Talk Town is a collaborative festival which aims to provide the context for a variety of audiences to hear about the wide world of gender, equality and feminism, while individual organisers bring specialised knowledge and create unique experiences for guests. In this way, Talk Town acts as a neutral backdrop for people of all different professional and personal backgrounds to discuss what can quite often be provocative topics. Talk Town manifests in ‘talk’ of all shapes and sizes – panel discussions, practical workshops, intimate concerts, creative performances and everything in between.
Talk Town started as a community project, corresponding to the international conference: Women Deliver, which took place in Copenhagen in 2016. Over 60 partners ranging in size and scale from international NGOs to individual artists have contributed with all manner of events, enriching Talk Town with a diverse spectrum of perspectives on the central topics of gender, equality and feminism.
WHEN & WHERE?
Huset-KBH will provide the backdrop for Talk Town’s return on May 3rd-5th, 2018. All five floors of the historic house in the centre of Copenhagen will be alive with the buzz of good music and great conversation, all focused on gender, equality and feminism.
Take back the Tech! – Køn, feminisme og digital kultur
In a world that is gradually becoming more and more digitized, technological abilities will grow in demand. At the same time IT and tech make up a niche for the inaugurated and the group of people who shape the digital reality do not reflect the users. The power over the possibilities of the internet and the technological reality is concentrated within a small homogenous group consisting of (mainly white), heterosexual men. Through a course of learning about IT and tech directed towards women and minorities DO:TOPIA and Kapow Collective wish to challenge and contribute to eventually change this status quo.
#MeToo – From hashtag to action
The hashtag #MeToo was created by the American activist Tarana Burke in 2006. In October 2017 the movement gained momentum in the wake of the unveiling of the movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s many sexual assaults of women in Hollywood. #MeToo spread like wildfire and women all over the world shared their personal experiences and shed light to an immense problem. Now we must ask ourselves how we can use the movement to create a substantial change. Talk Town contributes with a context for debate, meetings, and workshops where #MeToo can be brought up across party lines in order to work towards a plan for the future.
Boys will be boys, and girls… – Challenging norms in pedagogy
What happens when boys are offered comfort to a lesser degree than girls by their pedagogues? What color is the ‘skin-colored marker’ in your house? And what consequences does it have, that the common role-play ‘house’, still consists of dad, mom, and kids? These are some of the questions that are debated when Talk Town along with UCC University College puts focus on how we as pedagogues, parents or teachers an become conscious of the norms we produce and maintain.
Rhythm is gonna get you – Equality and equity in the music industry
In the summer of 2016 DR inquired how many female musicians where playing the big Danish festivals. The discouraging result placed Tinderbox at the bottom with only 2%, while Roskilde Festival took the lead with measly 17%.
At Talk Town we wish to reflect upon this gendered skewing at a strategic level, through a diverse music programme and relevant workshops, talks, and debates. This year, Talk Town is a part of Nordisk Kulturfonds PULS-program, which makes it possible to emphasize and support the artistic community between the Nordic countries through the music programme.
Look at Sweden! – Experiences from a capital of equality
According to Nordic research from 2015, Denmark is far behind the rest of the Nordic countries when it some to equality. Sweden is in many ways a pioneer country when it comes to equality, from gender quotas in boards of directors to gender neutral institutions for children and compulsory military service for women. The phrase “Just look at Sweden!” is articulated both by those who view the Swedes as pioneers, and those who think that the equality debate in your neighboring country is derailed. In cooperation with a series of Swedish organisations, institutions and individuals, Talk Town 2018 turn to look at the country on the other side of Øresund.
VIOLENCE, SHAME AND TABU – Psychological and physical violence against women
33,000 women experience violence at the hands of their partner every year, and 98% of the time, the violent parter is a man. But violence is not limited to physical violence alone. Violence is a tool, used to attain power, and it takes many forms: sexual abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse etc. According to Danner, psychological violence is more harmful and widespread, than we think. It is estimated that over half a million Danes live, or have lived in a partnership with psychological abuse. In practice, however, these numbers may be much higher because of a system that makes it impossible to report psychological violence independently. At Talk Town 2018, Danner will explore the issues underlying violence and the political possibilities to support survivors and bring about justice.
BECOME A TALK TOWN PARTNER
Discussion is better when it is enriched by diversity. The Women’s Council would like to extend an open invite to all organisations, businesses, media outlets, political parties, activists, grass-roots movements, artists and musicians to contribute to the Talk Town programme. Contact email@example.com to kick off a collaboration.
There are many possibilities for accommodating your event, whether it is for 20 or 300 people, if you are hosting a closed society meeting, a concert, a conversation salon, or a grand panel-debate with international guests. See the rooms here.
Talk Town needs volunteers for a variety of exciting tasks. For instance runners, technicians, stage hands and stage managers, and for the café and bar. Get close and hands-on experience with the structure and execution of the festival. Join as a volunteer here.
WHY TALK TOWN?
So, why Talk Town? Because there is a need for a space in which everyone, whatever their background or political persuasion, can see themselves in the debate about gender, equality and feminism.
Talk Town was first held in 2016 in parallel with the international conference ‘Women Deliver’, hosted that year by Copenhagen. In focusing on the Danish context, Talk Town localised the global issues brought up by Women Deliver. In 2017, Talk Town again drew upon over 60 international and Danish partners who put on a wide range of events for over 2500 guests.
This ability to accommodate so many diverse partners is one of the underlying aims of the festival. We want to encourage guests and organisers alike to break down boundaries and create a productive, nuanced debate around what can be provocative issues.
Talk Town manifests in ‘talk’ of all shapes and sizes – panel discussions, practical workshops, intimate concerts, creative performances and everything in between.