Writing on the Wall’s WoWFest18 - Crossing Borders was a powerful and insightful programme of discussions, performances, workshops, talks and presentations that celebrated the diversity, social activism and stories about Crossing Borders from Liverpool and across the globe. Taking place in venues across the city for the month of May, delivering 45 events, we brought together writers, performers, journalists, poets, novelists, activists, commentators, broadcasters, academics and communities.
Our feature activity this year was the construction of our installation wall, Building Blocks To Freedom, that popped-up in Church Street for two special performances with LowKey and our Light Night open mic. We created stunning narrative designs with the help of artist Izzy O’Rourke, and the people of Liverpool who came to tell their stories.
We welcomed a distinctive array of international guests including Carmen Bugan, Mourid Barghouti, Marcello Di Cintio, Chuma Nwokolo, Stephen James Smith, Eamonn McCann, Radio Django Berlin and Amineh Abou Kerech.
WoWFest is amplifying a the voices that need to be heard. They aim to empower and connect the writer with the audience is which is where the ideas can be explored face to face. This is how it should be! - Stephen James Smith
The mix of different writers, events and other activities, all rooted in the community of Liverpool, is what makes WoWFest such a fantastic festival to be part of. The conversations we had both during the event and in the pub afterwards will live long in the memory. Thanks to the whole team for everything they do, both during the festival and throughout the year. Liverpool and literature are all the richer because of it.
- Paul Scraton
After attending for my first time this year, WOW has fast found its place as one of my favourite ever festivals - its as engaging and entertaining as it is crucial - Yomi Adegoke
WoW is a thought-provoking and heart-warming festival, where words delight and instruct in equal measure. I felt privileged to have the first event of the 2018 season and to meet the passionate, committed and generous organizers. - Carmen Bugan
A stimulating, radical, accessible ideas space which doesn't take itself too seriously. WoWFest is a great event which I'm so pleased to be part of. - Kate Evans
It was such an honour to be part of WoWFest18. It is a truly diverse festival run brilliantly by a team that is so clearly passionate about making connections between writers and readers from all kinds of backgrounds without exception. Many other literary festivals could learn a thing or two from WoWFest! I'd love to be involved again if they'll have me. - Sharon Dougal
The WoW festival is always brilliant, inspiring and thought-provoking. Every year there is a wealth of debate, discussion, celebration and exploration of the issues of the day. It's always varied and interesting - and brilliantly organised. - Bidisha
We hosted significant national guests too, such as Akala, Benjamin Zephaniah, Robert Webb, Jordan Stephens, Shami Chakrabarti, Richard Blair (George Orwell’s son), Kate Evans, Bidisha, LowKey, Reni Eddo Lodge, Caroline Moran, Beatrix Campbell, Paul Farley and highlighted local artists James Rice, Andy Grant, Nina McCallig and projects such as the From Pitt Street to Granby publication, our Pulp Idol 2018 competition and the array of local artists and WoW project participants supporting our festival guests and our performance opportunities at Light Night and Superheroes & Superstars, a special day of activity for children and young people. Thanks to all those who made WoWFEST 18 – Crossing Borders such a successful festival – our funders, Arts Council England, Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool, the writers, artists and commentators who took part, our wonderful volunteers, staff, trustees, and of course, our brilliant audiences. We look forward to getting your feedback on WoWFEST 18, and your support for our next festival in 2019.
For further information about Writing on the Wall, visit our website here
WoWfest 2018 is dedicated to Linda Meagor who crossed many borders and was an asset to many arts organisations and communities.