Article by Jas Bhachu
We at 55 always welcome and celebrate diversity and female empowerment. Negating any form of oppression is a core value to our stream of publications. There has never been a greater time for women to find their voices, share experiences and come together to educate and liberate each other. Now is the time for bridging the gaps in our understanding of how to merge deep-rooted traditions with being a modern woman.
This is why we couldn’t be happier to share news of UK’s first ever Asian Woman Festival coming next month!
Foreword from AWF:
Through culture, conversation and art the Asian Woman Festival is the UK's first of its kind event smashing stereotypes and stigma to empower and celebrate Asian Women.
The theme for the inaugural event is ‘identity’ and the one-day festival will host panel talks, masterclasses, live performances and much more, for Asian women to come together, explore and express their views around navigating a dual identity coupled with cultural expectations in 21st century Britain.
An art exhibition curated especially for the festival, 'Musings of Identity', will display the work of up to 30 different artists, highlight significant topics surrounding female identity and explore the various perceptions that may well be outdated amongst Asian communities in modern Britain.
Festival founder and director, Shani Dhanda said, “Being of Asian origin and living in the UK means not only are we a more socially conservative community due to our traditional and cultural beliefs, but we are constantly bridging two cultures. Until now, there hasn’t been an opportunity to talk about how living in contradiction becomes second nature.”
Shani was born with a rare genetic condition more commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease and has a short stature of 3’10. With her passion for creating everyday equality, she is a business and culture change agent, social entrepreneur and disability rights advocate named as one of the most influential disabled people in Britain, Shaw Trust Power List 2018.
These are still massive taboo issues in our community and the Asian Woman Festival will be a safe space to tackle these subjects, giving attendees the skills to confidently navigate their way through society whilst celebrating the ever-vibrant culture and traditions of being Asian.
The festival will bring together an impressive selection of contributors to facilitate dialogue around issues facing Asian women and girls today. The festival line-up includes:
• Singer-songwriter Amrit Kaur Lohia, whose notable performances include Glastonbury Festival 2017, MTV, Somerset House Summer Series, and the UN General Assembly for Unicef
• Keynote talk by award-winning spoken word artist, Jaspreet Kaur, better known as Behind the Netra, where she’ll be looking at the struggles that the young Asian female diaspora face, including issues to do with identity, equality and inner confidence
The Asian Woman Festival is on 30 March at The New Bingley Hall, Birmingham.
Tickets are £10 for the entire day. Everyone is welcome.
The festival is sponsored by The Asian Business Chamber of Commerce and Mr Singh’s.
• Shani Dhanda is the Founder of the Diversability Card, Asian Woman Festival & Asian Disability Network.
• Festival partners are British Bindi and Like Minded Females
• Press tickets are available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting on cultural and creative events along with a broad view of social issues.
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