Brisbane will host the 2018 Women of the World (WOW) Festival during next year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, with 100 local and international speakers on the program.
The Festival, from April 6-8 at Brisbane Powerhouse, will celebrate the achievements of women and girls across the Commonwealth with frank discussions about the barriers preventing women from reaching their full potential, and identify solutions.
With access to an extraordinary diversity of stories about the lives, achievements and challenges of the women and girls of the Commonwealth, well known leaders and changemakers will explore hard-hitting issues such as economic security, gender-based violence, leadership and health and wellbeing.
A global force supporting women, girls, action and change, WOW festival was founded at London’s arts hub, Southbank Centre, by artistic director Jude Kelly.
WOW festivals have now taken place in more than 20 locations on five continents.
Women and girls from all walks of life, ages and nationalities including many local women, will share their personal stories.
With the majority of women and girls in Commonwealth nations living outside urban areas, organisers are working hard to ensure their regional and remote voices are heard throughout the festival.
Three strong advocates for the abolition of women in prisons will also join the lineup of speakers – Canadian senator Kim Pate, associate professor of sociology at the University of Auckland Tracey McIntosh, and Australian lawyer Deb Kilroy from Sisters Inside, whose personal prison experience has had a profound impact on her life and work.
Female entrepreneurs including 22 year-old Ghanaian Winnifred Selby of Bamboo Bikes, Solomon Islands graphic designer Millicent Barty and Queensland’s own Femeconomy co-founders Jade Collins and Alanna Bastin-Byrne will also share their stories.
An explosive cultural program will dazzle festival goers with exciting and moving acts including queens of dance, hip-hop politics and remix burlesque, Hot Brown Honey; the world premiere of VEIQIA21, a new work from the vibrant Pacific experience VOU Dance Fiji, which will explore veiqia – a tattooing custom commonly bestowed on young Fijian women coming of age; the stirring voice of young singer Emily Wurramara, a Wanandilyakwa woman from Groote Eylandt; and the Australian debut of acclaimed Nigerian photographer J.D Okhai Ojeikere’s Hairstyles and Headdresses exhibition.
More speakers, panels and artists will be announced in the lead up to the event.
WOW executive producer in Australia, Cathy Hunt, said WOW Festival 2018 would bring together some of the brightest minds and biggest hearts from around the Commonwealth for performances, exhibitions, workshops, speed mentoring, a marketplace and more.
Ticket packages include a discounted early bird three-day pass, which offers unlimited access to all daytime events as well as first access to a spectacular opening night ceremony.
What: WOW at Festival 2018
When: 6 – 8 April 2018
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets: On sale midday Thursday 30 November, click here for more information