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To be a woman: Art festival on promoting gender equality in Baku

Many films with female protagonists, open-air concerts and evenings at an old factory

An art festival highlighting women’s role in the modern world is taking place in Baku from 17 to 27 September, with a programme that includes films, exhibitions, discussions and a literary evening. 

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Details about the festival

The European Union delegation to Azerbaijan has organized the modern art festival entitled ‘Maiden’s Tower – To be a woman’, in cooperation with the embassies of European countries and local partners. 

The name of the festival – Maiden’s Tower – refers to the old tower in Baku, which is a symbol of the city. 

The organisers timed the festival to coincide with the centenary of Azerbaijani women gaining suffrage. 

“The festival reflects the increasing role of women in Azerbaijan and the world,” the organisers said.

Artists, cultural activists and simply creative people from various countries – Germany to Argentina – are participating in the festival, along with locals.

Festival programme

The first of the festival activities took place before the official opening. 

On 17 September, cinema theatre Nizami showed a Greek documentary film called ‘When Tomatoes Met Wagner.’

 On 18 September, the old, dilapidated factory on the outskirts of Baku turned into an art space for an evening. Young artists painted the outer walls with bold graffiti, and a contemporary music concert was organised in the sculpture shop.

The festival programme includes many films, including the following:

  • Hungarian documentary film about a woman who spent ten years in slavery to her own family 
  • Dutch drama about a young British woman trying to return to normal life after her face was disfigured by acid
  • documentary film highlighting 100 years since the first woman diplomat in Brazil 

They also plan a poetry reading by poets from various countries, several discussions and exhibitions. 

Many of the festival activities are free, but several will only be open to invited guests, including a joint concert between Greek and Azerbaijani musicians.

For additional information, refer to the festival’s website:

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