Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Drawing by Elise Liversedge, ONE TWO ONE

Democracy booth

“Democracy booth”: a week of talks, discussions, a polling booth, maybe a soap box, tea and cake, listening posts and audio interviews. The week is being hosted and run by Claremont Studios CIC with ONE TWO ONE art&architecture’s Mary Hooper and Elise Liversedge, who have invited guest speakers and anyone else who wants to pop in to discuss women and democracy, voting, women’s position in a cultural landscape and how we make a mark as part of Parliament Week. 

Speakers for the weekend include artist and feminist activist, Xaverine Bates, author and authority on local Women’s History, Ann Kramer, international journalist, Rohan Jayasekera and Claire Foster-Gilbert, a moral philosopher and theologian based at Westminster Abbey. The week’s events will hopefully be visited by local MP Amber Rudd, Labour’s Sarah Owen and Hastings councillors.

The week of events will include:

Saturday 16th November

11:00am – 12:00pm: Art and the feminist revolution. An illustrated talk by artist, Xaverine Bates

riart Grrrls’ founder, Xaverine Bates, will give a whistle-stop illustrated tour of selected feminist artists that have shaped our consciousness and political awareness. She’ll be talking about the intersection between art and activism in the current wave of contemporary global feminism with reference to activist artists such as the Guerrilla Girls, Pussy Riot, Yoko Ono and Molly Crabapple amongst many others. She’ll explain the impetus behind initiating riart Grrrls,  a Hastings and St Leonards’ based feminist arts collective, which has been active in highlighting sexism and misogyny in our society through the arts since September 2012, through various happenings including Domestic Disturbance, the female author series and green:purple for Coastal Currents this year.

She will talk about the power of online activism and will highlight rG’s plans for future events, such as Hastings Ladyfest for International Women’s Day 2014.

Xaverine is an artist, feminist activist, educator and founder of riart Grrrls and aGender, an arts education charity, which aims to explore the way that gender is portrayed in society with young people from all socio-economic backgrounds and diverse family structures, using creative media e.g. visual and performing arts, film and writing and how these stereotypes affect the choices they make about relationships.

12:00 – 14:00pm: Chat, voting booth and film

An opportunity to chat about the talk and contribute to the democracy booth sound wall by taking part in our audio interviews on voting and making our mark. Maybe watch a film in the TV room or access via the internet the other projects going on in Parliament Week on the Blog.       



14:00 – 15:00pm: Should women overcome the 80-20 rule?  A talk and discussion topic by Claire Foster-Gilbert, a moral philosopher and theologian.

Claire is Founder-Director of Westminster Abbey Institute, which promotes moral and spiritual values in government. She is a moral philosopher and theologian, having read Theology at Balliol College, Oxford, and then specialised in the ethics of medical research on humans at King’s College, London, where she is now reading for a Doctorate. Claire was formerly adviser to the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England in science, medicine, technology and environmental issues, and a Lay Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral where she co-founded the Institute for ethics.

Claire has several times been ‘the first woman’ or ‘the only woman’: on the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral, on Boards and Committees of other public entities. She is deeply interested in and concerned about the role of women in public life. How can women authentically participate as public leaders when the paradigm of engagement is often combative, so that to succeed women have to push themselves forward? Should women overcome the 80-20 rule (whereby they are only happy speaking publicly about a subject they are 80% knowledgeable about, whereas men are confident at the 20% knowledge level), or should they change the rule? Don’t we want people who know what they are talking about and who work together for the common good rather than being individually pushy? But does that mean that women have to replace men? What would it look like if the male/female skills were combined?

16:oo – 17:30pm: The challenges and opportunities facing women active in parliamentary democracies around the world. A talk and discussion topic by Rohan Jayasekera an international journalist.

Rohan Jayasekera is a journalist and online producer, currently developing and directing a new programme of independent creative investigative journalism, publishing and advocacy projects. He lives in Bexhill. He is the former deputy CEO of the award-winning magazine and advocacy group, Index on Censorship and managing editor of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting. As a journalist, he has covered datelines including Bosnia, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.

He is currently researching new ways to apply emerging digital media tools to the collection, analysis and publication of evidence of human rights abuse, and studying the impact of media narratives on the growth of nationalist, ethnic & sectarian conflicts as part of his MSc studies at Birkbeck College.

Sunday 17th November

Ann Kramer

14:00 – 15:00pm: Women & Democracy, an historical viewpoint, focusing on some of the early feminists and suffragettes who did so much to open the doors for women and democracy, highlighting some local women, e.g. Barbara Leigh Smith. A talk and discussion by Ann Kramer, author and historian.

Ann Kramer is a freelance writer and historian. Ann’s published books are non-fiction, written for children and adults, although currently she’s commissioned mainly to write for adults. Her main subject matter is history and women’s history in particular, with topics ranging from the Victorians and suffragettes through to human rights and land girls. She’s recently written about women’s lives during wartime, with two of her most recent books, Women Wartime Spies, published by Pen & Sword last year and a book on Second World War conscientious objectors, launched earlier this month.

15:30 – 17:00pm: SOAP BOX: A discussion with anyone who wants to take the stand, which could involve highlighting topics that we want to start to address in our local and national world. Also an opportunity to chat about the talk and contribute to the democracy booth sound wall by taking part in our audio interviews on voting and making our mark. Or maybe watch a film in the TV room or access via the internet the other projects going on in Parliament Week on the Blog.

19 – 21 November: 11:00am – 16:00pm: An open gallery with the

Claremont Studios CIC

Democracy Booth ‘polling station,’ sound and post-it note wall installation.During this gallery open period, we will also invite weekly shoppers to take part in a ‘making your mark’ post it note wall adjacent to the ‘have your say ‘ sound wall. Also maybe watch a film in the TV room or access other projects going on in Parliament Week on the Blog.

Claremont Studios is on Kings Rd in St. Leonards, a busy thoroughfare with an interesting group of people, so hopefully they’ll be inspired to pop in an take a break in their routine.

For more information, see:

Democracy Booth

Parliament Week

ONE TWO ONE art&architecture


Posted 15:10 Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013 In: Campaigns

Also in: Campaigns

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