Gala Event in aid of the UK’s First Anti-FGM Billboard Campaign
VAVENGERS Gala Ball
Wednesday 21st January 7-11.30pm
Brunswick House, 30 Wandsworth Road. London SW8 2LG
Tickets, at £40pp, are limited & advance sale only, can be bought here.
VAVENGERS, the anti-FGM group, spearheaded by two survivors of female genital mutilation, are proud to announce The VAVENGERS Gala Ball, to be held at Brunswick House on Wednesday 21st January 2015 at 7pm.
This unique event promises to be a lively and inspiring mix of comedy, art, performance and music, whilst raising funds for the first ever anti-FGM billboard campaign in the UK.
Set in the vintage opulence of Brunswick House, Georgian mansion renown for its fantastically eclectic décor and fabulous cocktails and located minutes from Vauxhall Tube, the Gala features some of the best female stand-up on the circuit, all of whom are generously donating their time and talent to this ground-breaking initiative.
The evening also features a live art auction with pieces up for grabs by Jess Van de Wahl, from her Big Swinging Ovaries solo exhibition and a stunning female-figure print inspired by counter-culture, as well as pop art by Zelda Bomba, amongst others.
With performance by a troupe of FGM Survivors, DJ’s Chris Airplays and Slammer spinning tunes for the dance floor, plus prizes and giveaways from sponsors Sh! , Pol Roger Champagne, CPR London Printers and Spex in the City, the VAVENGERS Gala Ball is set to be a thrilling, fun-filled evening for an inspirational cause.
Described as ‘blisteringly funny… a truly natural and gifted performer’ Jen has a confident, energetic style and knows how to deliver a line for maximum laughs. Her 2014 show ‘Wishful Thinking’ was nominated for ‘Best New Show’ at the Leicester Comedy Festival and cited as one of the top 8 shows at the Melbourne Comedy Festival by The Age.
Time Out’s One to Watch for 2014 and described as “a black female Jack Dee” Twayne started performing in 2010 and after only a handful of gigs became a Funny Women Semi Finalist. Her distinctive downbeat style paired with her deliciously honest material has taken her to the finals of numerous new act competitions including the prestigious NATYS.
A stand-up comedian and political activist who is equally at home on the stages of world’s major comedy clubs as she is expressing her forthright opinions on the small screen. Her many TV and radio credits include Question Time and Woman’s Hour. R4’s Four Thought featured a 15-minute program written and performed by Kate about sexist humour and sexism in comedy and Atheist B!tchslap”, her performance on abortion and heaven for BBC1’s Big Question, went viral. A talented writer, Kate pens for The Revolution Will Be Televised and Have I Got News For You?
Selected as one of the finalists for the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, a regular guest on Gaydio breakfast radio show and contributor to BBC’s Radio 5 Live and Radio London, Maureen’s style is frank, fast, feisty, sharp and engaging. A natural gift of the gob she’s quick off the mark, doesn’t miss a trick and is a naturally funny and infectious performer.
Who are VAVENGERS?
The leading founding members are Hoda Ali and Aissa Eddon, who are both survivors of, and ardent campaigners against, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
At age 7 Hoda was cut in Somalia, suffering terrible complications. A Nurse/FGM Campaigner in a Sexual Health and HIV clinic, Hoda has dedicated her professional life to raising awareness of FGM focusing on ensuring girls are treated with dignity and compassion when they encounter health care professionals in the NHS.
Aissa is from Mali. She works as a midwife and health professional at The Hope Clinic.
VAVENGERS is a team of friends and colleagues working together towards launching the UK’s first ever billboard campaign against female genital mutilation.
The light bulb moment was a student film – a documentary about why FGM still occurs in the UK, despite it being against the law, and featuring interviews with Aissa and Hoda, which was made by two passionate teenagers from Hampstead Fine Arts College: Mabel Evans and Kain Egan. Mabel and Kain felt compelled to support the two women they had interviewed, so along with their teacher, they assembled a team and VAVENGERS was born.
Together they decided that a billboard campaign in Ealing (one of London’s most affected communities) would be the most direct and effective way of bring this issue to the public’s attention.
Their motivation is that the billboard campaign will prevent more girls being taken abroad to be cut as well as providing information and support to those already suffering as a result of this horrific practice.
The VAVENGERS team is unique; a group of people of different ages, cultural backgrounds, genders and nationalities coming together over a single goal and each sharing the need to do something tangible and effective which directly helps the women and girls in the UK who are affected by FGM. .
VAVENGERS stands for ‘vagina avengers’. It is a small working group, made up of supporters and volunteers, not a charity. Consequently, 100% of money raised will go towards making this one-off Billboard campaign a reality with and not a single penny wasted on overheads. All proceeds from the VAVENGERS Gala will go towards this ground-breaking initiative which will put the anti-FGM message right in the heart of the community’s effected. The billboard campaign is set to launch in 2015, just prior to the school summer holidays, when many girls are taken abroad to be cut in countries where the practice is legal.