This year marks the tenth anniversary of the fantastic Bristol Festival of Ideas, and they have surpassed themselves with an even more impressive line-up than usual. I've picked out a few of my favourite events below and strongly suggest you snap up your tickets soon before it's too late.
NB - There are 3-for-2 offers on many of these events. And many more events are listed in the printed brochure and on the website.
Sun 11 May 2014, 15.30-16.30, £7 / £6
On a walk to Wuthering Heights, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing with her friend about who was best: Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She decided to look again at her heroines, those who had shaped her ideas of the world and how to live. Her exploration of the ones that stood up to scrutiny will have many remembering those women who made them the reader and person they are today. (Read my review of the book here.)
Sun 11 May 2014, 17.00-18.00, £7 /£6
Feminist blog The Vagenda is a call to arms. Challenging us to look harder at the magazine articles about a celeb mum’s miracle weight loss or advice columns about bikini waxes and blow jobs to keep your man, co-founders Cosslett and Baxter argue it’s time for us all to push for change in a sphere which holds huge power over women of all ages, yet refuses to respect who they are today.
Sun 11 May 2014, 18.30-20.00, £7 / £6
Eleanor Marx led an eventful life packed with achievements and adventure. Foremost in her public and private life was her strong, pioneering feminism. Her life ended in mysterious suicide in her early 40s. Rachel Holmes’ new biography, which reads in parts like a novel by Wilkie Collins, reveals a woman unafraid to live her contradictions. In this special event Holmes discusses Marx with Andrew Davies, who will be showing clips from his 1977 TV serial Eleanor Marx.
Starts Watershed, Bristol
Sat 17 May 2014, 10.30-12.45, £8 / £7
In 1913 the suffragettes declared war on the government that refused to enfranchise women. At the outbreak of the First World War, militancy was at its height. How did the suffragettes respond to the war? And how far did their suffragette experiences prepare them for their war-time activities? A specially commissioned walk led by Lucienne Boyce, author of The Bristol Suffragettes. (Read my review of the book here.)
Sat 17 May 2014, 11.30-12.30, £7 / £6
Led by body activists AnyBody, UK chapter of international initiative Endangered Bodies, this event explores the complex ways in which ownership is claimed over a woman’s body by people other than herself. Join us for a discussion with the panel and audience, and walk the talk by formulating campaign strategies with us.
Sat 17 May 2014, 14.00-15.00, £5 (all ticket income goes to Integrate Bristol)
The young campaigners from Integrate Bristol’s tireless campaigning to end female genital mutilation has got them national recognition. They are supported by Malala Yousafzai and the secretary general of the UN, and made Michael Gove pay attention. Hear how they have managed to break down the wall of silence around FGM and why they won’t be stopping to talk about it any time soon.
Sat 17 May 2014, 16.00-17.00, £7 / £6
Lucy-Anne Holmes started the campaign to ask The Sun to stop Page 3 in the summer of 2012 when she realised that the largest female image in the paper was of a young woman showing her breasts, even though Jessica Ennis had just won her Olympic Gold medal. She talks about building and growing the campaign, dealing with backlash and why she’ll be continuing her work.
Sat 17 May 2014, 18.00-19.00, £7 / £6
Award-winning comedian Rosie Wilby uses live interactive storytelling interspersed with video interviews, music and photos to trace a hilarious journey through early 90s feminism, refracted through a very personal lens. Against a backdrop of John Major and riotgrrrl she blurs personal and political history, backed by a healthy dose of 21st century cynicism.
In association with What The Frock! Comedy.