Sydney – Tuesday 29 November, 2022. The Sydney Opera House today announced the first details for its 11th annual All About Women festival, taking place over three days for the first time – on Saturday 11 March, Sunday 12 March and Monday 13 March 2023. Marking the week of International Women’s Day, the Opera House’s centrepiece talks festival will include panels, conversations, workshops and performances presented on site and online in a vibrant forum for inclusive ideas on gender, justice and equality.
Headlining the festival on Sunday 12 March are the founding members of legendary punk rock band Bikini Kill: Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail and Kathi Wilcox. Bikini Kill Speaks is an in-conversation with screenwriter, media presenter and producer Marieke Hardy exploring the ideas driving Bikini Kill’s music and activism, and the ongoing relevance of the band’s blistering message 30 years after it was formed. Their Concert Hall debut on Monday 13 March closes All About Women 2023 in riot grrrl defiance.
In 2023, All About Women has also expanded to include, for the first time, four festival co-curators: best-selling author, podcast presenter and gender equality advocate Jamila Rizvi (she/her); Gamilaroi academic and author of the recently released Tell Me Again, Dr Amy Thunig (she/they); feminist social commentator, best-selling novelist and writer, Jane Caro AM (she/her); and Sydney Opera House’s Head of Talks & Ideas, Chip Rolley (he/him).
As a collective, the co-curators are assembling a diverse line-up of international and Australian artists, thinkers and storytellers to explore the big ideas important to women, non-binary people, and allies, in an inspiring program that will be announced on Tuesday 17 January 2023.
“It’s an extraordinary privilege to work with Jamila, Jane and Amy to put a bold and extended program together for All About Women 2023. We’re excited to share the full line-up in January, but in the meantime it couldn’t feel more fitting to set the stage for our annual feminist festival at the Opera House with a band so driven by ideas, riot grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill,” said Sydney Opera House Head of Talks & Ideas Chip Rolley.
“All About Women is unparalleled in its ability to attract audiences from across the country, with a passion for debates and discussions about gender. The festival always delivers a healthy dose of levity alongside its signature significant local and international conversations. Striking that balance between impact and frivolity is what my programming style is all about. To say that it is a privilege to co-curate the festival in 2023 is an understatement!” said All About Women festival co-curator Jamila Rizvi.
“I see All About Women as being both conversation and celebration, and it is an absolute thrill to contribute as co-curator this year. As an Indigenous person, mother, academic and author, my focus is bringing intersecting lived experience and formal expertise to the festival. Audience members can expect to hear fresh perspectives, ancient knowledges and challenging concepts so they leave feeling uplifted, educated and empowered,” said All About Women festival co-curator Dr Amy Thunig.
“I am honoured to co-curate All About Women 2023. My life has been ‘all about women’ ever since I can remember. I’ve watched so much change for the better and so much change for the worse. The way women think about their lives and opportunities has changed unimaginably for the better over the last half century, but men – with, of course, many honourable exceptions – have not kept up. That is the disconnect and the work that remains to be done. I hope my involvement in the festival supports our forward momentum, backlash or no backlash,” said All About Women festival co-curator Jane Caro AM.
All About Women of Colour, the Opera House’s mentorship program for diverse emerging writers returns in 2023, presented in partnership with Western Sydney-based literacy movement Sweatshop. The mentorship invites women and non-binary First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse emerging writers to develop fictional pieces centred on the people left behind by the #MeToo movement and the question, ‘Where to from here?’ Two successful applicants will work under the guidance of critically-acclaimed editor and writer Winnie Dunn and esteemed journalist and young adult author Dr Sarah Ayoub. Applications are now open and will close on Tuesday 20 December 2022.