Outlandish Theatre Platform reflect on WoW Project 2019 - 2021
16 November 2021

Outlandish Theatre Platform reflect on WoW Project 2019 - 2021

Outlandish Theatre Platform is the Irish partner in Women on Women project (2019 - 2021) funded by Creative Europe. As it draws to a close, WoW leaves a rich legacy. The project mapped tangible and intangible traces and celebrated the role of women artists and activists. Wow compares the experiences of women in very different societies in Europe through exchange, interchange, cultural co-operation and sharing of learnings.

The Women on Women project is led by City of Women, Slovenia and features partners Prostor Rodne I Medijske Kulture K-Zona, Croatia; Tiiiit!inc -Skopje, North Macedonia; and Outlandish Theatre in Ireland.

The contribution from Outlandish Theatre included festival performances, a symposium, high profile events in Meeting House Square and IMMA for Culture Night 2020, and the creation of an innovative illustrated set of playing cards, Fierce Women. All of which helped raise the profile of Irish women artists, activists, and inventors from the past such as Maud Delap and Estella Solomons, weaving connections between their stories and the achievements of today’s gender equality advocates.

After two intense years, hundreds of people have engaged with these inspiring and vivid histories. Women in all four countries devised performances and projects to highlight their own experiences and perspectives.

Maud Hendricks and Bernie O’Reilly, founders of Outlandish, engaged as artists and cultural facilitators in the WoW project and its aim to explore the transformative processes of arts participation in relation to gender, human rights, cultural diversity, and equality of access to culture and the arts. They were also keen to amplify debates on the position of migrant women and those underrepresented in cultural and civic activities, and to examine the ways in which cultural projects can creatively encourage autonomy and self-representation to challenge narrow and constricting stereotypes.

At the outset the partners set out to explode old myths, enhance the visibility of women on the frontline of equality and create a shared connection with women from the past who both inspired and paved the way for the hard-won progress of today. Through amplifying in particular the voices of women silenced by European society, migrants or those held down by precarity or violence, WoW Project offered a platform for experiences to be explored in performance and protest, portrait and celebration. As emphasized at the project launch:

'The project is trying out new models of solidarity and knowledge exchange between different communities and celebrates the achievements of women past and present with nominations, portraits, collective performances, city mappings, and artistic interventions in public spaces as well as by developing artistic programmes that reflect the cultural diversity of contemporary societies.'

Here's a flavour of just some of the projects initiated by Outlandish in WoW:

WoW Stories