Visible Women

Your 2019 Feminist Calendar: protests, panels and exhibitions celebrating the sisterhood

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Stylist Team
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Get your diaries out, because the offering of feminist events for 2019 is bigger and better than ever. 

By all accounts, 2018 – dubbed “the year of the woman” – was action-packed in terms of major feminist moments. In the UK, we saw the 100th anniversary of (some) women’s enfranchisement, as well as the centenary of women being able to stand for parliament

Statues of leading figures in the women’s suffrage movement were unveiled in London and Manchester, awards ceremonies and film festivals were dominated by discussions of sexual assault and gender inequality, and women’s marches took place around the world.

But while there might not be any major women’s history anniversaries in 2019, that doesn’t mean we should get complacent. This year is packed with ways to celebrate the sisterhood, from protests to panel discussions, exhibitions, art classes and theatre.

Below, we’ve compiled a handy UK-wide calendar of feminist events for 2019 – so join us and mark these dates in your diary. 

We’ll be updating this page throughout the year, so save it to your bookmarks!

ONGOING 

Votes for Women (until 10 March 2019)

To celebrate the centenary of women’s enfranchisement, the Museum of London is hosting a display dedicated to the women who fought throughout the 50-year struggle for the vote.

Displaying items from the museum’s extensive suffrage collection, including the medal given to Emmeline Pankhurst following her hunger strikes, the exhibition includes costume, memorabilia and lesser-known information about the movement. There’s also a documentary telling the stories of some lesser-known suffragettes.

It’s free, but you’ll want to take some extra cash to spend in the gift shop, where you can buy blue plaque plates, suffragette coasters and other irresistible souvenirs.

Event in London / Free event / More information here.

Women Who Shaped Manchester (until 10 March 2019)

This exhibition at Manchester’s John Rylands Library sheds light on the lives of some of the most inspiring women in the city’s history. From a letter written by Emmeline Pankhurst to a scroll presented to Enriqueta Rylands, the first woman to be given the official freedom of the city, these documents highlight the astonishing achievements of women who made Manchester what it is today.

Event in Manchester / Free event / More information here

Mexican Feminism in Protest: The Photography of Ana Victoria Jiménez, 1964-1990 (until 28 March 2019)

Delve into one of the largest feminist photographic archives in the world with this exhibition at Wadham College, Oxford.

Ana Victoria Jiménez was one of the founding members of the National Union of Mexican Women (Unión Nacional de Mujeres Mexicanas) in 1964, and would go on to participate in many of the most important feminist movements, collectives, and protests in Mexico City between 1964 and 1990.

This exhibition is divided into 10 themes, including feminism and motherhood, clashing feminisms and feminism and communism.

Event in Oxford / Free event / More information here.

Women Power Protest (until 31 March 2019)

Contemporary feminist artists who have explored protest, social commentary and identity in their work are showcased in this major exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. Works by big names such as Sam Taylor-Johnson, Lubaina Himid and Louise Bourgeois explore the progress that’s been made since women first won the vote, and the challenges still faced by women today.

Event in Birmingham / Free event / More information here.

Making Her Mark (until 14 April 2019)

Historically, women were excluded from commercial printmaking, which was only open to male apprentices. In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, many female artists turned to wood-engraving, lithography, etching and lino printing, with beautiful results. Learn more about how women shaped the world of printmaking at this exhibition at Belfast’s Ulster Museum.

Event in Belfast / Free event / More information here

Richard II (until 21 April 2019)

Expect the unexpected at this radical retelling of Richard II at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. Directed by theatre titans Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton, it sees the story of the impulsive king reframed as an analysis of the British Empire. And in a first for a performance of Shakespeare in the UK, every single person involved in the production – from the leading actors to the sound engineers – is a woman of colour. Don’t miss.

Event in London / Tickets from £10 / More information here

The company of Richard II in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

MARCH 2019

This year, International Women’s Day will be celebrated on Friday 8 March 2019. For a round-up of the best International Women’s Day events in London, click here. For events on other dates and in other cities, read on.

She Grrrowls: Feminist Arts Night & Open Mic (1 March 2019)

Once a month, She Grrrowls puts together an all-feminist line up of performers in a celebration of female talent. From spoken word, to music, to comedy, the multi-disciplinary event is a platform for female creatives, giving voice to important and necessary conversations. Their March event features singer SHESAID and poets Michelle Madsen, Bella Cox and Sophie Shepherd, and will be held at London’s Poetry Café.

Event in London / Tickets from £2 / More information here.  

Yours in Sisterhood Film Screenings (1 - 9 March 2019)

Yours in Sisterhood is a film unlike any other. Between 2015 and 2017, director Irene Lusztig asked hundreds of strangers across the US to read aloud letters that were sent to the editor of Ms, the country’s first major feminist magazine, in the Seventies. The readers’ responses reveal how things have changed for the feminist movement in the last 40 years - and illuminate the work that’s still to be done.

Event in London / Tickets £9 / More information here.

209 Women Exhibition (1 March - 14 April 2019)

There are currently 209 women in the House of Commons. Although we’re still a way off reaching gender parity, this does mark the highest female representation there has ever been in UK politics.

To celebrate 100 years since some women gained the right to vote, and to champion the visibility of women, particularly in male-dominated environments, photographer Hilary Wood has created the 209 Women project.

The exhibition – 209 portraits of our female MPs, all shot by female photographers – can be seen at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery following a run in London.

Event in Liverpool / Free event / More information here.

100% Women at Richard Saltoun Gallery (1 March 2019 - February 2020)

From March 2019, London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery is dedicating 100% of its programme to women. This 12-month programme is part of the gallery’s commitment to supporting under-recognised and underrepresented female artists, and aims to protest gender inequality in the art world.

The programme kicks off on 1 March with the gallery’s first solo exhibition of work by British artist Rose English, an integral figure in the development of performance art in Britain. Shows by artists including Seventies avant-garde feminist Lili Dujourie and gender-defying Austrian photographer Renate Bertlmann will open later in 2019.

Event in London / Free / More information here

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 4: Thousands of people including politicians, celebrities and activists marched from the Houses of Parliament to a rally in Trafalgar Square in London during annual March4Women to mark International Women's Day and 100 years since women in the UK first gained the right to vote. The event, organised by CARE International, aims to highlight inequality faced by women and girls around the world and campaign for gender equality and women's rights worldwide. March 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

The annual #March4Women event in 2018

Telling Feminist Stories: Research and Activism (2 March 2019)

Want to find out more about women’s lives across the world? This day-long event, hosted by York University’s Centre for Women’s Studies, will feature speakers on a range of topics, ending with a discussion on what feminism means to them.

Subjects for the talks include the representation of fat women in romance novels in Thailand, menstrual taboos and attitudes in the UK and East Africa, and Nigerian women’s experiences of immigration and employment.

Event in York / Free event / More information here.

#March4Women (3 March 2019)

One hundred years ago, suffragettes held rallies in Westminster Central Hall in London. In 2019, the venue is being taken over by #March4Women, CARE International UK’s annual event to call for global gender equality. (The #March4Women was a demonstration through the streets of London last year, but in 2019 it’s an indoor event.) Expect rousing speeches from activists and #March4Women’s celebrity supporters, as well as musical performances and other brilliant entertainment.

Event in London / Tickets from £5 / More information here.

Women in Jazz present Jessica Lauren and Josephine Davies (3 March 2019)

Women in Jazz is a London-based collective celebrating women musicians from different backgrounds and jazz genres. This night of music at famed jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s is their first ever live event, and it looks set to be a corker: expect a mix of exciting female-led jazz bands and a DJ set of soul, R&B, disco roots and more, with proceeds going to charity Rights of Women.

London / From £10 / More information here.

Naomi Klein will be appearing at this year’s Women of the World Festival in London 

Female Comedians Talk About Their Periods (7 March 2019)

Country Mile Comedy Club are putting their own spin on the stereotype that women in comedy ‘only talk about periods’ – and in turn, remind us all why it’s healthy to have conversations about fertility, contraception and pregnancy. Hosted in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), with proceeds going to support the work of the RCN Foundation, the event’s line-up includes comedians Desiree Burch, Rosie Jones, and Sindhu Vee.

Event in London / Tickets £6 / More information here.

International Women’s Weekender (7 - 10 March 2019)

As part of its year-long Celebrating Women in Global Cinema programme, Manchester venue HOME is hosting a weekend of events that shine a spotlight on women’s stories. Expect a performance of Kourtney Kardashian, Sleepwalk Collective’s theatrical love letter to luxury; a one-day film course exploring the work of filmmaker Ida Lupino; a feminist crafts workshop; and screenings of films including The Kindergarten Teacher, Maiden and Alien.

Event in Manchester / Prices vary / More information here

Beyond Patriarchy (7 - 28 March 2019)

“How does patriarchy affect people’s daily lives?” Among others, this is one of the questions being asked this March at the Beyond Patriarchy film festival in Edinburgh. Throughout the month there will be screenings of different films, each tackling issues of patriarchal oppression and violence. First up is a showing of the 2017 Best Picture Oscar winner, Moonlight. Other films include Barbara, Meek’s Cutoff and Waiting for Men. Following each film will be an open discussion led by guest speakers, and a chance to chat all things intersectional feminism.

Event in Edinburgh / Free event / More information here.  

Hear Our Voice Concert (8 March 2019)

What better way to indulge in music by sitting back and letting the voices of a choir or two wash over you?

Hear Our Voice brings together two choirs of women from South Wales – Affinity Female Voice Choir from Cardiff and Treharmony Choir from Treharris. They will perform a repertoire of songs written or performed by women, including numbers by Lady Gaga, Lorde, Eva Cassidy and Christina Aguilera.

Event in Cardiff / Tickets £6 / More information here.

WOW: Women of the World Festival (8 - 9 March 2019)

Women of the World (WOW) festival launched in the UK back in 2010, as a space for feminist activists, artists, performers and thinkers to celebrate women and girls everywhere - while raising awareness of issues that prevent them from achieving their true potential. Ahead of the 10th anniversary of WOW in 2020, they are hosting a brilliant festival of events at the Southbank Centre, to coincide with International Women’s Day 2019.

The two-day festival will feature a fantastically inspiring line-up of speakers, including political activist Angela Davis, author and filmmaker Naomi Klein and comedian Jo Brand, as part of a series of talks and workshops that take a fresh look at the state of gender politics and equality in the UK.

Event at the Southbank Centre in London / Prices vary / Buy tickets on the Southbank website here.

Emilia (8 March - 15 June 2019)

Emilia Bassano is believed to be the “Dark Lady” who inspired nearly 30 of Shakespeare’s sonnets. However, she was also England’s first female published poet – a fact that often gets overlooked. With an all-female cast, Emilia – which has transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End following a run at Shakespeare’s Globe – explores the true story of Bassano, giving her the credit she has long deserved.

Event in London / Tickets from £20 / More information here.

Words and Deeds: Suffragette History (9 March 2019)

Author and academic Dr Nicola Gauld started her project Fight for the Right: The Birmingham Suffragettes back in 2012, to encourage young girls to use their right to vote. Now, as an addition to the Women Power Protest exhibition at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Gauld is giving a talk about the history of the women’s suffrage movement – and how far modern women might go to demand our rights.

Event in Birmingham / Free event / More information here.

Can I Be A Feminist And Still Love My Lipstick? (9 March 2019)

How do we reconcile selfies with feminist ideals? Scarlett Curtis, author of popular book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, tackles this question as she hosts a panel discussing all things feminism. Curtis will talk with Clara Amfo, Pixie Geldof, Helen Anderson, and Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid as each woman considers what feminism means to them, ranging from everything from their relationships with make-up to how they practice self-care.

Event in London / Tickets £10 / More information here.

Feminist Collage Workshop (9 March 2019)

Looking for a way to get creative with your feminism? The Feminist Collage Workshop offers a platform to zine, collage, and make art in a fun and cathartic takedown of the patriarchy. You don’t need to be an ‘artist’ to participate – all are welcome!

Event in London / Tickets £20 / More information here

Big Mouth 1st Birthday Party for Bloody Good Period (22 March 2019)

Launched by production duo Isabella Blythe and Lauren Jerome in 2018, Big Mouth is a comedy night with a difference. One hundred percent of profits from each event is donated to a different charity, with the night’s line-up inspired by the organisation’s mission.

Brilliant female comedians including Stylist favourites Bridget Christie, London Hughes and Athena Kugblenu will be on stage at Big Mouth’s first birthday party on 22 March, with an afterparty hosted by DJs including Pxssy Palace’s Nadine Artois. All proceeds will be donated to grassroots group Bloody Good Period, which provides asylum seekers with sanitary products.

Event in London / Tickets from £10 / More information here.

Femspectives (22-24 March 2019)

Films have always had a complex relationship with the idea of the male gaze, and in response to this, female-oriented spaces are being devised to celebrate female directors. Set up by Glaswegian duo Lauren Clark and Kathi Kamleitner, Femspectives is a film exhibition that provides a platform for movies by women and facilitates discussions about feminism, social issues and politics.

Event in Glasgow / Free event / More information here.

The Gendered Brain (26 March 2019)

A longstanding hypothesis states that the brain is fundamentally gendered. Professor Gina Rippon is an international researcher from the cognitive neuroscience department at Birmingham University and the author of The Gendered Brain – and at this talk, she’ll be debunking the misconceptions surrounding the idea of the ‘female’ mind. Rippon stresses this isn’t feminist science, it is simply science.

Event in London / Tickets from £5 / More information here

Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Words: Rachel Brown, Moya Crockett, Sarah Shaffi. 

Images: iStock / Ingrid Pollard / Rex Features / Getty Images

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