POW! Thanet back with a bang to celebrate International Women’s Day

Punk poet and performer Brigitte Aphodite

Expect an electric line-up of outlandish cabaret, Jungle beats, soulful song and red-hot debate as POW! Thanet returns this month.

The festival, in its fourth year, marks International Women’s Day, celebrating and exploring feminism, women and girls. This year the festival explores female empowerment with an eclectic mix of events from a Jungle rave-up at Ramsgate Music Hall to profanity embroidery at the Walpole Bay Hotel.

Soulful songs of protest, sea-inspired shanties, spoken word and punk poetry are showcased throughout the isle with women scientists celebrated through screenings and dance workshops.

Hedy Lamarr -Discover Hollywood’s great scientist

Discoveries children’s dance performance will feature diverse and powerful work from talented Thanet women and includes art created by community groups including East Kent Mencap, Pie Factory Music, Oasis Domestic Abuse Service and Copperfields.

Discoveries children’s dance performance. Photo:Ollie Harrop

Launching the festival on International Women’s Day, the Still We Rise! procession will see suffragette-inspired protestors carrying prodigious, handmade banners, led by artist Jessica Voorsanger.

Last year’s show-stopper, Wink the Other Eye, returns to the Lido Cliff Bar featuring outlandish cabaret and curated by Ramsgate’s radical producers, Screaming Alley.

Shesus will headline the cabaret

Hard-hitting global conversations will be articulated through dynamic discussion and events, including an exploration around the themes of classicist Mary Beard’s polemical text, Women and Power. The panel includes Turner Contemporary director Victoria Pomery and will be chaired by Oasis CEO Deb Cartwright.

In the run-up to May’s Thanet District Council elections POW! will host a Question Time-style debate with candidates grilled by the audience. The panel will be chaired by The Isle of Thanet News editor Kathy Bailes.
Acclaimed Thanet-based authors Daisy Buchanan and Maggie Gee talk about their latest books and historian Amber Butchart takes us on a journey through women’s fashion.

Daisy Buchanan discusses her new book The Sisterhood

Closing the festival, punk poet Brigitte Aphrodite performs The Parakeet Experience – expect wild dance moves and sparkly- sharp fashion.

It will be festival director Christina Clark-McQuaid’s swansong after four years at the helm. She said: “I feel very proud of what has been achieved over the last four years – Thanet now leads the way in making International Women’s Day a spectacular, celebratory, yet challenging, event and it’s great to see other organisations across east Kent following our example.”

Jan Ryan, programme director, added: “From small beginnings in 2016, POW! has grown to become one of Thanet’s largest festivals with a ten-day programme of events and performances showcasing the amazing talent that is based in the area. Whether it’s film,talks, music, spoken word or just having a good night out, there’s something for everyone– men and women alike.”

POW! Thanet runs from March 8-17. Visit powthanet.com to book tickets.