Feminism in London Conference: You all need to go

Technically, the only Feminism in London Conference I have attended was the one in 2010 but it was brilliant: really, really brilliant. In fact, the only problem I had with it was that it wasn’t the same weekend as Reclaim the Night and I couldn’t afford to do both.

But, this year they’ve not only ensured that the Feminism in London Conference is the same day as Reclaim the Night, there will also be an event hosted by Stop Porn Culture the same day!

I honestly can’t recommend this conference enough [or the book stalls!] and Reclaim the Night is always an amazing safe space for women. I hope all the participants have an incredible time [and take copious notes to share with me!]

Morning panel keynote speakers
Caroline Lucas – Sexism in the Media 
Natalya Dell – Disability and Bi Visibility in Feminism
Shabina Begum – Acid Violence 
Morning programme
Panel
Incarcerated Women 
A panel discussion on women in prison, particularly relevant today in the wake of the Corston Report. Speakers include Jenny Earle of the Prison Reform Trust, Adeline Trude of Bail for Immigration Detainees, Rachel Helford of Women in Prison, and Bridget Rukwira chairing.
Workshops
No Choice At All
Raven Kaliana, an artist and human rights activist, presents a screening of her film Hooray for Hollywoodfollowed by a Q&A session. The film is a look at human trafficking and child exploitation.  Raven’s motivation to inspire social change stems from her history as a survivor of these crimes.  With Heather Harvey of Eaves.
Working Towards Non-Hierarchical Relationship Models 
You can’t choose who you fall in love with, we’re told, but are there alternatives to traditional relationship structures and sexualities? What would relationship structures look like in a feminist utopia? Explore the possibilities of love in the 21st century and beyond.  Presented by Dr Christine Campbell.
Feminist Opposition to Militarised Male Violence 
This workshop explores why militarism is a feminist issue and what we can do about it.  We will consider the role and consequences of armed male power on women’s lives, and discuss a range of feminist strategies and actions that can empower us to disarm patriarchy.  With Rebecca Johnson.
Challenging Linked Systems of Power: Towards a Whole-istic Feminism 
This session aims to transcend rifts between radical, liberal, socialist and other ‘kinds’ of feminism. Women are oppressed by male dominance but capitalism, white supremacy and other power relations do just as much damage. We join the dots between these systems of domination – in workplaces, public services, at school, at home – and ask how a ‘whole-istic’ feminism can resist them.  With Brigitte Lechner and Cynthia Cockburn.
Secularism and Feminism within BME Communities 
Gita Sahgal of the Centre for Secular Space and Lola Tinubu of African Atheists UK discuss the shared challenges and experiences of BME women engaged in secular feminism. 
MRA Workshop (Pro-Feminist Men’s workshop – all welcome) 
Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) are a persistent presence in online forums and debates about feminism. This workshop looks at some typical MRA arguments and through group discussion seeks to arrive at effective responses to them. The workshop is open to all, but male allies seeking ways to support feminists online are especially welcome.  Presented by Chris Green of the White Ribbon Campaign and David Brooks of the Men’s Feminist Book Group. 
Children’s Morning Workshop: Girls in Stories
Creative storytelling for younger attendees, presented by Jean Norman.  
The workshop will look at different ways female characters have been portrayed over the last 50 years or so. We will look at similarities and differences, how and if the roles have changed and then invent our own characters, female or male, and write our own stories.   
Age 7 – 11 recommended.  Girls and boys welcome.
Teenage Morning Workshop:  What’s so good about being a woman?
As a teenage girl, what seems good to you about becoming a woman?  What doesn’t seem so appealing? What can we do to change that?
Are women today a good advert for growing up into one? Which women do you admire?  
What it’s like to be a teenage girl in 2013? What do teenagers know that would be good to share with the rest of the world?
Whether you have lots to say in answer to these questions, or whether you just want to listen to others’ points of view, this workshop is for you and we’d love you to join us. Ages 11 – 18 recommended, girls only.
**************************************************************************************************
Afternoon programme:
Panel
Women and the Media, A Post-Leveson World
What can we expect from the media in a post-Leveson world? The panel will include a speaker from Object, who made submissions to the Leveson enquiry about the portrayal of women in the media, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who is a well known writer and journalist, and Ruth Barnes from The Other Woman radio show.  Chaired by Roweena Russell.
Workshops:

Sexual Violence And Trafficking: An International Perspective
Raggi Kotak, founder of the Anti-Trafficking Legal Project and Liberty Human Rights Award nominee, will co-ordinate a workshop on international VAW with Dr. Aisha Gill, Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Roehampton. 
Vagina!
While awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a human rights abuse increases, labiaplasty in the west gains popularity amongst those who seek the “perfect” genitalia. What does patriarchy encourage us to do to our vulvas and vaginas across the globe? Meet Nimco Ali of Daughters of Eve, BBC reporter Najlaa Abou Mehri and consultant gynaecologist Michelle Fynes.
Kick-Ass Activism 
A How to of Campaigning… by Team No More Page 3!
Let Sarah, Angela, Jo, Laura and Stephanie stoke your activism fire and show you the ropes of campaigning! Warning: You might just start a campaign after this!
No More Page 3 is a campaign appealing to the editor of The Sun to please stop showing the Page 3 topless pictures. It has public backing from UK Girlguiding, National Union of Teachers, UNISON,  Rape Crisis and many other unions, charities and organisations, as well as the support of 140 cross party MPs and well over 115,000 petition signers. In August this year the Irish Sun stopped showing the topless Page 3 pictures.

Ageism and Experiences of Ageism
This workshop will discuss stereotyping in its many forms and ageism in particular, in society generally and as it affects the young, older and old women present.  We will consider old age as seen by younger women and experienced and lived by older women. This will be very much a participatory workshop, with useful academic material available for those who are interested.  Presented by Marj of the Older Feminist Network and Vito from the Older Lesbian Network.
Taking Space, Talking Loud (women only)
Join Rebecca of the Scary Little Girls theatre company for a workshop exploring what it means to take up space as a woman.  Frequently asked to reduce ourselves and blend into the background, this workshop will use discussion, some simple drama and Transactional Analysis exercises to explore how we women can find our selves and our voices to enjoy a place in the world, rather than play under it!  We will explore issues that affect women at work, socially and in relationships in a safe, women only space. All women welcome.
Workshop on Healthy Relationships (Pro-Feminist Men’s workshop – all welcome)
Working With Men (WWM) will introduce participants to our work which aims to prevent violence and gender inequality amongst young people.
WWM uses its uniqueness in engaging boys and young men to explore masculinity and relationships within the contexts of race, culture and class. WWM supports boys and young men to gain an objective perspective of violence, in turn empowering them to regain control over their lives, make informed decisions and express themselves clearly with girls and young women. With Owen Thomas and Sally Mehta.
Children’s Afternoon Workshop: T-shirt making
A hands-on workshop recommended for girls and boys aged 7 – 11, presented by Susy Langsdale.  This workshop will involve a discussion about gender stereotyping and then give everyone the chance to make their own feminist t-shirt!  T-shirts and pens will be provided so if your child wishes to attend this then they MUST indicate on the booking programme.  
Teenage Afternoon Workshop: Empowerment!
EMPOWER is part of the Safer London Foundation.  Our EMPOWER workshop takes a look at young women’s rights. We’ll be debating, celebrating and expressing ourselves, making banners and placards with positive images, words and slogans. Ready in time to take along to Reclaim the Night. Get creative and EMPOWER yourself! For young women aged 11-18. With Lucy, Laura, Aisha and Bex.
Afternoon panel keynote speakers
Gita Sahgal – Campaigning
Finn Mackay – closing speech

Other events!
Reclaim the Night – meet 6.30pm for a 7pm start

One thought on “Feminism in London Conference: You all need to go”

Leave a Reply