‘You didn’t mess with the Founding Mothers, the First Ladies of Humanity, because we gave as good as we got, we fought back like the beasts we all were, we women didn’t run screaming when we were confronted with human foes and expect men to defend us… we owned our physical strength,’ wrote Bernardine Evaristo in her trailblazing short story The First Feminists.
So many aspects of this bold and raw reimagining of the existential struggles women faced from the very dawn of the human race still strongly resonate with women in their ongoing battle for equality today. This August, we hear from some of the most influential voices fighting on the front-line for feminism across the world.
Hallie Rubenhold: The Problem with Great Men
Tuesday 18 August 14:30 - 15:30
In today’s event, Rubenhold discusses a new essay, The Problem with Great Men, commissioned by Edinburgh International Book Festival as a follow-up to The Five.
Many people are calling into question the histories handed down to us by our ancestors. With statues of so-called ‘great men’ being torn down, how can we celebrate ordinary people who – like the Ripper’s victims – have routinely been airbrushed out of history? Rubenhold discusses her ideas with Scottish broadcaster Sheena McDonald.
Gabriela Cabezón Cámara: The Female Gaucho
Thursday 20 August 11:30 - 12:30
Alongside her translators Fiona Mackintosh and Iona Macintyre, Cabezón Cámara makes a welcome return to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, following her visit in 2019, to discuss the challenges and delights of reimagining a classic work of literature with fellow Argentinian novelist and writer Mariana Enriquez.
Lola Olufemi & Minna Salami: Critical Reflections on Feminism
Friday 21 August 19:00 - 20:00
In conversation with feminist historian Jade Bentil, Salami and Olufemi discuss the big ideas around empowerment, inclusion and activism and how (in Salami’s words) ‘we see ourselves, our history, and our world’.
Bernardine Evaristo with Nicola Sturgeon: The Triumph of Girl, Woman, Other
Saturday 22 August 20:30 - 21:30
In this event, Bernardine Evaristo discusses her work and ideas with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – a politician who has consistently championed the importance of books and reading even under the extreme stresses of leading her country through the Coronavirus crisis. Sturgeon, who recently described Evaristo as ‘one of our most compelling contemporary writers,’ takes time out from her day job to join us live in our Edinburgh studio for this very special event.
Selva Almada: Giving Voice to the Victims of Femicide
Tuesday 25 August 13:00 - 14:00
Dead Girls reimagines the lives of three real-life small-town teenagers who were murdered in the 1980s – young women who in many ways were not dissimilar to Almada herself. Their murderers were never brought to justice and the killings were routinely dismissed by locals due to the girls’s impoverished, working-class backgrounds.
Since then, countless femicides – as well as an increase in violence towards LGBTIQA+ people – have come to light not only in Latin America but across the world. Almada’s unforgettable, necessary book is not only hard-hitting, it is a plangent call to action. She discusses Dead Girls with bestselling Argentinian writer and journalist Mariana Enriquez.
Mieko Kawakami: Three Daughters of Osaka
Thursday 27 August 13:00 - 14:00
From breast enhancement to motherhood, single life and sisterly obligation, this is an unforgettable story from one of Japan’s rising stars. Come and hear her talk to writer and Guardian critic Catherine Taylor about her work.
Susan Abulhawa: Grace in the Face of Violence
Thursday 27 August 14:30 - 15:30
'Against The Loveless World'. Opening with the testimony of Nahr from the Cube, a tiny breeze-block room where she has been imprisoned in solitary confinement for several years, she recounts the story of her life and her move to Palestine.
It is a profoundly moving tale at that, in which she learns to deal with subordination and violence – learns what steps she will need to take for survival. Courageous, compulsive and at times shocking, Abulhawa’s novel is a dazzling achievement and a defiant counterblast to misogyny in its many forms. She discusses her work with prize-winning Egyptian novelist and political commentator Ahdaf Soueif.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Edinburgh International Book Festival Themes: Hear Her Roar - Fighting for Feminism are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment. All information (whether in text or photographs) is given in good faith but should not be relied upon as being a statement of representation or fact.
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