Karachi (Muhammad Yasir) The British Council Pakistan is bringing the 6th edition of WOW – Women of the World Festival in collaboration with ECDI Pakistan and Olomopolo Media on Saturday 4 and Sunday, 5 March 2023 at Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. After two virtual editions (in 2021 and 2022) this is the first in-person WOW Festival in three years.
The programme for the WOW festival is the most diverse and exciting since the festival began and includes dynamic panels, workshops, immersive performances, vibrant marketplaces and shows for children. The festival will also feature an art exhibition, a drum circle, art installations, and film screenings. The opening performance at the festival will feature Shae Gill, the singer of last year’s biggest hit ‘Pasoori’ and the closing performance is by Pakistan’s legendary singer Naseebo Lal.
Presented in partnership with the WOW Foundation, the theme for the festival this year, is Ral Mil – the Seraiki phrase for coming together as a community. The theme ‘Ral Mil’ builds upon ideas of communities of care and imagines ways to build better, strengthen bonds, heal wounds, find joy, and salvage the earth from the effects of climate change. Last year Pakistan was ravaged by devastating floods. Several areas are still under water months later and the WOW Festival wants to utilize the festival structure to begin to lay the ground for how we can come together to reflect, learn, bring about change and to heal.
Jill Richens, Director Arts South Asia, the British Council said: “We are committed in our work with women and girls across South Asia and believe that there are millions of inspiring women who exemplify why empowerment, diversity and having meaningful platforms for connection help close gaps to gender equality. Our work in the arts and strategic priorities support women’s voices and agency, and that is also why festivals like WOW accelerate progress.”
Maarya Rehman, Deputy Director, British Council Pakistan said: “This year we are excited to present the biggest and most ambitious WOW Festival ever and I am delighted that the festival is returning in-person. WOW will celebrate the power of women and girls to overcome challenges especially through the lens of climate change which has badly affected Pakistan. I urge people from across Karachi to come and attend this wonderful festival.”
The WOW Festival at the Beach Luxury Hotel is free and open to the public. All content will be recorded and later archived on our YouTube channel. As in previous years, the sessions will also be interpreted in Pakistani Sign Language.
Jude Kelly, CEO & Founder of The WOW Foundation, said: “WOW Festivals have always been about bringing the most pressing issues of the day to the forefront, and gathering together people to discuss solutions and build community. After the devastating effects of climate change seen in Pakistan in recent years, this year’s festival theme of Ral Mil will be a powerful framework for addressing not only this but the direct and devastating impact it is having on gender equality. There will be much celebration too, of the incredible initiatives women and girls are running and their many inspirational achievements. We look forward to celebrating one of the longest running WOW Festivals in the world as it returns for another joyful and thought-provoking year.”