engaging festival-goers in topical issues ranging from feminism and creativity through to the portrayal of women in gaming and human rights.
We held a One Million Stars to End Violence weaving workshop that aimed to end violence by bringing people together to weave 1 million stars (over the next few years), led by Samoan-Australian artist, Maryann Talia Pau. Attendees were also invited to “play the Gender Card” by filling out cards and identifying themselves as “feminists”, “bad-feminists” or “not feminists”.
Our Minister For Men mini-series starring Gretel Killeen launched in the lead up to the festival and ran as a pre-roll in most sessions and was very well received across a great number of news and social media platforms.
Festival highlights included
- A panel of incredible women, including Roxane Gay, Germaine Greer and Anita Sarkeesian went head-to-head to share their ideas on feminism
- Author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert gave us genuine and hilarious advice on How To Be Creative.
- Australian of the Year 2015, Rosie Batty inspired us all with her story that shed light on domestic violence and its devastating consequences
Anita Sarkeesian, creator of Feminist Frequency – a video web series that explores the representation of women in pop culture – gave us an insight into the vicious, personal and openly anti-feminists attacks she endures as a reaction to her research.
- American author and columnist, Roxane Gay had us embracing our bad feminist sides and scoffed at the notion of “letting down the sisterhood”
- Legendary American marine biologist, Sylvia Earle shared her 79 years of wisdom by educating us on the importance of the ocean and all the life it holds
Past guests have included Egyptian/American journalist and commentator, Mona Eltahawy, Somalian human rights advocate and founder of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre in Mogadishu, Ilwad Elman, best-selling author Jennifer Senior and popular author of What Do Women Want?, Daniel Bergner.
Missed out on talks (or just want to re-live them)? Videos for most sessions are available on the Ideas at the House YouTube channel. And don’t miss the ABC Art’s The Polemics Series for backstage interviews as well.
The All About Women festival will return in 2016 - date to be revealed shortly. Stay tuned for more details to come!
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Photo credit: Prudence Upton