10 Mar

The Body Personal/The Body Political – International Women’s Day Symposium

09:45 — 17:00
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

“The personal is political” – Carol Hanisch

Our bodies are under siege – gendered bodies, racialised bodies, queer bodies, nasty bodies. Our bodies are put in boxes by others to decide who we are. We also reclaim them to define our identities against a status quo that tries to silence us. Now, more than ever, our bodies are personal and also political.

Every year, Scottish PEN partners up with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (home of the Dangerous Women Project) to bring you a FREE day-long symposium for International Women’s Day. This year, our theme is The Body Personal / The Body Political.

Here to discuss this theme, its reflection in and impact on their work and the work of women writers in general, are Nadine Aisha, Sue Black, Anni Cameron, Melanie Jordan, Nat Raha, and Chitra Ramaswamy.

Nadine Aisha is a writer, poet and creative practitioner based in Edinburgh. She performed her solo set Crossing Out the Lines at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014, and her debut poetry pamphlet Still was published by Appletree Writers Press (2016). Her work explores women’s stories and women’s survival, examining violence against women, racism and Islamophobia alongside the power of women’s voices and truths. She is active in the movement to end gender-based violence, and works professionally with young people to educate and empower. To find out more visit her website.

Sue Black is a Scottish forensic anthropologist, anatomist and academic. She is Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee

Anni Cameron is an eighteen year old creative from Edinburgh. Chosen as one of the Scottish Book Trust’s “What’s Your Story?” young writers, she specialises in poetry, though is experimenting with other mediums, such as short story and photography. She explores themes such as gender, race, sexuality and mental health through her work, and is a co-founder of the online movement “Girls Against”.

Melanie Jordan is a queer artist, performer, theatre maker, aerialist and clown. Her play Sanitise, dir. Caitlin Skinner and performed by Melanie Jordan and Caitlin Skinner won the Fringe First Award 2014 and was nominated for the Arches Brick Award 2016.

Nat Raha is a poet and trans / queer activist, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her poetry includes ‘[of sirens / body & faultlines]’ (Veer Books, 2015), countersonnets(Contraband Books, 2013), ‘mute exterior intimate’ (Oystercatcher Books, 2013) and Octet (Veer Books, 2010). She’s performed and published her work internationally. She is undertaking a PhD in Creative & Critical Writing at the University of Sussex.

Chitra Ramaswamy is an award-winning journalist. After cutting her teeth at The Big Issue in Scotland, she moved to Scotland on Sunday and The Scotsman where she became one of the newspapers’ leading columnists, book reviewers, interviewers, magazine and feature writers. Her first book, Expecting, won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2016. She currently writes for a range of publications including the Guardian.

This is a full-day event. Lunch, snacks, coffee and other refreshments will be provided.

We hope to see you at the Storytelling Centre on 10 March!

Wheelchair access is located on the John Knox side of the building.

There are gender neutral accessible toilets available in the venue.

We want to make this symposium as inclusive as possible, so welcome any feedback on our efforts to increase equality and diversity.

All welcome.