TedX Women in Bradford
Guest blog by Emma Cheshire
I was less inspired by the suggested title from the Paley Centre for Media – ‘The Space In Between’. My immediate interpretation of the title is ‘not mainstream’, hidden or marginal. I am far more interested in mainstreaming the work and issues of women and so was initially reluctant to focus on the spaces women find or create to have a platform and make things happen.
The approach of the TEDXWomen programmers in Washington is to suggest that rather than the world being binary, there are in fact a whole range of opportunities afforded between binary opposites – such as the space between Poverty and Plenty or Fact and Faith.
This fluidity of ideas and relationships is something we negotiate everyday. But there are also institutions and processes, rituals and mechanisms that are the ‘mainstream’ way things are done. When Julia Gillard stood up and described the types of harassment and bullying she has experienced as a women in the political arena in Australia, it prompted the Macquarie Dictionary redefine misogyny. Gillard turned a spotlight on mainstream culture and in doing so she also helped to redefine what is unacceptable and adjust the rituals of how we interact with one another.
TEDx is both a platform and a space to encourage debate and share ideas that is becoming a mainstream platform and a useful fast-track for people and their ideas becoming more widely known. Without TED I would never have attempted to understand particle physics or discovered Margaret Wertheim or Ron Eglash or many many other ideas and people. This is why I not only enjoy the concept of TED but also why I love getting involved in the programmes.
What motivated me to seek out the speakers we have is that in most and many ways they are women who challenge the mainstream and push their ideas and agendas into that mainstream space. Acting rather than asking permission is the mantra of many of the speakers. The issues covered in the talks range from mental health and technology, to creating better spaces to live and work and feminism in the Middle East.
Don’t be thinking it’s too militant! I hope you will find it engaging and entertaining, and at times funny and there will be a few things in there to stir the blood as well. The speaker lineup includes performance poet and the force behind Leeds Young Authors Khadijah Ibrahiim, political activist Sanaz Raji, games designer and lecturer Kaye Elling, social entrepreneur Emma Bearman, comedian and live artist Debs Gatenby and Mary Clear of Incredible Edible Todmorden.
I hope you can join us on what is likely to be a wet and cold Saturday at the lovely Impressions Gallery for good company, great ideas and a ubiquitous Bradford curry to encourage everyone to hang out and argue together afterwards.
TEDxWomen is a TEDx event organized by the Paley Center for Media that focuses on women and women’s issues.
Our event is called TEDxWomen Bradford and is one of many TEDx events happening around the globe between November 30th and December 1st that will expand on the ideas brought up at TEDxWomen.