Line-up and venue announced for Shameless! Festival

8 Sept 2021

Blog Post

We're so excited to announce the first line-up for the first ever Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence, WOW - Women of the World and Birkbeck's SHaME project's festival bringing together activism and art to confront and change attitudes towards sexual violence, share ideas, and imagine a rape free world.

Shameless! Festival will be held at Battersea Arts Centre on Saturday 27 November and tickets are on sale now here. BSL interpreting and/or Captioning will be available for all events. There will also be two digital events available to audiences around the world that will be announced in the run up to the festival.

The one-day festival will include a powerful state of the nation opening session addressing the scale of sexual violence, with some of the world’s foremost experts, academics and artists including WOW Founder Jude Kelly; prizewinning author, Professor Joanna Bourke; Founder of Black Minds and UK Slam champion, Rachel Nwokoro; best selling author and survivor, Winnie M Li; and Humanitarian and activist, Payzee Mahmod.

The festival will thread together some of the most urgent conversations, covering everything from the lack of inclusive service provisions, to consent, sexual violence online, medical harms and rape as a weapon of war. These talks will be led by a host of speakers including Soma Sara, the Founder of Everyone's Invited who brought school sexual harassment to the fore; and poet in residence for the Consent Collective, Tanaka Mhishi. Also included in the programme will be authors, Laura Bates and Rachel Thompson, Academic, Dr Rabiya Majeed-Ariss and award winning podcaster, Sangeeta Pillai.

Festival goers will be able to explore and choose from a variety of workshops, talks, performances and more on the day. There will be pop ups, a marketplace, support on site for whoever needs it, and the chance to connect with experts working to end sexual violence.

Concluding the day will be an evening ticketed event with the actor, model and writer Emily Ratajkowski. In conversation with WOW’s CEO and Founder Jude Kelly, this candid discussion will see Ratajkowski speak in London for one-night only about her new book My Body. Find out more and book tickets here.

The digital programme running alongside the festival will include Live, Laugh, RAGE!, an online event hosted by performance artist and academic Phoebe Patey-Ferguson alongside authors and activists to be announced. This session will provide a space to rage about the tangled mess of systemic violence and how it enables and perpetuates violence against us. The digital event will explore if rage can be used as a force for imagining and enacting a different world and if righteous rage is essential to our collective survival. Tickets will go on sale in the coming months, with another online event to be announced.

Shameless! Festivals of Activism Against Sexual Violence are presented by WOW, which is run by UK charity The WOW Foundation. The festivals are presented in collabroation and as part of Birkbeck’s SHaME project, a research hub for scholarship exploring the medical and psychiatric aspects of sexual violence. Placing medical professionals at the heart of the debates, the project seeks to address the global crisis and help move beyond the shame often attached to sexual violence. The project will take place over three years, with 2022’s Shameless Festival! to be produced by WOW Rio curators Redes da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Find out more about the SHaME project here.

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