Archive for the ‘Arts Event’ Category

The First International Women and Film Festival for Gender Equity drew enthusiastic audiences this month in the Argentine capital, where movies from nearly 40 countries were screened.

In comments to IPS, the organisers said they felt they had achieved their goals of increasing the visibility of women’s problems, raising awareness among viewers about the debate on the inequality of the sexes, and promoting inter-gender dialogue.

“The results were more than positive,” said the artistic director of the festival, Cynthia Judkowski. “We had a great deal of active participation from male and female members of the audiences, at the screenings and at the debates, which were so well-attended that some people were unable to get in.”

The festival, titled “Mujeres en foco” (Women in Focus), was held May 5-10 at six venues in Buenos Aires that served as movie theatres or debating halls. There was also a retrospective, and a seminar on screenwriting, directing and producing.

The idea was to call on filmmakers to submit films that address women’s issues related to health, migration, cultural practices, violence, inequality, political participation, sexual diversity and family life.

“Over 200 films were entered, and we selected 68, five of which competed in the feature-length category and six in the short film category,” Judkowski said.

“Cholita libre”, a documentary on Bolivian immigrants by German filmmaker Rike Holtz, won first prize for feature-length film. The jury stressed that the film not only focused on issues of central interest to the festival, but that it did so with perception, humour and beauty.

Second prize went to Venezuelan director Clarisa Duque’s “Tambores de agua”, which portrays the lives of black women from coastal communities in Venezuela.

Among the shorts, prizes were taken by “Ana y Mateo”, by Natural Arpajou from Argentina, and “Il Corpo delle donne (The Body of Women) by Italian filmmakers Lorella Zanardo and Marco Malfi.

The films selected came from Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela, among other countries.

Films by women directors included “Claroscuro” by Ana Faerrón of Costa Rica, about a women’s music group, “Fim do silêncio” (The End of Silence) by Thereza Jessouroun of Brazil, about unsafe abortion, and “Mémoire à la dérive” (Memory Adrift) by Pauline Voisard of Canada.

Films by male directors who tackled subjects from a gender perspective were also screened, such as “Lilja 4-Ever” by Lukas Moodysson of Sweden, and “Antiguos sueños de mujeres kichwas” (Quechua Women’s Former Dreams) by Santiago Carcelén Cornejo of Ecuador.

Entrance to the film shows was free, and there were no charges for registering films for the competition, each section of which was judged by a panel comprising two women and a man.

A retrospective of the work of Spanish filmmaker Helena Taberna, the director of “Yoyes” and “La buena nueva” (The Good News), was also shown. Taberna herself gave a seminar on screenwriting, producing and directing.

Debates were held on subjects like the place of women in the media, and “machista” violence. A meeting was also held for filmmakers wanting to explore how to promote gender parity and human rights.

“The aim was to create an opportunity for meeting, exchanging ideas and promoting movies by men and women directors that deal with gender issues and human rights,” Judkowski said.

In the medium term, the idea is to stimulate the making of films embodying commitment to a gender perspective and human rights.

Usually, festivals stressing women’s point of view include a broad variety of subjects, but show films made exclusively by women directors.

The Buenos Aires festival was organised on the reverse principle: the subjects of the films were limited to key issues about gender perspectives, while the sex of the directors was immaterial.

The organisers, a group of independent professional women filmmakers, were supported by a number of local and international institutions. They plan to hold the festival on an annual basis in Buenos Aires, as well as taking it abroad.

“We are convinced that the practice of art is transformational and revolutionary insofar as it modifies space and time, creating new situations… that challenge social relations of domination,” the festival announcement said. (END)

From November 25 to December 10th, the Women’s International Network of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-WIN) will highlight the 16 days of activism against gender violence with an Internet campaign to Denounce Gender violence in the media and transform media into a catalyst to end violence against women.

The campaign will be broadcast at

This years’ international theme of the campaign is “Media and Violence Against Women”. The campaign seeks to denounce gender violence in the media and will cover 3 dimensions:
(a) Media as an instrument in combating violence against women.
(b) Violence against women as projected in the media which “normalizes” violence.
(c) Violence committed against women media practitioners.

The 16 days campaign starts on November 25th with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; it continues on November 29th with the International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day; followed by December 1: World AIDS Day; December 6: Commemoration day of the Montreal (Canada) Massacre in 1989 and ends with the December 10th: International Human rights Day. The campaign will be broadcast at

Community radio producers from Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, North America and Latin America and the Caribbean will dedicate these 16 days to highlight the effort of women and men working to put an end to gender violence. The programs featured will include documentaries, interviews, debates, poetry, music and much more. This multilingual broadcast campaign mobilizes community radios around a global issue and encourages them to use new communication technologies such as the Internet to extend the reach of their voices. Radio stations around the globe are invited to download the audio files from the AMARC-WIN 16 days website and broadcast them in their radio stations.

The coordination of the 16 days campaign at the international level will be ensured by the International Secretariat of AMARC, contact Flor Maria Balbin secretariat(at)si(dot)amarc(point)org. Regionally, the campaign will be coordinated by the regional AMARC WIN representatives in conjunction with AMARC regional offices.

Asia-Pacific: Bianca Miglioretto a bianca(at)isiswomen(dot)org;
West and Central Africa, Zara Yacoub myzara(at)intnet(dot)td;
East and Southern Africa, Doreen Rukaria: rukdoreen(at)yahoo(dot)com;
Europe, Lucia Ruiz at lucia.ruiz(at)radiovallekas(dot)org;
Latin America and the Caribbean, Maru Chavez a mechf(at)hotmail(dot)com ;
MENA: Tamara Aqrabawe at aqrabawe(@)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au ;
North America Sophie Toupin at sophie(underscore)toupin(at)hotmail(dot)com.

The AMARC Women’s International Network is a large assembly of women communicators working to ensure women’s rights to communicate through and within the community radio movement. AMARC is an international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement, and linking more than 4,000 community radios in over 110 countries. AMARC aims to support, defend and promote the interests of community broadcasters through solidarity and international cooperation.

For further info

The Palestinian Women Writers Conference is underway for three days at Bethlehem University. The guest that most were hoping to see was Sahar Khalifa. Born in the northern West Bank’s Nablus in 1941, she has published six novels and is considered one of Palestine’s foremost writers. She is widely acclaimed for being the first feminist Palestinian writer and her works are translated second only to the poetry of the sublime Mahmoud Darwish.

She spoke to the audience in a manner described as “beautiful.” Her literary creativity was the most commented upon by those in the crowds. She said that despite some “propaganda to the contrary,” Palestinian women are still reeling in inequality, still searching for the dawn of awakening. She was referring to women in all sectors, including politics, activism, writers and scholars. Khalifa said that the process of liberation was, and has been, underway, but has a long way to go.

She has won the prestigious Naguib Mahfouz Prize, but it was 1975’s “Wild Thorns” that made her truly famous. However, Khalifa’s 1974 “We are Not Your Slave Girls Anymore” was turned into a television series in 1977. She was also the recipient of the Fulbright in 1980, the award that Gaza students are currently fighting the Israeli government to be able to accept. During her Fulbright period she received a MA from Chapel Hill, and later, in 1988, a PhD from Iowa.

The former Minister of Women in the Palestinian Authority and the Director of the Center for Palestinian Women for Research and Documentation, Zahira Kamal, spoke of women’s defiance. She also noted Khalifa’s creativity and that of all Palestinian women.

“We are in more need than ever now of women writers who have mastered the art of expressing our feelings and sentiments about the issues facing our nation.”

Posting moved to womensgrid: Funny Women Awards 2008

Written by Dawn Rose, Sally Wilden, Peppy Barlow
With Pauline Dent as Helen, Jo Somervell as Penelope and Dawn Rose as Klytemnestra
Directed by Sally Wilden from the original production directed by Cathy Gill for The Pulse Festival 2007
Woven Theatre Company In association with The Courtyard Theatre Hoxton

Three women stereotyped by history – Helen the whore, Penelope the faithful wife, Klytemnestra the harridan – meet on an island where they come to escape their pasts. But will they change their fates?

An extraordinary exploration of myth and gender, still hot to touch in a modern world

Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world and the cause of the Trojan War, is a bag lady living on an island where she has come to escape the ghosts of her past. A place where no one looks at her, no one judges her, no one tells her what to do. Then Penelope arrives looking for her husband who has still not returned from the war. She begins tidying the place up, civilising it, making it a place fit for a hero to come home to, a sort of colonisation by house keeping. They are close to coming to blows when Klytemestra bursts onto the scene, still in thrall to the moment when she killed her husband. The two women watch in awe as she re-enacts the drowning.

Helen and Klytemnestra are sisters, and there is a long history of sibling rivalry. Penelope’s husband was Helen’s suitor before he married her. Penelope is enraged with and fascinated by Helen and finds something awe inspiring and arousing in Klytemenstra’s murderous passion. Alliances shift and change as they explore their deepest fears, their deepest longings.

Despite the historical references this is a very contemporary play which challenges perceptions of identity and power. It is about women and men and what it is to take on the roles we are given and change them.

WOVEN was set up in 2003 and is dedicated to developing new writing with a particular interest in women writers. Previous productions include Grasping at Shadows, Missing and Broken. WOVEN has been in receipt of generous Arts Council funding and support from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

Tuesday 29th April to Sunday 25th May 7.30pm – no Monday performances
Tickets: £16 and £12 conc. from / 0870 163 0717 &

a debut play by Penelope Skinner
directed by Daniel Goldman, performed by Becci Gemmell

I don’t mean to sound horrible but the sex was – well – it was a bit like a kebab? Doner, not shish. Last night after five pints it was hot, it was tasty, it was just what I needed. But this morning in the cold light of day, I am coated in the greasy film of regret.

When 27 year old F finds a love story she wrote at the age of 12, she goes on a trip down memory lane, stopping off at the most significant mornings-after of her life. This exciting debut play by Penelope Skinner chronicles the sexual journey that one girl embarks on from adolescence to womanhood.

Award winning Tangram Theatre Company returns to the Old Red Lion after their critically acclaimed production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis in 2006 with a very different and exciting female playwright.

Penelope Skinner is making her full length professional debut with Fucked. Penelope’s previous work has been performed at the Young Vic and the George Tavern and her short play 1 in 5 (“kind of Two Ronnies style, but funnier”, Andrew Haydon) was one of the Upstart winners at Hampstead Theatre Daring Pairings Festival in September 2007. Becci Gemmell recently performed in Old Vic New Voices award-winning production of Mad Funny Just at Theatre 503 (Time Out Critics’ Choice) where she received excellent personal reviews (“sublime to behold” Time Out, “Becci Gemmell reminds you uncannily of Julie Walters”, Evening Standard).

Daniel Goldman has directed four Tangram show’s including Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis (ORL, Arcola), Crunch! a show about apples (Pleasance Edinburgh, Arts Theatre – Total Theatre Award nominee), Richard III (Southwark Playhouse – Better Bankside Shakespeare Award Winner) and Sepia Dreams as part of CASA Latin American Theatre Festival in St Andrew’s Crypt, Holborn. Daniel was a runner up in last years JMK Award.

Venue: Old Red Lion Theatre
Address: 418 St John Street, EC1V 4NJ
Dates: Wed 16th April – Sat 3rd May 2006
Times: 9.30pm Tues – Sat, 8pm Sunday
Price: £10, £8 (concs), £6 (NUS only Tue – Thurs)
Box Office: 020 7837 7816,
Underground: Angel (Northern Line)
Bus: 4 19 30 38 43 56 73 153 214 341