Rose Week/Thorn Week: WOW festival 2018

This rose week/thorn week posts are supposed to be actually a weekly affair.

But I am still trying to figure out how interestingly can I narrate my devastated mind seeing the water bill and coming to terms that I used 379l of hot water (from the shower) within 2 weeks.

I am still trying to figure out how grippingly can I tell my story of how I solved the hot water issue problem by using a pail and discovered that I use only 7l of cold water mixed with 1.5l of hot water (manually heat up water using a flask) to have a good shower and that I would reduce my water usage by half.

I am still trying to figure out how entertainingly can I share my story of how I reluctantly get up from bed every day, miserably fail at attempting to complete school work, hibernate at different places such as couch, bed, couch and bed in various sleeping positions.

I am still trying to figure out how fascinatingly can I write about the times when I open the fridge and decide that I should become a vegan for the night because coriander leave is all that I have.

I am still trying to figure out how intriguingly can I pen my thoughts about how sunny it can be at one moment, instantly get cold the next second, unexpectedly starts pouring the very next minute and that the weather is exactly how my fluctuating and unpredictable mood is and that I am grateful for my friends and family who still choose to be with me and have not disowned me (yet).

So once I have figured all that out, hopefully, it becomes a weekly thing to write about something more than a routine student life.

I went to watch my first poetry slam event in WOW festival 2018- Women of the World. I only came to know more about the event when I visited the place. It was a 3-day-long event of various workshops, talks, performances, forums, exhibitions about women of all communities. The beauty of this event was the fact that it gave a space, safe and comfortable one for women to share their stories, and in the process of sharing stories, we make powerful emotional connections, through which we see our common humanity and womanhood, our own strengths as well as those of others; and we find inspirations and solutions. Financial literacy, gender equity and equality, the portrayal of women in the media, violence against women, social enterprise, cultural issues, climate change, challenges faced by transwomen and aboriginal communities were some of the topics discussed during the three-day festival of critical conversations, music, film and performance.

I wanted to watch the slam poetry performance and didn’t plan to watch the other shows. However, I was there early and thought why not just go for the other performances. And it was the best decision for the night. Ended up enjoying some incredibly amazing shows. The first one was a fangirls musical performance by Award winning Theatremaker Yve Blake and her two other team members. They presented a selection of songs from ‘FANGIRLS’, a brand-new musical inspired by interviews with hundreds of teenage fangirls. It’s a story of teenage girls, the stories we tell them, and the ways we underestimate them — with a sound world that is best described as a ‘Beyonce Concert meets Rave meets Church’. 

The musical was an eye-opener about teenage girls and the incomprehensible devotion towards their idols, something that we as adults often ridicule, failing to understand how the girls love the celebrities so much. Yve Blake also shared about a 12 year-old girl’s reply to the question ‘Why do you like one direction so much?’ and the reply  was ‘Because of their songs… for the very first time in my life, I felt beautiful.’ 

I was dying of gulit hearing all these stories for I’ve made fun and teased some of my students’ unusual liking towards Kpop stars and Justin Bieber and others. 

Sorry, girls. Extremely sorry. I didn’t know it could mean so much to you.

Another sharing done by Yve- for her research to develop fangirls musical, she threw a question at a group of young girls, “what does it feel to be teenager?” The youngest among the group voiced , “It’s like to be in a competition I never signed up for.”


One enchantingly stunning performance that was, for the night!

An hour of fangirls musical already got me all excited. And the next event was the slam poetry. The stage invited anyone to narrate their two-minute poem. It was made all fun and exciting by asking people from the platform-filled audience to be judges. It gradually grew to be a harmlessly rowdy and highly energy-oozing event by the host and the participants who put out their original material. Speaking from their hearts, narrating soul-stirring poems and stories- a truly heart-warming performance by every woman who courageously recited their work.

                                                          (double-click to watch the video)

Engulfed by a massive wave of positive vibe, I started walking towards the exit. There was a crowd waiting at the enormous white wall. People were there to watch a dance show and thus, I joined them. It was dark and the pink flash lights on the wall signalled the start of the dance performance. It was an exhilarating vertical performance titled Ghosts of a Goddess by Vuclana Women’s circus who were on the front wall of the Brisbane Powerhouse using abseiling and dancing in harnesses. What does it mean to be an icon? They fall, they held on to, they pulled and pushed and devoured as they crack and fall as the ‘ghosts’ flew, swung, sailed and seduced the audience. I was standing there for a good 30 seconds and my neck ached looking up at them. I had to move to the end so that I didn’t have to strain my neck. I could only imagine the unimaginable power and strength those women up on the wall had.

They did every single stunt effortlessly. A thunderous applause and standing ovation from the audience at the end of the performance were the best way to appreciate and honor them.  

I returned to the carpark, wiping my happy tears, feeling really blessed to have witnessed all these performances.

(click on the label below to read about other rose/thorn week)