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Shameless! Festival schedule

General Information

On the following listings, you’ll find details of all the sessions your festival pass gives you access to at Shameless! Festival. We hope you’ll enjoy exploring the programme.

Many of the sessions will be addressing sensitive and difficult topics. We want you to feel free to leave events at any time without apology if you need to take a break. If you’d like to talk to someone for support, we have qualified therapists on-site - please head to The Survivors Trust stall in the Shameless! Festival Marketplace in the Grand Hall. The Survivors Trust’s free helpline is also operating extended hours today - you can call 08088 010818 from 10am-5pm to speak to a specially trained helpline worker.

We are following the WOW Code of Conduct for this event. It asks that everyone at the festival - whether they’re here to listen, perform, speak or work - commit to treating all speakers, attendees and staff with care, respect and kindness. We want this festival to be a space where everyone can learn, share and be together safely and with dignity.

Because of the limited capacity of the events in the Committee Room and Elm House, places will be offered on a first come first served basis so we recommend arriving early.

All events in the Grand Hall will be live captioned by My Clear Text.

Please note: All information is correct at the time of going to print, and line-ups may be subject to change.

Festival schedule

Shameless! Festival Marketplace

All day

GRAND HALL

Come and explore the Shameless! Festival Marketplace. There will be stands from the festival organisers - WOW and SHaME. Plus Beyond Equality, Decolonising Contraception, The Feminist Bookshop, Sistah Space, Black Mind and The Survivors Trust. If you need support during the day, please head to The Survivors Trust stall to speak to one of the on-site therapists.

Opening session: Stand And Be Counted

10am-10.15am

GRAND HALL

Join Shameless! Festival Founders Professor Joanna Bourke and Jude Kelly CBE for a powerful opening session and frank conversation on attitudes towards sexual violence, the dangers of it being so normalised - and why a festival like this one can help change the conversation.

Featuring a performance by Amies Freedom Choir, a choir specifically for female survivors of human trafficking who provide a space where participants can make use of the therapeutic power of group singing to build confidence and make supportive friendships. Please do not take any photos of the choir.

Breaking Convention with Creativity: Reclaiming the Lost Voice in Therapeutic Space

10.20am-11.15am

RECREATION ROOM

Join panel host Poet and Clinical Psychologist Sanah Ahsan in conversation with Clinical Psychologists Dr Isabella Girling and Dr Anna Churcher Clarke, Assistant Psychologist George Yerbury and Poet/Performer Sunnah Khan, with the voices of Healing Wounds young women's group. They will be reflecting on the joys and challenges of working in creative ways in a clinical setting with young women who have experienced sexual violence. Includes a film of poetry by the Healing Wounds group.

Everyday Sexual Violence and What We Can Do About It

10.20am-11.15am

GRAND HALL

Sexual violence, the sexualisation of women’s bodies and so called ‘low level harrassment’ is familiar to us all. But why is it so normalised, and what can we do about it? We discuss the challenges, fears and experiences of our panel of speakers, and their determination to shift the conversation away from victim blaming and into a community led demand for wholesale change .

Speakers include survivor and award-winning author Winnie M Li, activist and author Laura Bates, co-founder of The Triple Cripples Jumoke Abdullahi and Payzee Mahmod, IKWRO Campaigner. No photos allowed during this session.

SHaME: History Investigators

10.20am-11.15am

ELM HOUSE

Come and work with researchers to document well-known and less well-known resistance to sexual violence in the last century or two. From the official records to the everyday acts that made a difference. Examine sources, analyse evidence, guess at dates and add the events you feel are important to our timeline of resistance. Who do you think has been important in the fight to create a rape free world and to change attitudes to sexual assault and harassment? Feminists, doctors, ‘ordinary people’, lawyers, the media, academics - who will you add to the list? What role did race and ethnicity, age, class, gender and disability play in the struggle? This session is led by Dr Ruth Beecher.

Content warning: This workshop will examine the histories of sexual violence against adults and children. We will not be using graphic or explicit sources, but the session will include looking at newspaper accounts and other historical sources where the language or ideas used in earlier time periods may be offensive to the contemporary reader.

Triggered: On Material Triggers and Memories

10.20am-11.15am

MEMBERS BAR

From smear tests and speculums to everyday objects and memories, there are any number of triggers that survivors may encounter on a day to day basis. Our expert panel of survivors discuss how to navigate life without trigger warnings, and the impact triggers can have. Is there a better way to provide due care and attention to survivors? How do we manage flashbacks and re-traumatisation? How can we support loved ones who might be triggered? This session includes an expert sharing tips to help spot and manage flashbacks, and ground ourselves following triggers.

Panel includes Journalist and survivor Olivia Petter; Dr Maryyum Mehmood; survivor and speaker Mamatha Isha Sumah; therapist Concetta Perot and Lucia Osborne-Crawley, author of My Body Keeps Your Secrets.

Workshop: How to Be a Supportive Friend

10.20am-11.15am

COMMITTEE ROOM

Facilitated by Yas Necati, this session is a space for us to come together and talk about how we support our loved ones when they are experiencing, or have experienced, abuse. We will think about what our loved ones need from us, what we need from ourselves and how to be there as best we can. It's also a space for us to share personal experiences and knowledge, if we want to.

Due to the participatory nature of the sessions taking place in the Committee Room, audience members should be aware that they may experience or encounter the disclosure of sensitive material.

Hope Box: Shareefa Energy

11.15am-11.30am

GRAND HALL HOPE BOX

Shareefa Energy, spoken word artist and author of Galaxy Walk, performs moving poetry on sexual violence.

On the Front Line

11.30am, 12.30pm

GRAND HALL

How do we cope when our crisis centres are in crisis? Cuts to vital provisions have affected services across the UK, but when services are already thin on the ground, how can we provide and access fully inclusive care to those who need it most? This panel of experts discuss the current crisis and what steps must be taken to ensure that all communities are adequately supported.

Panel includes Clinical Director and Forensic Physician Dr Catherine White OBE; Director of End Violence Against Women Coalition Andrea Simon; and Dr Rabiya Majeed-Ariss from Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester. Chaired by WOW Founder Jude Kelly CBE.

Power

11.30am-12.30pm

MEMBERS BAR

Sexual violence is one extreme example of the exercise of power. Power dynamics continue to dominate in the aftermath of sexual assault too - how it's reported, how it's prosecuted, how we speak about it, and how we pick ourselves up and live with it. Writer and campaigner Caitlin May McNamara, author Leah Cowan, advocate for life after prison and poet Lady Unchained and the Deputy Leader of the Women’s Equality party Tabitha Morton explore what we can all do to rebalance power dynamics in how sexual violence is handled. This session closes with a poetry performance by Lady Unchained, poet Brenda Birungi.

Rape as a Weapon of War

11.30am-12.30pm

RECREATION ROOM

Sexual violence is an internationally recognised war crime, but what do we do when nation states and

justice systems fail us, and rape is authorised specifically to cause immediate and generational trauma? When armies use rape as both a strategy and reward for military advances, how can global communities mobilise to protect women and girls during times of conflict? Our expert panel discuss the reality of wartime sexual violence on the ground and what must be done to combat it.

Panel includes Christina Lamb, author of Our Bodies, Their Battlefields: What War does to Women,; Uyghur activist Rahima Mahmut; and Professor Oscar Guardiola-Rivera.

Workshop: Thinking Outside the Frame — #MeToo in The (History of) Arts

11.15am-12.30pm

WAITING ROOM

An interactive workshop looking at how sexual violence and rape have been represented in the visual arts, from the 15th century to today. Come and disrupt these portrayals by taking the characters from their frames. Together we will transfer these ‘frameless characters’ to a new canvas; weaving together a new solidarity narrative, giving voice to the voiceless, shedding light on how visual representations shape and cement cultural norms, and helping us share experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

This session is led by Dr Galadriel Ravelli, Dr Milena Romano and Dr Sandra Daroczi. This workshop has limited capacity. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Workshop: Healing Circle for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault

11.30am-12.30pm

COMMITTEE ROOM

Led by Survivors Trust therapist Joy Bright, this session will offer a safe and supportive environment for survivors of childhood sexual assault to come together. The space will be confidential and participants will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and coping mechanisms with each other in an effort toward collective healing.

Due to the participatory nature of the sessions taking place in the Committee Room, audience members should be aware that they may experience or encounter the disclosure of sensitive material.

SHaME: Unpopular Opinions

11.30am-12.30pm

ELM HOUSE

An interactive space where people can express anger at how sexual violence is treated in our society - in the media or in public and institutional responses. Whether your anger is directed at the media, the justice system, medical and psychiatric institutions, social workers, schools or religion, we have space for you. Posters will be available for you to add your frustrations to or you can just sit with us and talk. What are your unpopular opinions about the police or psychiatrists? What can we do with our anger? No disclosures are required, this is merely a space for you to express your feelings about the treatment of sexual violence in our society. This session is led by Emma Yapp and Adeline Moussion.

Hope Box: Monika Radojevic

12.30pm-12.45pm

GRAND HALL HOPE BOX

Monika Radojevic, the inaugural winner of the Merky Books New Writers’ Prize for her poetry and author of teeth in the back of my neck, performs a poetry reading.

Hope Box: Ellice Stevens

12.45pm-1pm

GRAND HALL HOPE BOX

Actor Ellice Stevens performs a monologue on the real life rape trial of reknowned artist, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Report to Court: Is the System Letting us Down?

12.45pm-2pm

MEMBERS BAR

In 2020, rape prosecutions and convictions in England and Wales fell to the lowest level since records began. But why? We guide the audience through the journey of reporting incidents of sexual violence, attending Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and giving legal testimony. From legal loopholes to record low prosecutions, panellists discuss the ways the system is letting us down, whether recent policy changes have helped and what needs to change to make the system work.

Panel includes Helena Kennedy QC (Chair); Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law Amina Memon; Leader of the Women's Equality Party Mandu Reid; lawyer and activist Charlotte Proudman; Alex Fanghanel; survivor and artist Tashmia Owen; and author and Senior Lecturer in Criminology Alexandra Fanghanel.

The Rape Myths

1pm-2pm

GRAND HALL

One in ten 18-rated films contains an act of sexual violence, and gratuitous violence against women is often used as an artistic device to shock and enthral audiences. The casual nature and representation of sexual assault shows how commonplace the experience has become, but why is this happening and whose fault is it? Our expert Mythbusters explore the myths and untruths around sexual assault that have entered the public imagination, and give us tips to spot some of the worst rape myths and their real life consequences.

Panel includes author of Rape, ProfessorJoanna Bourke; author of the critically acclaimed Rough, Rachel Thompson; critic, producer and host Sarah Ozo-Irabor; and scholar and writer Mary Morgan.

The Manosphere and Misogyny: Understanding Sexual Violence Online

1pm-2pm

RECREATION ROOM

Sexual violence online is rapidly increasing. With the rise of revenge porn, threats of sexual violence and unsolicted, non-consensual sexual advances - and the law only trying to catch up - how do we protect ourselves online? Why are increasing numbers of men online being radicalised to discriminate against marginalised genders? What urgent measures must be taken to stop sexual violence online and how can we support survivors?

This session opens with a presentation by Laura Bates, author and founder of Everyday Sexism. Panel includes Bates; Movement builder of Global volunteer network of online survivor led resources Chayn, Naomi Alexander Naidoo; multi-award-winning reporter and author Sophia Smith Galer; and Cybersecurity expert Julia Slupska.

Workshop: SSSHameLess Agents for Change

1pm-2pm

WAITING ROOM

The personal is political. When we try to raise awareness, engage in conversations or do other things to stop or prevent sexual harm, we can find ourselves stigmatised by others, simply for engaging with the things we want to change. Trying to challenge or prevent sexual harm can mean we carry many stories of stigma or vicarious shame.

Facilitated by Jenny Wilson, Founder of the International Day of Consent (30 Nov #IDoConsent), performing artist and activist in residency with the SSSH! Stigmatised Sexualities and Sexual Harm Research Group (Leeds Beckett University, @SSSH_research), we invite you to explore how we as individuals can defy hostile power structures and limiting beliefs, and incite systemic change.

Join SSSH! members in sharing your unique stories, alongside ours. Create the change we all want to see, by re-telling, re-labelling and re-writing our own stories. In a simple but radical act of refusal, we can begin to change the status quo. This session is aimed at people who work in preventing sexual harm but is open to everyone.

Workshop: Tools for Self Compassion

1pm-2pm

COMMITTEE ROOM

Shahroo Izadi, a behavioural change specialist and author of The Kindness Method, leads a restorative workshop to help us learn how to treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. Shahroo shares simple, evidence-based tools to help us build compassion and self-belief, and learn how to build ourselves up from the inside out.

Participants are encouraged to bring a notepad and pen.

Due to the participatory nature of the sessions taking place in the Committee Room, audience members should be aware that they may experience or encounter the disclosure of sensitive material.

Workshop: Zine Workshop with Allison McKibban and BLKMOODYBOI

1pm-2pm

ELM HOUSE

The SHaME team hosts a zine workshop aimed at uncovering the historical uses of zines and historicising the Shameless! Festival within the anti-violence movement. Zines have long been used by survivors of sexual violence to communicate their experiences and build community. Join us for a brief history of zines in anti-violence movements, before working with Illustrator and Zine maker extraordinaire, BLKMOODYBOI to create a page of your own to include in the Shameless! Festival zine.

Radical Rest

2pm-3pm

EVERYWHERE

"Caring for myself is not self indulgence, it is self preservation, and that is an act of political warfare" - Audre Lorde. We understand that these conversations can be difficult. Join us for an hour of rest as we pause all programming as we take time out to practice radical rest. Explore the Marketplace in Grand Hall or simply sit and breathe.

Healing and the Way We Survive

3pm-4pm

GRAND HALL

Healing is messy. We often hear about the journey of healing from those who have processed much of their pain, but what if you don't feel like the archetypal ‘empowered survivor’? Is there space to feel angry, ambivalent or confused in discussions about recovery? Our panellists discuss why it's crucial to understand the difficult parts of healing, and hold space for the full complexity of emotions and how we survive.

This session is opened by a spoken word performance by award-winning poet and survivor Rachel Nwokoro. Panel includes The Way We Survive author, Catriona Morton (Chair); poet, survivor and founder of Black Mind Rachel Nwokoro; speaker and activist Sabah Choudrey; artist and survivor Tashmia Owen; and therapist Davina Dobbs

Performance: Maryland

3pm-4pm

MEMBERS BAR

Watch this script-in-hand performance of Lucy Kirkwood’s Maryland, an immediate, extraordinary, communal rallying cry in response to the normalising of horrific actions being committed against all women and victims of gendered violence.

Maryland was performed at the Royal Court Theatre over three weeks with a rolling cast of 50 actors and has been made available for people to stage their own readings around the country. So far 122 have requested to do a reading of the play. Co-directed by Milli Bhatia, Vicky Featherstone and Lucy Morrison.

This performance is followed by an in conversation between WOW Founder Jude Kelly, Vicky Featherstone andLucy Morrison. Please note: latecomers for this session will not be admitted.

Male Survivors and Masculinity

3pm-4pm

RECREATION ROOM

This panel session will discuss the ways in which men are socialised and the lack of spaces for male survivors. We ask why their needs are often overlooked, how we can challenge the elements of masculinity that normalise violence, and how together we create a better society for all. This session opens with a poetry performance by Tanaka Mhishi.

Panel includes poet and performer Tanaka Mhishi, Beyond Equality Spokesperson Ben Hurst and academic George Severs.

Workshop: My Story, My Words: A Clear Lines Creative Writing Workshop for Survivors of Sexual Abuse or Violence

3pm-4pm, 4.30pm-5.30pm

WAITING ROOM

These two creative writing workshops are suitable for anyone who has experienced sexual violence or abuse – you don’t have to be an experienced writer. Warm, friendly and inclusive, it will be facilitated by novelist Winnie M Li and poet Clare Shaw, both award-winning authors and survivors themselves, who believe that writing about trauma can be a healing and transformative act.

Please note that this is not a therapy group: our focus is creative writing. You can expect friendly chat, writing exercises – and a supportive, understanding atmosphere.

This event is in partnership with Clear Lines Festival, the UK’s first-ever festival dedicated to addressing sexual assault and consent through the arts and discussion.

These workshops have limited capacity. Please sign-up before the event via the sign-up sheet outside the Waiting Room.

Pleasure

3pm-4pm

COMMITTEE ROOM

Pleasure is political, it’s our birthright and an essential part of thriving in a challenging world.

In this workshop, facilitated by therapist Phil Moore, we will be exploring the role of pleasure in our healing journey and the invitation to come home to the body after traumatic experiences. We will also explore how we can integrate pleasure in everyday life, for more empowerment, freedom and growth.

Due to the participatory nature of the sessions taking place in the Committee Room, audience members should be aware that they may experience or encounter the disclosure of sensitive material.

The Right to Sex: A Close Reading

3pm-4pm

ELM HOUSE

Do we have a right to sex? Is consent the foundation for sexual liberation or just another false promise? Does pornography reflect our desires or shape them? Why do some acts of gendered violence become public conversations while others rarely make headlines? Are those who state racial preferences on dating apps responding to racial hierarchies or enacting them? The Right to Sex, Amia Srinivasan’s philosophical treatise on contemporary feminism, begins from the premise that sex is always political. Writer Bryony White and author Amelia Horgan will lead a close reading and discussion.

Hope Box: Curmiah Lisette

4pm-4.15pm

GRAND HALL HOPE BOX

A performance by award-winning St Lucian-British poet, educator and performer Curmiah Lisette.

Hope Box: Sangeeta Pillai

4.15pm-4.30pm

GRAND HALL HOPE BOX

Sangeeta Pillai, an award-winning podcaster and Founder of the South Asian feminist network Soul Sutra, gives a short talk about Shame in the South Asian community.

How to Create Rape Free Worlds

4.30pm-5.30pm

MEMBERS BAR

And now for some good news! There are ways we can create a rape-free world. To be successful, campaigns against sexual violence will require us to focus on locality, diversity, pleasure and the body. Join Professor Joanna Bourke for a lively and optimistic talk (based on her forthcoming book Disgrace) about what each of us can do.

Consent

4.30pm-5.30pm

GRAND HALL

From marital rape to stealthing, throughout the decades our understanding of consent has become much more complex. As our understanding of the ethics of sexual encounters deepen, our panel of activists and academics ask whether we need new language and education around consent and sexual violence.

Panel includes Jude Kelly; performer and member of consent collective Tanaka Mhishi; Academic Jacqueline Rose; award-winning podcaster and Soul Sutras founder Sangeeta Pillai; founder of Everyone’s Invited Soma Sara and Disability activist Dr Amy Kavanagh.

Big Ideas

4.30pm-5.30pm

RECREATION ROOM

Big Ideas are a staple part of any WOW Festival, and we’re proud to introduce them at Shameless! Festival - major talks, thoughts and ideas from people you’ll know and those we think you should. Big Ideas will be presented by Thuto Mali, Allison McKibban, Mamatha Isha Sumah and Valentino Vecchietti. Chaired by WOW's Executive Director Colette Bailey.

Drop in sharing session

4.30pm-5.30pm

COMMITTEE ROOM

Our lived experience and the knowledge and resilience we have gained from it is a powerful and moving part of our process. Therapist Phil Moore will hold a sharing space offering an opportunity for anyone who feels able to share their experience with others in a supportive and confidential space.

Due to the participatory nature of the sessions taking place in the Committee Room, audience members should be aware that they may experience or encounter the disclosure of sensitive material.

Protest and Your Rights with Sisters Uncut

4.30pm-5.30pm

ELM HOUSE

What are our rights to protest and what are the different ways to raise our voices against systemic violence? Join this practical session delivered by Victoria Beyai from Sisters Uncut and discover more about their work and what you can do.

These workshops have limited capacity. Please sign-up before the event via the sign-up sheet outside Elm House.

Closing Session

5.35pm-6pm

GRAND HALL

Join the Shameless! Festival Founders Professor Joanna Bourke and Jude Kelly for closing remarks and reflections on the day. Featuring a performance by Baby Sol.

Poetic Unity - A ‘Safe Space” Poetry Hour

6pm-7pm

SCRATCH BAR, Performance

Poetic Unity presents 'Safe Space', an evening of poetry and spoken word confronting attitudes towards sexual violence and advocating for a safer world for women and girls. The event will feature four amazing poets: rising musician from Myanmar Phe Phe; spoken word artist and facilitator Jayda David; actress, writer and spoken word artist Demii Walker and west London poet Reya Saint.

Poetic Unity is a Brixton based charity that provides support and services for young people across the UK. Its vision is to give young people a voice and to empower them to reach their highest potential. They use poetry as a tool to support young people's mental health, education, personal development, physical health, and community cohesion.

Gender-Based Violence and Mental Health: Women’s Voices from Sub-Saharan Africa

6pm-7pm

RECREATION ROOM

Sexual violence against women and girls is acknowledged by the World Health Organization as an important and detrimental social determinant of physical and mental health. However, women’s stories of how sexual violence impacts on their mental health are rarely heard, particularly if those women are from the Global South. This session will screen anonymised video testimonies sharing the lived experiences of survivors of sexual violence in sub-Saharan African, prepared collaboratively with women and members of the international violence, abuse and mental health network (iVAMHN) housed at King’s College London. After the film there’ll be a panel discussion featuring Roxanne Keynejad and Naana Otoo-Oyortey.

A group of women in WOW branded t-shirts

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