DWAN & Instigate Arts Curate ‘Wonder Women; Whose Festival Is It Anyway?’ – Wonder Women

Whose Festival is it Anyway?

Wonder Women 2017 

Whose Festival is it Anyway? Was a conversation, discussion and debate held at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, 11 March 2017.


As the 2017 Wonder Women festival drew to a close, Digital Women’s Archive North [DWAN] and Instigate Arts brought together 2017’s contributing artists, producers, curators and groups for a lively and provocative panel discussion asking if feminist festivals are an act of disruptive activism in their own right, raising consciousness and introducing young activists to key moments in the history of their own movements and causes?

It looked forward to 2018 and set out a bold vision for how Wonder Women might grow to become a fitting Manchester tribute to the 100 year anniversary of the first votes for women, and also questioned who is Wonder Women for?, and who should organise and run Wonder Women when it is primarily a festival made up through the hard work and efforts of many individual producers and groups of producers, many working for little or no fee. How might the city of suffragettes live up to the legacy of those original disruptive activists; capture public attention and support creative practitioners with a feminist ethos?

The event brought up some very interesting ideas and opinions and proved very informative regarding how different people have experienced the Wonder Women festival so far.

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Panel Participants:

Sarah Perks (Artistic Director of HOME Mcr, Film Producer and Professor of Visual Art, Manchester Met University)

Rosanne Robertson (Artist and Co-Director of The Penthouse, Manchester)

Julie Ward (Labour and Co-operative Party Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England, Member of Parliament’s Culture & Education Committee, Member of the Regional Development Committee and the Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights.)

Francine Hayfron (Cultural Park KeeperWhitworth Art Gallery, Manchester)

Dr Louise Platt (Senior Lecturer in Festival and Event Management (Manchester Met University)


Dr Jenna Ashton (Creative Director, [DWAN] Digital Women’s Archive North, Manchester)

Anne Louise Kershaw (Curator, Wonder Women Festival 2017, Co-Director, Instigate Arts, Manchester)

Come and have your say.

From 2pm to 4pm

Whose Festival is it Anyway? at Manchester Central Library, Manchester

11 March 2017
Free entry

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