KARACHI: The British Council in Pakistan, Southbank Centre and TAF Foundation (TAFF), along with six local curating partners, are organising the second Women of the World (WOW) festival in Karachi. The event will start from December 2 and will run till December 3 at the Alliance Francaise.
During the #WOWKhi 2017 programme review, young girls from Pak Shaheen Boxing Club shared their inspiring journey and showcased their boxing skills. They will also be part of the two-day #WOWKhi festival.
This year, the event will feature panel discussions on critical issues, short inspirational talks, workshops, musical performances, space for young children, mentoring sessions, readings, art installations and a market place. Discussion topics cover women in science and technology, gender equality, violence against marginalised communities, emotional well-being and raising children that contribute to equal gender roles in communities. Performances include classical, qawwali, dramatic and readings.
“As a cultural relations organisation, we must focus on mutuality and collective strength of all parts of the community,” said British Council Pakistan Arts Director Raania Azam Khan Durrani. She added that the organisation believes in the significance of exploratory spaces for creative expression, poetic thought and appreciation of the intangible arts. WOW is a powerful extension of that safe and celebratory space; a festival that welcomes girls, boys, men and women, she explained. “I am proud to be a part of this global movement and in its second year it has become a catalyst for conversations across South Asia and the world,” Durrani said.
TAFF Chief Executive Officer Aatiqua F Lateef said that the foundation is proud to partner with the British Council to organise the festival for the second year. “We believe in promoting platforms that celebrate the achievements of women and inspire those who have the potential to realise their dreams through professional guidance and mentoring,” she added.
WOW endeavours to curate an inclusive, empowering space that pushes the boundaries of conventional gender roles through programming that is both celebratory and reflective.
WOW was launched in 2010 at the Southbank Centre in London by its artistic director Jude Kelly to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and to start conversations on a wider scale with people from all walks of life. “WOW is a festival because celebration creates optimism and optimism creates determination and energy that makes you feel anything is possible,” said Kelly. In the six years since its inception, WOW has grown into the largest women’s festival network in the world, involving over a million people across five continents.
Curating partners for WOW Karachi 2017 include the Institute of Business Administration, Entrepreneurship and Community Development Institute, Salt Arts, Saturday Studio, Alternate Media Concepts and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research.