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From April 1 to 3, 2023 the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) presents the first festival “WOW – Women of the World” in GREECE. The festival is held in collaboration with the WOW Foundation, with based in the United Kingdomthe world’s largest event dedicated to women, girls and non-binary people. The WOW Foundation was founded in 2010 by Jude Kelly when the first WOW Festival took place at the Southbank Center in London. To date, WOW Foundation has organized festivals and events in more than 30 cities on six continents, attracting 5 million people.

WOW in Athens, which is presented in collaboration with the British Council and with the support of the British Embassy in Athens, includes talks with guests from Greece and abroad, discussions, exhibitions, workshops, mentoring sessions, educational programs, concerts and much more others, in a major event to empower women and femininities to face the obstacles and inequalities they face every day and to celebrate the victories that have been achieved to date as well as the faces and stories that inspire them. Multi-collective and cross-thematic, the festival focuses on the Greek reality today, but, at the same time, it also focuses on the common issues and challenges that concern the whole world.

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THE Elli Andriopoulou, CEO of SNFCC, states about it: “In recent years and thanks to the intense mobilization of the most recent feminist movements in Greece and internationally, issues of gender inequality have increasingly occupied the public sphere. In addition, current events, both domestic and global, unfortunately continue to feed us with events that shock, trouble and underline the need to accelerate the achievement of equality with the responsibility and contribution of all of us. Our goal at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is to provide the space and opportunities for dialogue that can bring us closer to a just society, a society in which we participate equally and enjoy equal opportunities. Therefore, organizing an annual festival to offer a platform for awareness, ideas and dialogue around these issues, combining discussions with music, visual arts and participatory actions, has been something we have been planning for some time and now it is time to make it happen through our collaboration with the WOW Foundation”.

Jude Kelly, CEO and founder of WOW Foundation notes: “WOW festivals were created to bring people together to celebrate women, girls and non-binary people and explore the state of gender equality in today’s world. The WOW Foundation is thrilled to be working with the SNFCC team to bring this exciting experience to Greece for the first time, with a program designed to both challenge and entertain.”

Highlights of the program:

The Guerrilla Girls, Artist Talk (Monday 3 April at 18.30, Stavros Niarchos Hall): The Guerrilla Girls are made up of anonymous artist-activists who believe in an intersectional feminism that fights for the human rights of all people.

The Guerrilla Girls, “The Art of Behaving Badly” Exhibition (March 27-April 20, 4th Floor Atrium, National Library of Greece): The exhibition features posters, videos and other forms of art by the Guerrilla Girls, which aim to raise public awareness of issues of discrimination in the visual arts.

Concert by the award-winning British composer and saxophonist Nubya Garcia (Monday, April 3 at 8:30 p.m., Stavros Niarchos Hall): Garcia is changing the landscape of the traditionally male-dominated British jazz scene with her music.

-Stage reading of the play “Maryland” by Lucy Kirkwood, translated by Alexandra K. and directed by Katerina Giannopoulou (Saturday, April 1 at 9 p.m., Faros). Premiered at the Royal Court Theater and then at WOW London 2022, ‘Maryland’ is a rallying cry against the normalization of atrocities against women.

-“Pages for female revolutionaries: A discussion about the stories that change the world” (Sunday, April 2 at 11.00, Stavros Niarchos Hall): Elena Favilli, Italian journalist and author of the book series “Bednight Stories for Revolutionaries” talks to Stella Kasdagli, author of “30 Women Who Changed the World”, about female role models, girl empowerment, gender equality and how books can really change our world.

-Dana Kyndrová’s photography exhibition in collaboration with Athens Photo World and the Czech Center of Athens (April 1-May 31, Stavros Niarchos Park Perimeter): Through a series of 48 photographs, the exhibition entitled “Woman” by the Czech photographer presents realistically and sometimes humorously, moments through which the role of women emerges, sometimes dominant and sometimes shadowy, but still necessary.

-Speeches and discussion panels: During the festival, key issues will be highlighted in a series of panels that will host distinguished speakers from Greece and abroad.

-A unique experience for the participants will be the WOW Speed ​​Mentoring sessions where women and non-binary people of different social origins and ages can meet, at all stages of their careers, with the aim of inspiring and supporting each other.

-Furthermore, the “heart” of the festival will be located in the SNFCC Agora, the WOW Marketplace. Curated by the WOW team and open to the public, it will feature businesses, charities and activist organizations founded and run by women or non-binary people selling their products and/or giving information on important issues.

-At the same time, throughout the weekend and in all SNFCC venues, a series of free workshops, actions and happenings with a variety of themes for all ages.

-End, the morning of Monday April 3 will be dedicated to school students. There will be an open call for secondary school students to attend panels on consent and discuss with the speakers.

More information on the website snfcc.org/WOW