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Last year’s Hear Me Roar festival filled out Stade Hall. Photograph by Rebecca Brooker

International Women’s Day Festival promises to be a roaring success

Each year, Hastings Women’s Voice hosts an International Women’s Day event. Last year’s festival in Stade Hall was such a success that it has outgrown the venue. This year ‘Hear Me Roar… More!’ will be held in the Hastings Observer Building on Saturday 9 March. The event runs from 11am to 7pm, ending with music by the uplifting SHE Choir and musicians Elisha Edwards and Kinsella. The event is free and everyone is welcome – it is a day to celebrate women of all kinds, both locally and across continents. Erica Smith speaks to Women’s Voice Chair, Anne-Marie Watson, about what the festival will include.

Banner using artwork by local women, created by Lorna Vahey. Photograph by Rebecca Brooker

Women’s Voice Chair, Anne-Marie Watson says: “We live in a town with so many inspirational, activist women, trans and non-binary folk and this is a brilliant opportunity to get everyone together under the same roof. We are delighted that organisations as diverse as Afri-Co-Lab, Trans Pride, Arts on Prescription and The Refugee Buddy Project will be part of ‘Hear Me Roar… More!’ We want to showcase the amazing work being done by women and trans led organisations in Hastings and St Leonards.”

There will be stalls from women’s organisations across the town including: Acorn Community Union, Black Butterfly, Change, Grow, Live, East Sussex Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence/ Abuse & VAWG Team, Education Futures Trust, Eggtooth, Hastings Rounders, Hastings Youth Commons, iRock, Oasis Project, The Refugee Buddy Project, Rainbow Alliance, St Michael’s Hospice, Trans Pride, UNISON and the Wonky WI.

Kinsella is delighted to be performing at Hear Me Roar, More!

Activities for adults and children will be part of the day – you are invited to join in workshops including creative paper folding with Afri-Co-Lab, Kids Crafts with Arts on Prescription, yoga and wellbeing workshops with Roots of Return and embroidery with Stitch TLC.

Multidisciplinary artist Anna Maria Nabirye will give a presentation about her co-created ongoing project Up in Arms. There will be spoken word from local poetry collective A Load of Poets and a chance to hear Brighton-based AFLO the Poet.

Anne-Marie reminds us that: “International Women’s Day is a day of solidarity with women across the globe and we want to extend our support and solidarity to all those who are abused, persecuted, starved and those who spend their lives trying to prevent this from happening.”

Elisha Edwards will also be performing.

There will be opportunities to hear from inspirational women who support and stand in solidarity with women from every community within our town and beyond, including: Emily Booth, a local resident with Palestinian heritage and Kate Colley, Chair of Hastings & District Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Cllr Julia Hilton, Leader of Hastings Borough Council; Rossana Leal, CEO and founder of The Refugee Buddy Project, and Elaine Ellis of UNISON.

Everyone is welcome to drop in or stay for the whole event. Anne-Marie says: “Women’s Voice is always looking for more women to come join us and help develop projects and work on new events. Please come talk to us on the day about what’s most important to you and what you’d like Women’s Voice to do more of locally.

Hear Me Roar… More! the International Women’s Day Festival is at Hastings Observer Building, 53 Cambridge Road. It runs from 11am to 7pm on Saturday 9 March.
The event is free and everyone is welcome.

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Posted 15:35 Friday, Feb 23, 2024 In: Local News

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