This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChoosetoChallenge.
“A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”
This year, OnFife marks International Women’s Day 2021 with a packed programme celebrating and showcasing women artists and creatives in Fife. We challenge ourselves, and our audiences to contemplate Women in Fife anew, to reflect on our history, to take time for self-care, and to challenge gender bias and inequality.
Fri 26 Feb, OnFife’s Women Artists, Online Exhibition
Women artists are underrepresented in public collections, and ours is no exception. However, we do have some very fine examples of work by 19th and 20th-century women artists, some widely known, others perhaps less so, many with strong Scottish or Fife connections. Here you can see works by well-known artists such as Elizabeth Blackadder, Joan Eardley, Frances Walker, and Marian Leven. To find out more check out our online exhibition on Art UK and keep an eye on our social media for daily posts from Friday 26 February!
Mon 1 March- Sun 7 March: Women in Work
OnFife will be posting images from our collection of Women in Work. The image here is of pickers at the Michael Colliery, East Wemyss. Most “pit brow lasses” were young women in their twenties, who had parents, brothers, or husbands also working in the mines. They stood at the picking tables inspecting the coal brought from the pit face, picking out lumps of dirt and rocks.
Look out for our other great posts featuring women at work from across the years with a slideshow on International Women’s Day, Mon 8 March 2021.
Fri 5 March: Short Film from Emma Lynne Harley
As part of OnFife’s campaign to Shining A Light on Performing Artists, Emma will share how her work as a performer and Theatre Director has been impacted by Covid-19 in a short autobiographic film. The film premieres on Fri 5 March at 7 pm and will be available to watch throughout the month of March.
Sat 6 March: A whole day of online talks, workshops, and short films from creative Women in Fife
On Saturday 6 March, we will be sharing a full day of online content on this webpage, and over social media to celebrate Women in Fife, and to encourage you to join us for self-care, mindfulness, creativity, and wellbeing.
Caren Gilbert (above) will be reading two poems, ‘The Last Freedom Fighter’ which is a call to allow our heart to be the one who fights for freedom on our behalf, and ‘The Truth’, written especially for International Women’s Day, offering the hope that our darkest times are over when we allow ourselves to hear the truth whispering itself into our remembering.
Craig Gilbert (above) will be offering a 15-minute mindfulness meditation on self-kindness with positive affirmations, bringing our awareness to our bodies and offering moments of peacefulness, with gentle reminders of our inherent goodness that exists within us all.
Ranch Dance Fife – Take some time out for yourself and join Lorraine (above) for some line dancing as part of our celebrations. It may surprise you to know that it is not only fun but it can be a good form of exercise and boost your mental/physical health too, oh and you don’t need a partner. So clear space, turn up the volume, and get ready to learn 3 easy dances to different music genres. And if you enjoy your session why not join Lorraine for her online classes.
A reading from Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ – Dyad Productions – Rebecca Vaughan (Dalloway, Orlando, Austen’s Women, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) performs a snippet of Dyad Production’s new adaptation of Woolf’s 1928 exploration of the impact of poverty and sexual inequality on intellectual freedom and creativity. Take a wry, amusing, and incisive trip through the history of literature, feminism, and gender. Meet Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, and Shakespeare’s sister – Judith!
Sat 6 March: Women in Fife LIVE Panel Discussion, with Lisa May Young, 7 PM
Hosted by Broadcaster, Podcaster, and Author Lisa May Young, we will hear from 4 inspiring and creative women in Fife: Emma Lynne Harley, Rachael Nixon, Eilidh Ellery, and Rachel Louise Lee. They will join us to showcase their work, share their story, and how their creative practice has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This event will be held online over Zoom, and tickets are £3 per device. To find out more about the speakers and book tickets, see here.
A panel discussion celebrating the remarkable life and achievements of Jennie Lee this International Women’s Day. Panelists include Mary Senior, President of the Scottish Trades Union Congress; Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland; and Matthew Knights, Playwright, and Founder of Knights Theatre, with more to be announced soon. The Panel will be chaired by Fiona Sturgeon Shea, forthcoming CEO for the Federation of Scottish Theatre.
Mon 8 March: Tai Chi with Active Fife
Fri 12 March: Jennie Lee, Tomorrow is a New Day [Rehearsed Reading]: A play by Matthew Knights
Born in Lochgelly Fife in 1904, Jennie Lee, a daughter of a miner, became the first-ever Minister for the Arts and a founder of The Open University. This is her story, told by others who did not know her. Presented by Knights Theatre, the development of the play began in April 2019 with a workshop in Jennie Lee’s native Lochgelly and continues with a final rehearsed reading presented online – with hopes of bringing the story to a physical stage early in 2022.
Header Image Credit: Nothing is Absolute by Rachel Louise Lee, 2021