Oct 2019: FWF #27 was run by local parents Jo Gage and Anna Braithwaite on the theme of Gender in our Primary Schools, and our guest speaker was Claire Harvey from Diversity Role Models. Their hoped-for outcome from the session would be to form a sub-group of people interested in actively taking this issue forward locally.
FWF events are usually women-only spaces (trans and NB inclusive) but for this one we invited people of all genders to join us.
Sep 2019: FWF #26 was about the Women’s Institute, the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. We welcomed Dorothy Douse and colleagues from the East Kent WI Federation. We also heard from Lubna and Deborah about the a:dress (women, fashion, and eco-action) events, part of the SALT festival
July 2019: FWF #25 was a Clothes Swap, in aid of Folkestone Red Box Project, and Social.
June 2019: FWF #24: Crime, what crime?
Carol Withey gave us an interactive talk about crime, with a quiz!
May 2019: FWF #23: Daylighting
We welcomed Folkestone-based curator Madeleine Hodge to talk about her recent project DAYLIGHTING, and how it was negatively affected by a furore around the word “womxn”.
“DAYLIGHTING was a curated programme at Wellcome Collection that asked how we might breach or intervene on existing archives and systems of knowledge, to change narratives and amplify new voices. It sought, in Adrienne Rich’s words, to imagine “the faint, improbable outlines of unaskable questions” and then attempted to make them more manifest in our current landscape, to phrase them in bold letters, shining a light on womxn’s history, carving more space for our future. The programme and the paper asked how we might collectively resist the inheritances of western imperialism inherent in our archives. We worked with artists from a range of disciplines and included a number of trans, non binary artists and women of colour in the programme. Reflecting on recent scholarship about the exclusionary language that binds us to gendered norms and the epistemic violence inherent in the normative values of the archive felt important to the project and we used the word womxn and women interchangeably across the programme to represent the open future towards which we were working. The use of the word womxn was picked up by campaigners against the GRA (Gender Recognition Act) who complained very publicly about a tweet from Wellcome using the word. Despite conciliatory gestures towards us the Wellcome’s Press made a public apology (without our consent) to appease the twitter mob. We found ourselves in the middle of a furore that strangely reflected the erasure that the project was trying to resist, this was disastrous for our programme and created a narrow frame for the work we had created.”
April 2019: FWF #22: One Art: the making of an opera/cabaret
Elizabeth Bishop’s poem One Art is a tribute to the inevitability of loss, and the need for art to transform loss into meaning. Hailed as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, Bishop’s poetry shielded her private life, and a clearer picture emerges in her correspondence, detailing her struggles with love, poetry, and alcohol. Transformed by composer Paula M. Kimper into art songs, Bishop’s poems are interwoven with her letters, to create an intimate and moving performance. Soprano Laure Meloy will perform excerpts from this monodrama about Bishop’s life, along with a short talk about how the piece came to be, followed by a q&a session.
March 2019: FWF #21: Women of Folkestone Project
Sparked by a curiosity about notable women with a Folkestone connection, Marian Duggan did some research and the Women of Folkestone project was born. In this talk, she will showcase some of the women and their exciting achievements, while inviting contributions from the audience to enrich the project further.
February 2019: FWF #20: Pecha Kucha!
December 2018: FWF #19: party
November 2018: FWF #18: Motherhood and Intimacy, with writer and journalist Antonella Gambotto-Burke. Also, Lesley Hardy and Beverly Andrews from Folkestone’s community heritage and archaeology project, Finding Eanswythe.
October 2018: FWF #17: Roots
Aida Silvestri explored the idea of home, belonging and the implications of migration and the local communities. Aida is a UK based artist who creates work concerning sensitive issues of culture, ethnicity, identity, health, politics and the urban landscape. She is currently working on a project that promotes integration and diffuses tensions among different community groups in Kent by focusing mainly on areas of the county that are experiencing or have experienced demographic changes due to the influx of migrants.
Folkestone-based artist, chef and feminist Cherry Truluck spoke about Custom, a new community food project she’s starting which is focused on women and labour exchange. Cherry runs East Cliff Kitchen and curated The Architecture of Anxiety (exhibition about feminism & space) during the triennial last year. She talked about making/claiming space through the sharing of food and the culture of food production. We also heard from Sheree Bell about the new Folkestone Wellbeing Centre, body positivity, and her Resilient You programme.
Emily Ghassempour spoke about period poverty initiative The Red Box Project and Catherine Sangster discussed women and language, the power of words, and her work for the Oxford English Dictionary.
Dr Alice Haylett Bryan, Associate Lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College London, spoke about Anzieu’s ideas of the skin ego (the human psyche and ego are formed through the contact with the mother’s skin in the first stages of childhood) and film.
February 2018: FWF #11
Tess Kingham, MP from 1997-2001, on women in politics
December 2017: FWF #10 – winter party!
November 2017: FWF #9
Dr Kathleen Webb on Gender Equality in Science
September 2017: FWF #7
Roller derby queen Demi Lition on founding Kent Roller Girls
July 2017: FWF #6
Rev Dr Melanie Marshall on Woman or Priest?
June 2017: FWF #5
Writers Emma Claire Sweeney and Emily Midorikawa on Female Literary Friendships
Links to their website, their article in The Independent, their appearance on Radio 4 Woman’s Hour (to come). Their book is called A Secret Sisterhood.
also, Joy on Folkestone Pride, which takes place on the afternoon of 19 August.
May 2017: FWF #4
Jo Smith, academic researcher, on Online Misogyny
also, Liu Batchelor on setting up TEDx Folkestone
April 2017: FWF #3
Dr Lesley Hall on Women Scientists and their Erasure from History
March 2017: FWF #2
Human rights lawyer Michelle Brewer and Chris Beddoe on Human Trafficking
also, Allegra Galvin on getting involved with the East Kent Women’s Equality Party
January 2017: FWF #1
Criminologist Dr Marian Duggan on Domestic Violence and Clare’s Law
also, Leah Thorn on Older Women Rock
Emma Westbrook on Boss(y) Girls Project
Katy Lockey on Motherhood and Identity Project
- Rising Sun domestic violence charity based in Canterbury, who don’t just do fantastic work with women locally, but also support Marian’s research.
- Folkestone’s own Home Start, who run so many services here, with a very small team. Support their work any way you can.
- The East Kent Rape Crisis Centre is looking for volunteers to train and work on the helpline.