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Sydney Opera House Announces All About Women, March 2016

December 2, 2015 Whats On No Comments Email Email

Multi-talented artist Miranda July, Orange Is the New Blackmemoirist Piper Kerman and Washington powerhouse Anne-Marie Slaughter headline a program of influential thinkers when the fourthAll About Women festival takes over the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on 6 March, ahead of International Women’s Day 2016.

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Featuring 30 guests from Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, North Korea, Russia, South Africa and the United States, the packed 2016 program co-curated by Danielle Harvey and Ann Mossop explores issues ranging from equality, unconscious bias and violence to the economy, masculinity, female incarceration, Indigenous activism, and the power of the female memoir.

In 2015, All About Women attracted an astounding 10,000 audience members over one day. The 2016 festival is expected to grow again, taking over almost all of the venues in the Opera House, and further expanding its digital footprint via All About WomenSatellite, livestreaming into over 10 regional cultural centres, including Dubbo Regional Theatre, Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, and Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns.

Ann Mossop, Head of Talks and Ideas at the Sydney Opera House and co-curator of All About Women, says, “It is impossible to calculate the value of the books, articles, artworks, awards and more that are shared between the diverse and inspiring women who will gather at the Sydney Opera House for All About Women. This festival is one of the most popular events in our yearly Talks and Ideas program and we welcome the opportunity to celebrate the lives, stories and ideas of women and the changes we continue to fight for.”

Danielle Harvey, Head of International Development at the Sydney Opera House and co-curator of All About Women, says,All About Womehas become an annual opportunity for our speakers and audiences to reflect on the progress that has been achieved by women and for women and to discuss the changes that we are working towards. The fact that the festival has grown so rapidly over four years, expanding beyond the Sydney Opera House footprint via livestream into regional and even international venues, is a testament to the importance of discussing real issues and encouraging women everywhere to tell their stories.”


  • Keynote panel “What Needs To Change” featuring Masha Gessen, Crystal Lameman, Mallory Ortberg, Ann Sherry and Anne-Marie Slaughter, with free tickets for teens aged 13-17 made available from Monday 7 December via the All About Women website;
  • Filmmaker, artist and writer Miranda July, in an autobiographical artist talk featuring moments of interactive performance, video and readings to explore her most original and interesting inner world;
  • Piper Kerman, the real Piper whose memoir inspired the smash hit TV series Orange Is The New Black, on making mistakes, the women you meet in a US prison, and her work improving prisoners’ rights;
  • Former Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department under Hillary Clinton, Anne-Marie Slaughter, on why you can’t ‘have it all’, at least not all at the same time;
  • A conversation between Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Canada and young Aboriginal and South Sea Islander woman from Bundjalung countryAmelia Telford – two inspiring Indigenous women defending their land from climate change, industrialisation and resource extraction, chaired by Head of Indigenous Programming at the Sydney Opera House, Rhoda Roberts;
  • Gender-redefining musician, comedian and writer Carrie Brownstein discussing her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, before performing with her band Sleater-Kinney that night;
  • North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee on escaping from your homeland and risking all to save your family;
  • “A Day In The Life Of” American-Russian journalist, writer and LGBT activist Masha Gessen;
  • American-Mexican author Jennifer Clement on her work to expose the cost of the drug war on generations of stolen Mexican women and girls;
  • French literary sensation Muriel Barbery on the secret lives of women and girls, following the release of her first book in nine years;
  • Founder of feminist general-interest site The Toast and author of Texts from Jane Eyre, Mallory Ortberg;
  • Doctor and broadcaster Michael Mosley, who was named Medical Journalist of the Year by the British Medical Association, discussing how to stay healthy with science;
  • Australian academics and international leaders in their fields, including Head of the School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology Kerry Carrington, on feminism and domestic violence; leading social scientist Raewyn Connell on the making and re-making of masculinities; and former Research Fellow at the Melbourne Business School Jennifer Whelan on the ongoing effects of unconscious bias;
  • A special All About Women edition of Sydney Opera House’s Culture Club arts talks series called “The Boys Club”, featuring Griffin Theatre Company’s Artistic DirectorLee Lewis, theatre-maker, writer and social commentatorVan Badham, and Head of the School of Arts, English and Media at the University of Wollongong, Sarah Miller.

Ideas at the House presents ideas, conversation and debate from leading thinkers and culture creators from around the world, extending the reach of live events with unique content online. As well as a year-round program of inspiring events, Ideas at the House features annual festivals All About Women and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, and one-day talks events For Thought, in partnership with the Wheeler Centre and the University of Melbourne, and Carnegie Conversations: Experiments in Democracy.

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