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10 events not to miss at WOW Norwich festival

PUBLISHED: 19:53 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:59 27 April 2018

Norwich Arts Centre held a launch party for Norwich's inaugural WOW Norwich festival.
 Photo: Kelly Robb

Norwich Arts Centre held a launch party for Norwich's inaugural WOW Norwich festival. Photo: Kelly Robb

Kelly Robb

Ahead of the WOW Norwich festival taking to the stage at OPEN this weekend, programmer Rosie Arnold shares her top 10 events not to miss with arts correspondent Emma Knights.

WOW Norwich programmer Rosie Arnold. Photo: Kelly RobbWOW Norwich programmer Rosie Arnold. Photo: Kelly Robb

A special festival celebrating women is all set to bring the wow factor to Norwich this weekend.

Discussion, debate, inspiration, music and more will fill OPEN venue this Saturday and Sunday as the city hosts its first-ever WOW Norwich.

Our fine city’s festival is the latest in the ever-growing Women of the World network which is said to be the largest women’s movement across the globe.

The Norwich programme is being led by Norwich Arts Centre and London’s Southbank Centre, and despite its international context WOW Norwich will also have a decidely local flavour, with lots of the line-up programmed as the result of “thinkin” sessions held in the city ahead of the event.

WOW Norwich logo
Image: supplied by WOW NorwichWOW Norwich logo Image: supplied by WOW Norwich

WOW Norwich programmer Rosie Arnold said the festival was about shining a spotlight on Norwich, inspiring debate and celebrating all those who identify as women and girls, and the men and boys who support them.

Here she shares 10 WOW Norwich events not to miss:

Deborah Francis-White and special guests will be presenting The Guilty Feminist Podcast: Live at WOW Norwich.
Photo: supplied by WOW NorwichDeborah Francis-White and special guests will be presenting The Guilty Feminist Podcast: Live at WOW Norwich. Photo: supplied by WOW Norwich

• The Guilty Feminist Podcast, Saturday 7.30pm, OPEN

“The whole WOW Norwich team are huge fans of this internationally recognised podcast and we’re so excited to watch this live in Norwich to end the first day of WOW. Deborah Frances-White and her panellists always take a comedic, down to earth approach to feminism at the same time as tackling some very serious issues.”

• Under 10s Feminist Corner For Boys and Girls, Saturday, Boys session 11am-12pm, Mixed session 2pm-3pm, OPEN Shilling Room

“Feminism isn’t just for grown-ups or teenagers. It’s really important for younger children to think about the issues surrounding gender equality and gender stereotypes. Hopefully the session will help them to start taking their own small steps towards positive change.”

The panel for WOW Norwich's event Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability and Feminism.
Photo: supplied by WOW NorwichThe panel for WOW Norwich's event Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability and Feminism. Photo: supplied by WOW Norwich

• Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability and Feminism, Saturday 12.30pm-1.30pm, OPEN Banking Hall

“Again another really important panel as mainstream feminism can often lead to disabled women feeling invisible and under-represented. I think it’s really important to highlight these double standards and to push for intersectional conversations in which the voices of disabled women are heard loud and clear.”

• LGBTQI+ In Conversation: Living in Norfolk, Saturday 11am-12pm, OPEN Crown Room

“This is going to be a really interesting discussion and I’m looking forward to hearing about the panellists’ personal experiences living in Norfolk as a person who identifies as LGBTQI+. This will be a relaxed space where people can join in or sit back and listen.”

The panel for WOW Norwich's event You and #MeToo.
Photo: supplied by WOW NorwichThe panel for WOW Norwich's event You and #MeToo. Photo: supplied by WOW Norwich

• You and #MeToo, Saturday 3.30pm-4.30pm, OPEN Sovereign Room

“Finally people are starting to feel confident enough to speak out about their own experiences of sexual harassment since the #MeToo campaign began, but we want to ask do these social media movements represent survivors equally or do they eclipse essential conversations on race, disability, class and privilege?”

• Sisu Presents: DJ Workshop & Open Decks Session, Saturday 11am-4pm, OPEN Florin Room

“If DJing is something you’ve always wanted to try but never quite had the opportunity or confidence then make sure you seek this one out. DJing has always been a predominantly male arena...We decided to programme this particular workshop to give some basic skills and to build confidence.”

The WOW Norwich programme will include an inter-generational MOXIE Dance Party.
Photo: Kelly RobbThe WOW Norwich programme will include an inter-generational MOXIE Dance Party. Photo: Kelly Robb

• MOXIE Dance Party, Saturday 10pm-2am, Norwich Arts Centre

“After Guilty Feminist make sure you head down to Norwich Arts Centre for our inter-generational dance after-party for those who identify as women...The last couple of Moxie events have been amazing so come and celebrate WOW with us.”

• Colour Blindness: Living in a White City, Sunday 10.30am-11.30am, OPEN Crown Room

“White privilege is undeniable and should be acknowledged and talked about in order to be challenged. This is a particularly important topic for Norwich as it is a predominantly white city. The panelists will discuss their experiences of racial and cultural othering while living and working in Norwich.”

The panel for WOW Norwich's event Colour Blindness: Living in a White City.
Photo: supplied by WOW NorwichThe panel for WOW Norwich's event Colour Blindness: Living in a White City. Photo: supplied by WOW Norwich

• Non-Binary, Trans and Intersex Women: Media Wars, Sunday 3pm-4pm, OPEN Sovereign Room

“It was always really important to me from the beginning of festival planning that WOW Norwich would be a safe and welcoming space for everybody. The festival is in celebration of people who identify as women, trans, intersex and non-binary and the men and boys who support them. This panel will discuss misrepresentations of these groups in the media and talk about ways in which we can lobby for change to ensure all people are represented with accuracy, dignity and respect.”

• Pony Up presents Yassassin + Maya Law, Sunday 7.30pm, OPEN Club Room

“To close the festival Norwich Arts Centre’s new music club-night will presents a celebratory and inspiring line-up of women in music at OPEN. 
I founded Pony Up four years ago to promote new music and especially women in music so I’m really proud to have this event as part of the festival. Yassassin are a force of nature on stage so make sure you don’t miss this closing night.”

Yassassin are performing at the Pony Up event which will close WOW Norwich 2018.
Photo: supplied by WOW NorwichYassassin are performing at the Pony Up event which will close WOW Norwich 2018. Photo: supplied by WOW Norwich

WOW Norwich, which is funded by Spirit of 2012, takes place this Saturday and Sunday.

Weekend tickets for OPEN events cost £20 (£15 concessions). Day tickets £12 (£8 concessions). For more on the full line-up at OPEN and to book, visit www.norwichartscentre.co.uk or call 01603 660352.

For WOW events taking place at other Norwich locations visit the venue’s website for more details.

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