All About Women is a festival that aims to promote discussion on ideas and issues that are important to women. The festival is live streamed from the Sydney Opera House to venues throughout Australia and New Zealand, and you can watch the action locally at the Glasshouse. Danielle Harvey – Co-Curator of All About Women, tells us more about the event …
Introduce us to the “All About Women” Festival …
This is the fifth year of All About Women. It was born out of a day we had called The F Word in 2012, which was electric. It featured Germaine Greer, Naomi Wolf, Eliza Griswold and locals like Clem Bastow and Jenny Brockie and saw a full Opera Theatre of women and men (a smaller number!) who wanted to engage in discussion and debate about feminism. This has now grown to be one of Sydney Opera House’s flagship festivals, featuring over 20 guests from all around the world.
What’s the aim of the festival?
It is a day of discussions of ideas that matter to women today. It allows a place for women’s voices and stories to take centre stage. It draws speakers and artists from many and varied areas and backgrounds and encourages wide examination of feminism through the exploration of issues ranging from equality, unconscious bias, violence, education, depictions of women in the media and the impact of war.
All About Women is streamed live to multiple locations. How many participating venues are involved this year?
This is the largest streaming we’ve ever done, to over 25 venues across Australia and New Zealand! Sharing these speakers and what is happening inside the Opera House with a wide range of people is key to the vision of All About Women and the mandate of the Sydney Opera House. We want these ideas examined and contributed to by anyone and everyone.
This year the Glasshouse will present two All About Women sessions – the first with Geena Davis, and the second titled Nasty Women. What topics will these women be covering in their presentations?
Geena Davis will be drawing on her work with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, looking at the gender stereotypes perpetuated in film and TV and possible changes the industry could consider to better reflect real women and girls.
Our panel Nasty Women takes its name from the latest label used to put women with “opinions” in their place. This panel, featuring Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Van Badham, Lindy West and chaired by Fauziah Ibrahim is a discussion of the reclamation of the label and why they will keep being “loud”, “hysterical” and “bossy” without apology.
What has been some of the feedback you’ve received from previous years’ events?
We love getting feedback! We especially want to hear from people in real time using #allaboutwomen. In addition to the Satellite live stream events, we record as many of our sessions as possible to make them available as video or podcasts after the event.
I’ve received great feedback from people all over the world who are unable to attend events in person for a multitude of reasons who are so glad they can access discussion and debate on ideas that matter to them. I’m really glad we prioritise the sharing of ideas as much as possible. Ideas should be shared.
Why would you encourage people to attend either one, or both, of the sessions on March 5?
BOTH, of course! One is a keynote and the other a panel, so different formats and guaranteed to be a variety of opinion. We all love to binge on TV etc. so why not do that with some like-minded citizens!
Where can we find out more info for All About Women?
Head to the website: www.sydneyoperahouse.com/aaw
Interview by Jo Robinson.
Watch All About Women at the Glasshouse on March 5.
Session 1: Women and Media, Geena Davis – 10:30am – 11:30am. Session 2: Nasty Women -12pm – 1pm.
Tickets Adults $12 one session; $17 two sessions.
Photo credit: Prudence Upton.