Features: SIX OF THE BEST – Feminism | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle have their next edition of Stand Spotlight on Tuesday 28th June. This month focuses on feminism, and it’s all in aid of The Fawcett Society, who are the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights. The show will feature bespoke sets from  Rahul Kohli, Catherine Scott, Jacob Tong, Donald Alexander, Julie Grady, Si Beckwith and is hosted by Jared Shooter, and to get you in the mood, we’ve rounded up six other feminist treats that are well worth looking out for.

MUSIC Bikini Kill
Kathleen Hanna has been a great inspiration to so many since she burst onto the music scene with influential feminist punk band Bikini Kill, before fronting Le Tigre in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A crucial part of the Riot Grrrl movement, and a sharp and immensely bright writer, her words are filled with power, and the music filled with a raw, honest energy. We also heartily recommend documentary film The Punk Singer for a glimpse into the life of this true icon of feminist culture.

FILM Miss Representation
The 2011 American documentary film written, directed, and produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a fascinating watch. It explores how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in influential positions by circulating limited and often disparaging portrayals of women. The film premiered in the documentary competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has proved to be an educational favourite ever since. Well worth seeking out.

ART & LIT Raising The Skirt
Local artist Nicola Hunter (formerly Canavan) created Raising the Skirt with Dawn Felicia Knox from a place of extensive research and wanting to overcome the intense personal judgement that is placed on hers and so many other women’s bodies. Refusing to ever be silenced, the talented soul weaves the historic and the personal together through her performance practice and notions of beauty and the status of women socially and culturally. She creates and confronts how the female body is translated across mass media and the project is both ambitious and immensely powerful, and can be viewed here.

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Raising The Skirt 2014, Image by Dawn Felicia Knox in collaboration with Nicola Hunter

COMEDY Josie Long
There’s a wealth of talented female stand-up comedians who unflinchingly talk about the most complicated of subjects in the funniest of ways. We’ve recommended Josie Long, but you could also check out Sara Pascoe, Katherine Ryan, Shappi Khorsandi and a whole lot more. Here’s a full Edinburgh show which was a huge hit and was welcomed to Newcastle for two sell-out nights, and still rings all too true.

STAGE The Vagina Monologues
It can often be taken for granted just how important this play is. Performances of the play often take place on V Day on 14th February, and our own city has hosted performances in the past. The episodic play from Eve Ensler has had a litany of performances which could be looked for online, or at the very least you could pick up a copy of the book. Utterly captivating and eye opening, funny, tender and challenging, and daringly earnest.

POETRY Sarah Kay
The North East should be very proud of its poetry scene. We have some of the very best here, Kirsten Luckins, Jennie Pascoe, AJ McKenna and more regularly enthral audiences with beautiful word play, alongside some of the best poets from around the country coming to play some amazing spoken word nights. We’ve gone international and plumped for this poem though, it’s spellbinding, inspiring, and seemed the best way to sign off the article, and we recommend also seeking out the wealth of other feminist influenced art that’s out there.

Stand Spotlight – Feminism is at The Stand, Newcastle on Tuesday 28th June.

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