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Sydney's All About Women Festival Returns for 2020 with a Day of Post-#MeToo Era Talks

The Sydney Opera House will mark International Women's Day with talks about body positivity, gendered abuse and astrophysics.
By Sarah Ward
December 02, 2019
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Sydney's All About Women Festival Returns for 2020 with a Day of Post-#MeToo Era Talks

The Sydney Opera House will mark International Women's Day with talks about body positivity, gendered abuse and astrophysics.
By Sarah Ward
December 02, 2019
  shares

Held around International Women's Day since 2013, Sydney Opera House's All About Women festival does what many other talk-heavy events historically haven't. Across a huge lineup of speakers, it pushes ladies to the front, putting them on stage to chat about their fields of expertise and their experiences, as well as a broad range of topics that are relevant to women. Now well and truly part of Sydney's annual cultural calendar, the event is returning in 2020 to do what it does best — with an impressive new range of female voices on the program.

Taking place on International Women's Day itself — Sunday, March 8, 2020 — AAW 2020 is honing its focus on the post-#MeToo era. Yes, that's a still a rather sizeable realm, and the fest's range of topics is similarly broad. Across one jam-packed day, you can hear discussions about everything from body positivity to sexual assault, plus astrophysics, neuroscience, social justice and alcohol, too.

Add Lindy West to your must-see list — and if you've binge-watched TV comedy Shrill, which is based on her memoir, you've probably already done just that. The comedian and writer will chat about white male mediocrity, where feminism is headed and politics in pop culture, as well as a subject that'll be familiar to her fans: ignoring societal pre-conceptions and feeling comfortable in your own skin.

Lindy West, shot by Jenny Jimenez.

Among AAW's headliners, she's joined by Chanel Miller, who has been making a big impact in the US in a very difficult area. A sexual assault survivor herself, her memoir Know My Name helped increase awareness and discussion about the way such cases are handled by colleges and the American courts. She'll be chatting about speaking up, making a difference and fighting for change.

While the festival's full lineup won't be revealed until January, other highlights include Princeton University astrophysics professor Jo Dunkley, who'll unearth the pioneering women who've made vital contributions to the field; plus cognitive neuroscientist Gina Rippon, who'll discuss research that shatters the idea that men and women's brains function differently. Elsewhere, journalist Azadeh Moaveni will shine a light on women who join the Islamic State, while Sanam Maher will delve into gendered abuse — as seen in the Pakistani 'honour' killing she documented in her text A Woman Like Her - The Short Life of Qandeel Baloch — with Aussie author Jess Hill.

Attendees can also listen to Wild Swans author Jung Chang as she explores her best-selling work, learn more about the cultural knowledge that's passed on by generations of women in First Nations communities, hear about efforts to set up feminist utopias in the 70s and dive into the complicated relationship that women can have with alcohol. Or, see Betty Grumble, Megana Holiday, Iya Ya Ya and Stelly G completely disregard the sexist notion that women are meant to be well-behaved in The Working Bitches — and get interactive at digital exhibition My Mother's Kitchen, which asks eight LGBTQI+ individuals to share their childhood kitchen stories.

All About Women 2020 will take place on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at the Sydney Opera House. Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday, December 6, with pre-sales starting from 9am on Tuesday, December 3. The final program will be announced in January, so watch this space.

Image: Prudence Upton.

Published on December 02, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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