Launched in 2011, on the centenary of International Women’s Day by Jude Kelly CBE at Southbank, London, WOW is a festival that celebrates women and girls, highlights their achievements and looks at the obstacles they still face across the world. As a global festival that has now reached more than two million people in six continents over 65 locations, WOW will be organised in Istanbul in 2021 led by British Council with the Head of Arts, British Council Esra A. Aysun as the curator and supported by the WOW İstanbul Advisory Board members; Asena Günal (Anadolu Kültür), Aslı İkizoğlu Erensü (Sabancı University), İpek Bozkurt (Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu), Özlem Ece (İKSV), Rümeysa Çamdereli (Havle), Ülker Uncu (BGST); and  Pozitif as the festival producer.

Women of the World Festival video:

WOW Istanbul Think Ins

Each WOW Festival around the world is dedicated to a city and starts with Think Ins – opportunities for the community at large to help develop the festival content. The first two Think Ins were moderated by the Jude Kelly herself on 17 and 18 September 2019 at Feriye Istanbul with the participation of 100 women from diverse fields of the public sector. The participants discussed the most relevant topics they would like to see represented in the festival, the ideas that can be developed into the programme, how this festival can give a better voice to the women of Istanbul and how can it become more accessible. WOW Think Ins will continue over the period.

You can view the Think In photos via here

  • Watch British Council Turkey Arts Director Esra A. Aysun's interview on Women Power in Culture program here.
  • Visit our YouTube channel to watch WoW Think In Testimonials.
  • Watch British Council Turkey Arts Director Esra A. Aysun's interview on WoW Think Ins here.

WOW Warm Up Women Power in Culture Talks

Think Ins were followed by the first session of the WOW Warm Up Women Power in Culture talks on 18 September 2019 at the Pera Museum. Jude Kelly and Gülseren Onanç, Founder, Equality and Justice Women Platform discussed how women support the future of societies with their actions and how women can bring in new perspectives both to their countries and to the world over their own experiences.

You can view the Warm Up photos via here.

  • Visit our YouTube channel to watch Jude Kelly and Gülseren Onanç's interview.
  • You may watch the video for WoW Warm Up Women Power In Culture Talks here.