For seventeen years WoWFest has been showcasing a vibrant mix of top national and international guests, local talent and communities to promote and share their own writing, art and talent. This year marks 18 years of WoWFest, and we have paired up to hold not one, but THREE events here at 54 St James Street, home to The Women’s Organisation.
WoWFest is Liverpool’s radical festival that celebrates writing, diversity, tolerance, story-telling and humour through controversy, inquiry and debate.
This year WoWFest 2017 will explore revolutions in literature and art, thought, ideas and practice; from our working lives through to the environment, Black Lives Matter and other new movements, technologies and relationships.
CEO of The Women's Organisation, Maggie O'Carroll, will lead in-depth discussions with two women that have once been at the centre of a 'media storm'. Vicky Pryce and Sharon Shoesmith will offer a compelling insight to the perception of women in the media as they share with us their stories.
Tuesday 9th May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3
On 7 March 2013, economist Vicky Pryce and her former husband, MP Chris Huhne, were convicted of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to eight months in prison. Pryce accepted driving license penalty points, which were incurred by her husband. She has written and published a book, Prisonomics, based on her own experience, which analyses the economic and human costs of imprisoning women. Vicky Pryce is a Greek-born economist and former Joint Head of the United Kingdom's Government Economic Service.
‘Sharon Shoesmith: Learning from Baby P’
Wednesday 17th May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3
In 2007 Peter Connelly, better known as ‘Baby P’, was killed by his mother, her boyfriend and his brother. Peter had been known to social workers, health professionals and police, and his death brought shock and devastation to those who had known him, many of whom had seen him only days before he died. Questions were asked about the causes of his death and the role of a range of services who knew Peter, yet failed to prevent his death. This led to a media and political witch hunt, aimed mainly at social workers, which had far-reaching consequences for children and the social work profession. Sharon Shoesmith, then Director of Haringey’s Children’s Services was sacked on ‘live’ TV by Ed Balls, the Labour Secretary of State, followed by four of her colleagues and a paediatrician. Sharon Shoesmith won her case for unfair dismissal against Ed Balls, Ofsted and Haringey Council in the High Court. She then returned to education, and has published a book, Learning from Baby P, based on her PhD which she achieved in 2015. It explores the case of ‘Baby P’, and the politics of blame, fear and denial, and attempts to understand those processes which were so prominent in the responses to Peter’s death, in the hope they can offer opportunities and lessons for all to learn and apply in the future.
And finally, the last event will be a celebration of women who have rebelled to reclaim control, whether that be on a personal or a political basis. We will welcome guest speakers; Sabrina Mahfouz, Dashni Morad and Margaret Aspinall to 54 St James Street to offer inspiring and powerful accounts to the obstacles they have faced and overcome.
Tuesday 23rd May, 6pm
Tickets - £7/3
Sabrina Mahfouz is a London-based poet, playwright and writer. Her poetry collection, How You Might Know Me, explores four women’s lives, connected through their experience in different areas of the UK’s growing sex industry. She has also written anthologies such as The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. She received a Fringe First Award for Chef and won a Sky Arts Academy Poetry Award.
Margaret Aspinall is the chairwomen of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and has spent more than 26 years fighting for the justice of the 96 victims, having lost her own son in the tragedy who, following The Hillsborough Panel Report in 2012, was named as one of 58 victims who could have been saved had he received proper medical assistance after being lifted from the pen.
If you would like to purchase tickets to any of our three events, please contact the Philharmonic Box Office on 0151 709 3789.
Alternatively, you can purchase tickets online by heading to the link below:
Prisonomics: Vicky Pryce – Tuesday 9th May, 6pm - Tickets here
Sharon Shoesmith: Learning from Baby P - Monday 17th May, 6pm - Tickets here
Rebel Women – Tuesday 23rd May, 6pm - Tickets here