Poplar Union: Women In Focus Festival

At Poplar Union, International Women’s Day is always a really exciting time for us as it motivates and inspires us to use our events to showcase (even more than we already do!) the immense talents of local women and girls. 2019 will see the second instalment of our Women in Focus Festival which began in March 2018. We were inspired to put on the festival as we feel it's our duty as a community arts centre (and one that is run by a team who pride themselves on their strong feminist credentials!) to showcase and champion the rights, voices and talents of women and those who identify as female. We also believe strongly that these are conversations that everyone should have access to which is why our festival in celebration of International Women's Day is entirely free! 



This year, we decided to theme the festival around ‘perception’. Perception came quite naturally as many of the ideas we discussed were around not only how women are perceived and how they perceive themselves, but more broadly how gender itself is very much a social construct created through perceived notions of masculinity and femininity. We are living in radically progressive times where gender fluidity is increasingly recognised and celebrated and this very much feeds into the events taking place at and contributors involved with Women in Focus. How women are perceived also changes depending on your race, sexuality, background, ability, age and so many other features so we hope to deep dive into these conversations throughout the festival. 


With this event we hope to truly engage members of our community from all walks of life and encourage debate, discussion and ultimately better understanding and unity across the people who make up our community. We also really want to entertain people (!) and show how creativity, interaction and the arts can be used as a means of opening up quite serious conversations but in ways that are accessible, enjoyable and stimulating. We also really hope to empower and inspire especially the younger artists who are working with us to develop their own work and make their voices heard! 


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