<< back to News

Southbank’s Women of the World Festival 2014


women_of_the_world_14Led by Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly, and supported by Bloomberg, the annual festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates the incredible achievements of women and girls and looks at the most potent topics for women today, featuring voices from around the world.


This year, Southbank Centre also hosts its first Women in the Arts day, with 200 women working in the arts and cultural sector asking what new steps need to be taken to achieve gender equality across the industry. The day will start with an introductory talk with guest speakers including Iwona Blazwick, Director of Whitechapel Gallery. There will also be “think-ins” addressing the state of play for women in culture and creative industries. This is not a public event.


J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Hairstyles and Headdresses is the first UK exhibition of work by renowned Nigerian photographer, who recently passed away, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere. The Hairstyles series began in 1968, driven by Ojeikere’s desire to document the many different types and meanings of hairstyles worn by Nigerian women. In essence, Modernist fashion photography, the resulting images poignantly document a nation undergoing immense social and cultural change following post-colonisation. This exhibition also ties in with the events Weave or Natural: The Politics of Afro Hair and Afro Hair Meetup, taking place on 8th March which continues last year’s conversation on the politics of Afro hair.


Southbank Centre presents a solo exhibition Excavations by London-based, Iraqi-born artist Jananne Al-Ani in the Hayward Gallery Project Space. This exhibition focuses on Al-Ani’s interest in the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and its visual representation in the West. The films and photographs exhibited explore the aerial reconnaissance and mapping techniques of modern warfare while replicating the point-of view of the fighter plane or drone. To coincide with the exhibition there will be a talk between Janenne Al-Ani and Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator of Hayward Gallery on 8 March.


A festival for everyone, the programme for this year’s WOW 2014 is more comprehensive than ever with a ground-breaking mix of talks and debates, keynotes, concerts, performances, film, comedy, exhibitions. workshops, WOW bites, how-tos, speed mentoring and networking opportunities.


Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre, said: “There is not one country in the world where women have full equality and in most countries injustices are commonplace. I founded WOW – Women of the World festival four years ago to ensure there was a high-profile cultural place where hundreds of women’s stories could be shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced and hearts expanded. WOW is now one of the largest women’s festivals in the world and will keep growing, with festivals starting up around the UK and spreading to more and more countries.

WOW 2014 will give you access to a plethora of important conversations, hidden issues and life-changing projects. Women can and must support each other to make changes on all levels. Men can and must be part of realising that changing landscape. It will be a better world for everyone, and our children and grandchildren, both boys and girls, are untitled to expect progress from us.”

Listings Information



Wednesday 5 – Sunday 9 March

Southbank Centre




10am – 11pm


Women in the Arts day

Queen Elizabeth Hall

5 March 2014, 12 – 5.30pm

By Invitation only


J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Hairstyles and Headdresses

5 March – (date TBC)

Spirit Level at Royal Festival Hall


Mon – Sun 10am – 11pm


Jananne Al-Ani: Excavations

5 March 2014 – 20 April 2014

Hayward Gallery Project Space



Monday 12 noon – 6pm

Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm

late nights Thursday and Friday until 8pm


Jananne Al-Ani in conversation with Hayward Gallery Chief Curator, Stephanie Rosenthal

8 March, 3:30pm


Dan Graham’s Waterloo Sunset Pavilion at the Hayward Gallery



Southbank Centre Ticket Office:

0844 847 9910 / Book online: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/wow




<< back to News