Four people sit on a stage with microphones, against colourful lighting and branding that says Shameless! Festival

Shameless! Festival wins award

3 Aug 2022

Blog Post

Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence, WOW’s ongoing project with Birkbeck’s SHaME project, has won the award for Public Empowerment at Birkbeck’s Public Engagement Award ceremony.

The inaugural Shameless! Festival took place in November 2021 at Battersea Arts Centre as part of a three year project funded by The Wellcome Trust. Since 2020, WOW and the SHaME team have worked together to develop, design and curate a festival model that centres survivors’ voices and provides an inclusive platform for urgent conversations on sexual violence to take place.

The one-day festival featured panels, discussions, performances and more, as hundreds of people came together to confront and change attitudes towards sexual violence, share ideas, and imagine a rape free world. There was poetry, workshops, wellness spaces and headline events.

Commenting on the project, the award organisers said: “For the category Public Empowerment, Birkbeck was delighted to announce the winning entry as Shameless! Festivals of Activism Against Sexual Violence, led by Professor Joanna Bourke and the SHaME project team based at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology in collaboration with the women and girls empowerment charity, The WOW Foundation. This category recognises outstanding projects based on the active sharing and development of research with the public which empower those involved and wider society.”

You can watch a selection of talks from the festival in full on our YouTube channel. One of the most popular talks, Report to Court: Is the System Letting us Down?, is below here. We’ll be announcing future plans for the Shameless! Festival very soon, so watch this space!