International Women’s Day: Pantheon – Celebrating our Unsung Heroines

8 March 2019, 19:00

Room 20, Floor 2

Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

To mark International Women’s Day join Rt. Hon. Diane Abbott MP, artist Phoebe Boswell and playwright, critic and commentator Bonnie Greer to celebrate inspiring women whose stories are often overlooked. Moderated by author, columnist and broadcaster Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

Rt. Hon. Diane Abbott Labour MP has represented Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987, when she became the first black woman elected to the British Parliament. Of Jamaican heritage, she was born in Paddington, London. Diane has served on a number of parliamentary committees on social and international issues, including the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, taking a particular interest in human rights. Most recently she has set up a special parliamentary committee investigating gun crime. She became Shadow Home Secretary in 2016.

Phoebe Boswell (b. 1982, Kenya) lives and works in London. Born in Nairobi to a Kikuyu mother and fourth generation British Kenyan father, she combines traditional draftswomanship and digital technology to create drawings, animations and installations. Boswell studied Painting at the Slade School of Art and 2D Animation at Central St Martins, London. She was nominated/shortlisted for the Art Foundation's Animation Fellowship 2012, and was the first recipient of the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, which she used to produce her immersive installation The Matter of Memory. Dear Mr Shakespeare, her Guardian / British Council commissioned short film collaboration with filmmaker Shola Amoo (in which she wrote, performed, and animated) was nominated for Best International Short at Sundance 2017. Boswell is currently the Bridget Riley Drawing Fellow at the British School of Rome.

American-born broadcaster, playwright, critic and columnist, Bonnie Greer OBE arrived in London in 1986 and became a British citizen in 1997. She rapidly established herself as a prominent figure in British culture, writing plays for BBC Radio and teaching Shakespeare in Lambeth and Brent schools. She has been an Arts Council supported playwright-in-residence for both Soho Theatre and the Black Theatre Co-operative. Her plays have been produced on BBC Radio 3 & 4; BBC 2; and in the West End. She has won the Verity Bargate Award for best New Play and has been shortlisted for the John Whiting Award. In 2010 Bonnie was named by the Observer as one of the 300 Public Intellectuals in the UK – the only female playwright – and was also awarded an OBE. She has been Deputy Chair of the British Museum, and has served on the boards of RADA, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden;  London Film School and Theatre Royal, Stratford East. Bonnie is a regular the BBC paper reviews and CNNTalk on CNN International.  She is a columnist for The New European newspaper ; and holds honorary  doctorates from Royal Conservatory of Scotland and Kingston University, where she is their former Chancellor and is now an Honorary Professor in The School Of The Arts. Her portrait, by the late Scottish Ghanian  artist Maud Sulter,  as a woman of African descent in the time right after the French Revolution , is in the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

Known for her sharp commentary on issues of politics, race and religion, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a regular columnist on The Independent and the Evening Standard. She won the George Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2002 and the Emma Award for Journalism in 2004. She is a radio and television broadcaster and author of several books including the acclaimed The Settler’s Cookbook: A Memoir of Migration, Love and Food, Who Do We Think We Are? Imagining the New Britain and Exotic England: The Making of a Curious Nation.

This event is in partnership with Wollstonecraft Presents, a new platform which aims to bring untold stories of inspiring women to light through commissioned projects, events and publications inspired by the fearless example of activist and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-97).

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