Tuesday 21 November 2017
Not the Booker prize winner Winnie M Li and activist Tania Mendes announce full line-up of the second edition of Clear Lines Festival, including comedy stars Sara Pascoe and Tiff Stevenson
1-3 December, Rich Mix, London
In the midst of the #MeToo movement and a growing public awareness around sexual misconduct, a dedicated group of volunteers are bringing back Clear Lines Festival for its second edition, taking place from 1st to 3rd December 2017 at Rich Mix in London. Clear Lines brings together a lively line-up of artists, speakers, activists, survivors, academics, and therapists to address sexual assault, abuse, and consent through the arts and discussion. The festival aims to replace the shame and stigma around these issues with insight, understanding, and community.
Winnie M Li, Artistic Director of Clear Lines, is herself a rape survivor and author, whose novel Dark Chapter recently won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2017. She set up Clear Lines in 2015 with psychologist Dr. Nina Burrowes and a group of volunteers, including Tania Mendes, Festival Director.
Winnie M Li said:
“There is something so isolating about the aftermath of sexual violence, and victims often feel they should stay silent because no one wants to hear their stories. But #MeToo has proven how many stories are out there, and how they need to be heard. With Clear Lines, we’re trying to collectively devise creative ways of storytelling, healing and challenging rape culture. Through the arts and comedy, we can bring to life the human side of these experiences, in ways that emotionally reach audiences and lead to connection and understanding.”
This year’s programme includes award-winning comedians Sara Pascoe and Tiff Stevenson, New York Times best-selling novelist Marti Leimbach, psychologist and policy consultant Dr. Nina Burrowes. Theatre, film screenings, stand-up comedy, and spoken word all feature in artistic showcases, alongside Q&A discussions about art and the lived experience of gender-based violence.
Run entirely with crowdfunding and the good will of those involved, the festival was started in 2015 by a small group of activists, artists, and therapists who felt a space was needed to talk openly and honestly about experiences of sexual assault and abuse. Now, with #MeToo trending, they feel that space is needed more than ever.
Tania Mendes, Festival Director, said:
“Clear Lines provides the space to tackle what can be the difficult subject of consent and sexual assault, whilst currently sitting alongside the momentum currently seen with the #MeToo campaign, we hope that more people will be open and come forward to listen and contribute to this discussion. There isn’t a single voice or experience. The goal is to make a festival like Clear Lines redundant in the future. But for now, this platform is needed and we’re calling out to everyone to take part in a problem that impacts and is entangled within all of society. There is a shift in attitude and we need to embrace it and collectively ask ourselves how we can help. Now is the time.”