International Women’s Day – An Evening of performances presented by the Gender Studies Network at King’s College – 27th March 2018

On the 27th March, LAHP and the Gender Studies Network at King’s held a celebration for International Women’s Day 2018. The event was organised by LAHP-funded student Phoebe Martin in collaboration with Dr Hannah Partis-Jennings (KCL) and it was a great opportunity for the Gender Studies Network to host a less academic event and hear from a wider range of voices.

The event started with a welcome by Hannah and then the performers were introduced by Sara Joyce, director with the Old Vic 12, who explained how the three pieces were brought together to explore the theme of ‘the personal is political’. The first performer was Sinead O’Brien, a spoken word artist, who opened the night with three poems, including “I AM A GANG OF WOMEN”. Then Doireann May White performed a piece conceived specially for the night, titled “Detour”, which balanced the hilarious and the horrifying, and highlighted the importance of considering the grey areas in relation to movements like #metoo. Finally, Eva O’Connor performed two pieces: an excerpt from her play “Maz and Bricks” and a poem “It Shouldn’t Be This Hard”, which both consider the heated debates going on in Ireland around the upcoming referendum on abortion.

The performances were followed by a lively discussion, led by Sara Joyce, with several insightful questions from the audience. The conversation covered everything from the relationship between the personal and political in their work, to how artists can contribute to wider debates, such as #MeToo and, particularly as the performers are all Irish, #RepealThe8th.

Many thanks are due to Valeria and Gulsh for their help in organising, and LAHP and KCL for funding the event, the Sara, Sinead, Doireann and Eva for agreeing to take part and most of all to Hannah Partis-Jennings for bringing everyone together for an inspiring evening!

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