Feminenza members in London celebrated International Women’s Day 2020 with an exhibition dedicated to recognising extraordinary people who have been (or continue to be) instrumental in furthering the advancement of women.

The theme covered a broad range of fields – including science, health, religion, humanity or social welfare; it presented ordinary folk who have been motivated to either put things right, or make the world a better place for the feminine gender.

Feminenza members were invited to submit an exhibit that represents a person (man or woman) whose work had inspired them. They were asked to write a short biography and identify the qualities they embodied and the reason for their choice.

Contributions were received from Canada, Germany, Wales and London, offering insight into a range of individuals spanning across a timescale that encompassed both past and present; from ancient times to contemporary activists.

For example, one exhibit featured Yasodhara, Buddha’s wife while another profiled young Greta Thunberg. Many others were humanitarian activists including three determined men who worked to improve the lives of women.

A small team formed including Andy Billings, Julie Glover and Julie Geeves, who dedicated weeks to collate, edit, proof-read, further research and find suitable photographic portraits to produce a high quality exhibition. The A2 displays are now available to support any future IGE/Feminenza projects.

A team of volunteers helped to create a warm and welcoming ecology at the Centre in Barnet, London resulting in a bright glowing space. The exhibition was arranged in a way that enabled visitors to have the space to read, absorb and experience each exhibit with ease.

A special ‘Garden of Words’ qualities were set up with a separate wall presenting side-by-side portrait photographs of all the people featuring in the exhibition. Visitors were invited to choose a quality that they felt a person portrayed, write it on a ‘post-it’ note and attach underneath the photographs. It was quite an evocative experience to walk down the line looking at each portrait and register the strength of spirit in their eyes – the qualities that helped them achieve their missions.

Throughout the day, over 50 people attended the event, some taking their time to read through the exhibits and engaging in conversations.

Visitors complimented the exhibition, the Centre and the atmosphere. The day felt graced with a warmth and easement; it held a consistent note of value for human dignity and an appreciation for those who have dedicated their lives to establishing something that has contributed to the betterment of the feminine gender and value of human life.

Along with recognising some very spirited and courageous women and men and their accomplishments, the intention was to send out a signal of hope and what is possible through Feminenza.

Events like this reminds us of the value and importance of creating opportunities to engage with people in many different kinds of ways.

A big thank you to everyone involved, including those who came along to support the event.

International Women’s Day 2020 – Feminenza in the UK