Start here, work backwards

I’ve been a little busy – new town, new job, new home. So let’s not dwell. There is much in the past, but in the meantime, here’s to the future.

If you don’t already have a ticket, I am afraid they are all sold out. However, I want to recognise the incredible women featured here in this line up.

I’m sharing this media release in its entirety here, because festival Director, Saba Vasefi and her team of supporters deserve all the kudos they can get for gathering the following voices. You can also check out the versions in Arabic, Turkish and Chinese on Peril (coincidentally one of the supporters).

Ahem. No coincidence at all, really.

As an individual, I also feel that participating in this event is a very rare thing for me. An event where I do not feel token either as female, a person of colour, or queer. A festival where I believe that the people involved actually love poetry, story, performance and intersectionality. I wish that this was not the exception to the rule. No one is asking me if diversity matters. I can barely breathe with the relief.


Wiradjuri elder Jenny Munro, Award winning poet Judith Beveridge, Human Rights Award finalist Yarrie Bangura, Associate Professor of English at Sydney University Dr Kate Lilly, Peril Magazine’s Poetry Editor Eleanor Jackson, and coordinator of Writing Through Fences Janet Galbraith, plus Hawraa KashGloria Demillo and Gabrielle Jones, will recite their poems. Hip hop artists Sarah Anne Connor and Zainab Kadhim, as well as the classical Indian choreographer Aruna Gandhi and the Axis Wind ensemble from Tara Anglican School for Girls, will be performing.

The Festival is a showcase of diversity, including performances by Indigenous, migrant, LGBT and refugee, as well as Australian-born, women. It aims to foster a supportive atmosphere empowering women to stand up against racism, sexism and violence.  It will shed light on the intersectional discrimination, masculine and racial biases which disempower women and damage society, while simultaneously emphasising the need to create new power structures and redefine what matters.

The Festival is partnered by distinguished academic, human rights and feminist organisations such as Daily Life, Sydney Peace Foundation, Sydney University, Amnesty International, Asylum Seekers Centre, Settlement Services International, Peril Magazine,  Full Stop Foundation and Bridge for Asylum Seeker Foundation and Women Say Something.

The event will support donations and promotion for its partners and will be advertised in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese and English. Twenty complimentary tickets will be offered to women of Indigenous, refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

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