Feminism was pretty much born in Stoke Newington, thanks to Mary Wollstonecraft, and we’ve got yet another feast of feminism – from cookery to graphic novels – to celebrate.
One woman who has seen more than most is our oldest ever guest, 103-year old Olive Gordon. She talks to Tessa Dunlop, author of The Century Girls (Sat 12.00 Library Gallery £4) about her personal stories of life, love, war and peace.
And for tiny feminists check out Chelsea Clinton as she talks about her new picture book, She Persisted Round the World, which introduces 13 amazing women who have shaped the world – from Marie Curie to Malala Yousafzai.
In a bleak post-war Britain, The Grande Dames of Food: the women who have shaped how and what we eat Sun 12.30 St Paul’s Church Hall £6, revolutionised our cooking; Claudia Roden (Book of Middle Eastern Food), Jill Norman, award-winning writer, editor and Elizabeth David’s publisher, and Elisabeth Luard, award-winning food writer and broadcaster discuss what’s changed and what fuels their appetite for cooking and writing today.
We sometimes forget that a picture can tell a thousand words so we’re really chuffed that The Inking Women’s Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten showcase their work, Sat 12.00, Ryan’s Bar £4, and help recognize the importance of Britain’s female cartoon and comic artists.
Of course it wouldn’t be a very Stoke Newington festival if we didn’t say a massive thank you and hoorah for the pioneering spirit of Mary Wollstonecraft. Wollstonecraft presents… very aptly in the Unitarian Chapel, Sat 16.00 £8, promises a wonderful event by artist Tamsyn Challenger, academic Dr. Hannah Dawson and director and activist Anna Birch, with performances by artists Rachael House and Jemima Burrill. You can then join Stokey’s Chorus of Dissent and The Elastic Band premiere of composer Clara Sanabras’s song inspired by a suffragette buried in Abney Park Cemetery in their eclectic programme of music written by, for and about women Notes for Women Sat 17.30 St Matthias Church £5.
Friends and writers Kate Figes & Helen Simpson, Sun 13.00 Ryan’s Bar £4, share insights on two decades of navigating the course of women’s lives through motherhood, marriage, mid-life and, now for Kate, life threatening disease and read from their latest works respectively On Smaller Dogs and Larger Life Questions and Cockfosters.
Comedian Rosie Wilby rethinks relationships and our definitions of fidelity in the 21st Century in Sex, Love and Monogamy, Sun 19.00 Library Gallery £8 with highlights and discussion from her stand-up show and book Is Monogamy Dead? The national treasure and force for good that is the poet Salena Godden (My Tits Are More Feminist Than Your Tits) kicks off the evening – not to be missed.
Trans Britain, Sun 18.00 The Old Church £6, chronicles the journey of trans people over the past few decades, growing from a marginalised community into the visible phenomenon we recognise today. Press For Change’s Christine Burns and trans activists CN Lester and Charlie Craggs share their personal stories and discuss the issues they still face.
And the festival office is particularly looking forward to Under My Thumb, Sat Jun 2 16.00 Ryan’s Bar £5, co-editors Rhian E Jones and Eli Davies with contributors Frances Morgan and Anna Fielding dissect the dodgy gender politics of the songs that hate women and the women who love them. We love an evil earworm and we’re pretty sure this is going to set a few more free.
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