Last year there was a Parliament of the People at Southbank's Women of the World, which led to a vote for admitting fifty per cent of women to Parliament, so that in a clause of it, to make this possible every time a man vacates a seat a woman should take it over. Who can say how effective this petition has been. Or for honesty's true sake, who wants to be a politician as one woman in the audience suggested she has 'better things to do…!'
If we are to believe what we read about quantum, it is the unknowable, as Professor Brian Cox assures with a meaningful grin, which is a good thing to be a professor of because it is a holy task, like a priest or Greek philosopher in a Raphael cartoon pointing at the sky, so we know knowledge is a feast, with many courses, and if you missed it, it is still possible to find a meal.We cannot know how our actions will effect the wider world, but we can try to do our part, so I am impressed that Laura has put up a quote from instigator for change Jude, on her new amazing Everyday Superman, a response to the everydaysexism that we engage along with other speakers from Being a Man in, such as @seanyokane. See our twitter.com/everysuperman that Jude mentions: if you can 'volunteer to visit a person in prison. She has herself helped many I sense by setting up People's Parliament, across the river from the other, that is coming up next month as part of the final day of five at Women of the World. Read more about our raising awareness and funds later in the article.
Malala's Father, Ziauddin Yousefzai, Wayne Hemingway and Billy Bragg have one thing in common. They are open to exploring their roles as men.
From Nick Hornby in his informal talk on being a 'bloke' alongside Wayne and Bill comes the plea for 'help' him, as he has three sons, 'so he ought to be a role model, but doesn't know what that is.' 'Walking on the cratered moon', is Jude's description of what has happened to her and those trying to understand what the weekend should be about.
As gender equality draws a bit closer, we are unsure what it means to be a father though. Jon Snow is a friend who told me he would do everything in his power to support the World March for Peace when I was doing theatre in Berlin and London for it. I am also touched though that he has made an effort to open up here, in spite of potential pitfalls.
The last lecture of Saturday evening at 'Being A Man' was really eyeopening as it started with us being required to stand up on our feet, 'to be in our physical bodies, admitting to how frightened we felt and all the bad things we feel, before wiping these things off, then making eye contact with the person next to us. A brilliant workshop from a man who makes theatre with prisoners. How bold it is that Jude Kelly has always made visible her real feelings and so transformed the Southbank Centre with something much more open, multicultural than theatre traditionally is!
'Being A Man' festival was an open invitation to drama and fear in equal measure. Jon Snow remarked on how 'extraordinarily badly men behave' in a bravely open way.
I was at a Longford lecture with Jon about prisons and there also I became aware from Peter Stanford there is a 'limit to how much he will say' or is allowed to which must mean his contribution to the Festival is a fortuitous sort of survival mechanism.
'The Swat valley' is beautiful I learnt today from following a link to Ziauddin Yousefzai and many other nations are represented at Southbank. It is a typical event of Jude Kelly. The first festival for men and we are all a little embarrassed as men to be talking about ourselves, and unsure where it will lead. Jon has described how he doesn't feel he can say what he really thinks as a journalist, yet the act of saying it here, like a confession, is amazingly powerful and a quantum leap to freeing ...
I often see Jon on his bicycle in a crash helmut and he seems to need one as he was recorded in the Evening Standard as saying, 'he sees every woman who walks in to his studio as a potential sexual partner'. Hornby and Bragg don't quite see that as the case, but sympathise with the 'fear' of knowing what being a man is, or as Jude rightly describes feeling like she is walking over the surface of the moon. Hopefully at Southbank next month Women of the World, WOW will have a stall with a competition about what frontiers the combined festivals can explore.. We are using www.thewand.org.uk, our explorative mag of feminist issues to highlight and question. With interviews from Olivier's granddaughter to Bloomsbury's heir, Hen Garnett, we wish to make a collage of opinions and photos for our spring edition 14 March; mappings of new sentiment; then we will give a couple of prizes for best flash fiction and discussion of the Festival. Commitment to community is utmost.
We look forward to Isis Olivier's further collaboration with maps, and Kate Pankhurst Smurthwaite providing inspiring thoughts and biting, fun remarks to help.
Fundraising for a charity is no mean feat as I was reminded the last six months, as Laura tried to help me to, so it is a matter of finding the right mix of fundraisers that is most important. We have contacted in the past,Chelsea Theatre,as well as diverse groups, such as a charity supported by Coldplay called Astell Foundation. Our work succeeded, raising awareness as well, and we believe that we can build on it, by involving Pret, Waitrose again, as well as businesses who supported too, and by continuing to circulate and write about the many diverse projects of great value that can be found in London. I find for example in Battersea Park there is a project where unemployed and those with learning difficulties as well can work together to create the arrangements of beds in the English Garden, a most impressive and secret tip to locals. Although our local press relates that the Posh and Becks like to walk there when they can, it also has a hidden history that we researched.