On 8 March, we hear from incredible women around the world on how to break the bias in arts and culture and how can we challenge stereotypes to break down barriers.
Find out more about these groundbreaking women below.
Video 1: Equality in the arts industry: do women get heard?
Archana is an artist from Bangalore, India whose work combines art, technology and the urban community. In 2018, supported by a grant from the British Council, Archana founded Dara.network, a digital community connecting creators, entrepreneurs and cultural practitioners. Previously, she founded the techart platform BeFantastic as well as Jaaga, a co-working space and residency programme.
Asma is a Libyan activist and researcher whose work spans peacebuilding, conflict transformation and women’s rights. In 2015 she co-founded Tamazight Women’s Movement, a think/do tank advancing gender equality in Libya and North Africa. Asma won the Luxembourg Peace Prize in 2016 and was named one of the 100 most influential young Africans of 2017 by the Africa Youth Awards.
Cheryl is an award-winning performer, director and writer. She is Co-Artistic Director of Manchester’s Black Gold Arts Festival, and was Guest Curator for Liverpool’s Homotopia in 2018, the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ festival. Cheryl has won Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards for both writing and directing. She has also co-produced and directed an Edinburgh Fringe First winner for the Traverse Theatre.
Dong Mei is Chief Architect at BCKJ Architects, a Beijing practice she co-founded in 2004. Her work spans urban planning, architecture and interiors, with a focus on cultural heritage, social engagement and the environment. In 2020 BCKJ won the Royal Academy Dorfman Award, a £10,000 prize supported by the British Council that honours emerging talents who represent the future of architecture.
Joelle is an award-winning poet, playwright and author. She has performed across the UK and internationally, for the British Council and on solo projects across Europe. In 2021 she won the TS Eliot Prize for C+nto & Othered Poems, her fourth poetry collection. Joelle founded SLAMbassadors, the UK national youth poetry slam championships, in 2001 and was its Artistic Director until 2018. She is now Commissioning Editor at Out-Spoken Press.
Shailee is the leader of the Seven Summits Women Team, a group of climbers from Nepal that became the first female team to scale the highest mountain in every continent. She now supports young survivors of sex trafficking to become trekking guides. Shailee shares her experiences as a woman climber with audiences around the world, and is also a successful stand-up comedian.
Lourdes is the Minister of Culture of the Mexican state of Jalisco. Before being appointed to her current role, Lourdes took part in the British Council’s Innovation for Culture Programme. For more than 20 years her work has focused on the field of the arts, in which she has worked as a manager, researcher, producer and creative. She has worked in opera, theatre, radio, performance and other creative disciplines.
Munotida is an anti-disciplinary practitioner creating work through direction and sound design. She’s Co-artistic Director of the international arts collective, state of the [art]. She has worked at venues such as The Young Vic, The Gate Theatre, Pleasance Theatre and the North Wall, Oxford.