Sydney International Women’s Poetry & Arts Festival 2016

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Sydney International Women’s Poetry & Arts Festival joins with the Women Poets International Movement (MPI) for the third year in a row to bring the Woman Scream Festival 2016 to Sydney. The Festival will take place at NSW Parliament House on March 16, 5:30-9:30pm. 

One of the major feminist festivals in Sydney, the International Women’s Poetry & Arts Festival is directed by poet, filmmaker and Asylum Seekers Centre Ambassador, Saba Vasefi. It is hosted by member of the NSW Parliament Dr Mehreen Faruqi, and will be MCed by performer, writer and activist Candy Royalle.

The Festival is a showcase of diversity, including performances by Indigenous, migrant, LGBTI and refugee, as well as Australian-born, women. It aims to foster a supportive and culturally respectful atmosphere empowering women to stand up against racism, sexism and violence.  It will shed light on the intersectional discrimination and masculine and racial biases which disempower women, while simultaneously emphasising the need to create new power structures and coalitions based on inclusion and diversity.

Prominent writers, commentators, artists and scholars — such as Prof. Sahar Amer, Chair of Arabic Language and Cultures at the University of Sydney; Jane Caro, author, novelist, commentator and award-winning advertising writer; Candy Royalle, performer, writer and activist; Adjunct Prof. Eva Cox, commentator and activist; and Dr Leslie Cannold, researcher, public speaker & educator on gender and respectful relationships — will take part in a panel discussion chaired by writer Ruby Hamad.

Wiradjuri elder and poet Jenny Munro, award winning poet Judith Beveridge, Human Rights Award finalist Yarrie Bangura, Associate Professor of English at Sydney University Dr Kate Lilly, Peril Magazine’s Poetry Editor Eleanor Jackson, and coordinator of Writing Through Fences Janet Galbraith, plus poets Hawraa Kash, Gloria Demillo and Gabrielle Jones, will recite their work. Hip hop artists Sarah Anne Connor and Zainab Kadhim, as well as classical Indian choreographer Aruna Gandhi and the Tara Anglican School for Girls’ Axis Wind Ensemble, will perform.

Past festival participant, Michele Seminara, will also have her first poetry collection, Engraft, launched by Festival Director Saba Vasefi.

The Festival is partnered by distinguished academic, human rights and feminist organisations such as Daily Life, Sydney Peace Foundation, Sydney University, Amnesty International, Asylum Seekers Centre, Settlement Services International, Word Travels, Peril Magazine, Women Say Something, Full Stop Foundation and Bridge for Asylum Seeker Foundation.

The event will support donations and promotion for its partners and will be advertised in Persian, Arabic, Chinese and English. Twenty complimentary tickets will be offered to women of Indigenous, refugee and asylum-seeker backgrounds.

For more information visit the Facebook event page 

To book tickets ($20) go to Eventbrite