WOW – Women of the World festival is set to return to Bradford on the 17 – 18 November, which celebrates and recognises the achievements of women and girls and takes a frank look at what stops them from achieving their potential.
The WOW – Women of the World festival, founded in 2010 by Southbank Centre’s previous Artistic Director, Jude Kelly CBE, is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, reaching over 1.5 million people in 20 cities across five continents.
Southbank Centre has expanded its global WOW network of festivals to create nine new
WOWs in five cities across the UK, of which Bradford was the first Northern city. These nine festivals are being funded by Spirit of 2012. From Brazil to Bradford, 2018 marks the
centenary of female suffrage, and the festival is expected to be as compelling as ever.
WOW – Women of the World Bradford takes place over a weekend of 17-18 November and the programme includes an line-up of over 45 different talks, discussions, performances and workshops. Designed to provoke thought, encourage debate and inspire change, the festival creates an opportunity for hundreds of women and men, boys and girls from across the city to come together and celebrate the achievements of women and girls.
WOW – Women of the World Bradford will feature Kate Tempest, Munroe Bergdorf, Emma Dabiri, Malia Bouattia, Harriet Wistrich, Ailbhe Smyth, Leyla Hussein, Natasha Nkonde, Jasvinder Sanghera, Dina Mousawi, Penny Wangari-Jones, Fiona Broadfoot, Shay D, Jordan Stephens, Asma Elbadawi, Reeta Loi, Jess Thom, Kat Pemberton, Razan Alsous, Agnes Harding and more.
The programme is inspired by a series of ‘Thinkins’ in March of this year, where Bradford residents and communities came together to share ideas about what they wanted to see at the festival. Music, dance and performance are all featured alongside panels and talks, on a range of topics from empowerment to politics. As well as being a celebration, WOW Bradford creates a safe space for the discussion of hard-hitting issues which affect women and girls, not just on a local level, but nationally and Internationally too.
Jude Kelly – Southbank Centre’s previous Artistic Director and WOW – Women of the World Founder and Director said: “WOW – Women of the World Festivals are designed to be agents of change in their host cities, providing a space for women to participate in discussion, education and collaboration on the issues that most impact their lives. Launched in 2010 in London, WOW Festivals have engaged and inspired more than one and a half million women across five continents and cities in Australia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, the UK, and at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. WOW is the biggest gathering of women and girls across the globe, and I’m so pleased that Bradford is part of this story for change.”
Saliha Rubani – WOW Bradford Programmer said: “Planning this year’s festival has seemed like a celebration in itself with the support and kindness of local organisations, communities and individuals during the Thinkins. The programme is very much shaped by all those women and men who have taken the time to have a chat, share ideas and get involved and this is the beauty of WOW Bradford… it belongs to us all!”
Alex Croft – Creative Producer at Kala Sangam said: “We’re delighted that once again WOW Bradford will be taking over Kala Sangam for a weekend this November. It’s rapidly turned into one of the highlights of our autumn season, bringing people from across the country to our venue for a riotous, vibrant, fun celebration of women. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in 2018!”