We are thrilled to announce more amazing speakers and creators joining us for the Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence at the Battersea Arts Centre on November 27th. This groundbreaking festival, created in partnership with WOW, aims to confront and challenge the global crisis of sexual violence.
The one-day event centres urgent conversations about the stigma and misplaced feelings of shame that survivors of sexual violence so often encounter. In collaboration with artists, advocates, scholars, activists, health and wellness practitioners, and survivors, we have assembled a programme that will not only offer stimulating dialogue, but also provide spaces for healing, laughter, and hope.
Through a diverse combination of panels, workshops, and performances, attendees are encouraged to curate their own festival experience. Alongside these sessions, the event will include therapist-led sharing circles for survivors and workshops on how to be a supportive friend and building tools for self-compassion. Throughout the festival, experts will also be available to support the wellbeing of attendees, speakers, and artists.
Our updated programme
To kick-off the day, Director of Birkbeck’s SHaME Project Professor Joanna Bourke and Founder and CEO of WOW Jude Kelly CBE will highlight the realities of and dangers inherent in normalising sexual violence within society, before a powerful performance from the survivors of human trafficking ensemble, Amies Freedom Choir.
Survivor and award-winning author Winnie M Li (Dark Chapter, Complicit), activist and author Laura Bates (Men Who Hate Women), and co-founder of the advocacy group The Triple Cripples Jumoke Abdullahi will explore how the sexualization of women’s bodies has become normalised.
Journalist and survivor Olivia Petter, Dr Maryyum Mehmood, Mamatha Isha Sumah, and award-winning author Lucia Osborne-Crowley (My Body Keeps Your Secrets) will come together in conversation about navigating a world without trigger warnings and explore alternative ways to protect and care for survivors.
Writer and campaigner Caitlin May McNamara, author Leah Cowan (Border Nation), and the Deputy Leader of the Women’s Equality party Tabitha Morton will explore the core of sexual violence: power. Their conversation will delve into the intricacies of power dynamics and the political stratagem behind sexual violence.
Confronting the stigma and misinformation surrounding sexual violence, Professor Joanna Bourke, critically acclaimed author Rachel Thompson (ROUGH), and podcast host Sarah Ozo-Irabor will shatter the rape myths that have permeated the public imagination.
Movement builder for Chayn Naomi Alexander Naidoo, campaigner and writer Laura Bates, and cybersecurity expert Julia Slupska will lead a session on sexual violence in the age of the internet—discussing innovative frontline services available for survivors.
Author Catriona Morton (The Way We Survive), poet and founder of Black Minds Rachel Nwokoro, speaker and activist Sabah Choudrey, and artist and survivor Tashmia Owen will discuss journeys of healing and the realities of not fitting the mold of the ‘empowered survivor’.
Helena Kennedy QC will be joined by Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the Study of Emotion and Law Amina Memon, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party Mandu Reid, author and Senior Lecturer in Criminology Alexandra Fanghanel, and lawyer and activist Charlotte Proudman will take audiences through the legal journey of a survivor, discussing the ways in which the legal system is failing to provide justice.
After discussing the overlooked experiences of male survivors, performer and survivor Tanaka Mhishi and activist Ben Hurst will explore opportunities to challenge the elements of masculinity that work to normalise violence.
Jude Kelly, Tanaka Mhishi, Professor Jacqueline Rose, founder of Everyone’s Invited Soma Sara, and disability activist Dr Amy Kavanagh will look at the changing contexts and conceptions of consent, and the possibilities for a more nuanced understanding.
In between sessions, performers will use The Hope Box as a place to celebrate progress and optimism in our work toward a rape-free world. Standing on their ‘Hope Boxes’, performers will include actress Ellice Stevens, winner of the Merky Books New Writers Prize Monika Radojevic, and award-winning podcaster and founder of Soul Sutras Sangeeta Pillai.
Throughout the day, interactive workshops and academic clinics will take place. Dr Galadriel Ravelli, Dr Milena Romano, and Dr Sandra Darocazi will demonstrate how sexual violence and rape have been represented in visual arts from 15th century to today. Award-winning writers and survivors Winnie M Li and Clare Shaw will lead a creative writing workshop for survivors of sexual violence, which will emphasize the power of writing as a healing and transformative act.
Concluding the day, actor, model and writer Emily Ratajkowski will join Jude Kelly in a separately ticketed evening event to discuss her new book My Body for the first time in front of a live UK audience.