Festival: Call for Public Engagement Proposals

The Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters project, based at Birkbeck, University of London, is pleased to share details of a Call for Proposals for public engagement activities for an upcoming festival we're co-producing with WOW - Women of the World. Please see the details below and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.  

This is a call for public engagement proposals for the Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence, which aims to bring together diverse communities of interested persons, researchers, survivors, artists, activists, and medical, psychiatric, and legal professionals in a transformative programme of talks, performances, workshops, “how to” clinics, and wellbeing spaces.


Shameless! is a Wellcome Trust-funded programme of public engagement, co-produced by the SHaME project at Birkbeck, University of London, and WOW - Women of the World. The festival will be held in person at a major London arts and cultural venue (to be announced shortly) on Saturday 27th November.


There is an opportunity for successful applicants to have their work platformed at the festival. This could be in the form of curating your suggested event, workshop or activity or working with the WOW team to work the idea into a pre existing session.


We are seeking proposals for:

      Research-led talks


      WOW Bites - short TED Style talks telling hidden or untold stories


      “Making and Doing” activities

      “Hands-on” interactions using texts or material culture

      Creative workshops

      Reflections on collective organising for anti-rape activists


Although many sessions in the festival will be curated by WOW and SHaME, up to four sessions are available in this open call. They have been provisionally scheduled as 45-minute slots, but there is some flexibility. We welcome suggestions from academics and/or academics in collaboration with activists, authors, artists, and practitioners. All successful applicants will be offered a fee for their participation.


We anticipate that the main themes of these contributions will focus on:

      Medical and psychiatric aspects of sexual abuse

      The sexual abuse of children

      The sexual abuse of people from minoritized communities

      Consent and gendered/racialised bodies

      Activism in the post-#MeToo landscape

      Recovery and building back positive relationships with yourself and others

      Memory and understanding physical triggers

We also welcome proposals that may differ in format or in theme. We are looking for any ideas, themes and activity that will challenge, reimagine or build back recovery.


Please send an abstract (up to 300 words) with a short biography to both organisers by 17.00 on Friday, 16 July 2021.


Organisers: Professor Joanna Bourke  and Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh.