First Part of Conference Programme 2021 Released

Conference Speaker collage1 WOMEX 2021

Today we released the first wave of Conference Programme including Networking Sessions for WOMEX 21. The 10 Conference and 5 Networking Sessions present 26 speakers from 19 countries, tackling a wide range of topics: the most buzzing music industry trends, green sustainability, Womxn and gender diversity, digital future, African music market, global music business and more.

The delegates attending will be able to immerse themselves in interactive conference formats. Some of the sessions announced today will delve into topics like diversity onstage, when we forget to include offstage in Diversity In the Backstage Area; how to steer towards deeper mobility with the Current State of Green Touring; exploring current practices, facing challenges and seeking solutions towards Womxn and Gender Diversity in the MENA Music Industry, and Rebuilding Our Broken Industry in a Broken World will discuss how artists and music professionals affected by the Pandemic can stand together in solidarity, share professional responsibility, link cross-border networks for a far more inclusive music ecosystem.

The WOMEX Conference Programme is created based on an annual call for proposals hand-picked by an independent, international jury - the 7 Samurai. Faced with the challenges and uncertainties amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the decision-making process with the Jury, for the second consecutive year, was held digitally, with each member taking part from their personal lockdown.

Last year the spread of COVID-19 resulted in mass cancellations of all live music events. Amongst all sectors, conferences were the fastest to reconfigure, transform and adapt to the digital world. Whilst virtual meetings present an opportunity for overcoming the complications of physical lockdowns, of social distancing, of travel bans and maintaining audience engagement around the world, it also brought in digital fatigue or ‘Zoom fatigue’; a term – and feeling – that has steadily risen in the past year. As physical events are resuming globally, social interactions, open discussions and physical gatherings at conferences – and the uplifting power of live music – are among the many things that music professionals have missed most during the pandemic: we all look forward to the ‘in-person’ life again.

The WOMEX Conference Programme has always strived to support the creative, connect the community of music professionals, and provide a platform for them to share their knowledge, enthusiasm, expertise, and solidarity; to network and to learn from each other.

To date, the confirmed Speakers participating at WOMEX 21, Porto are:

  • Boima Tucker (USA), Africa Is a Country
  • Christina Hazboun (Czech Republic/Palestine/UK), The Sonic Agent
  • Emma Bartholomew (UK), PR: It's Not Just for Artists
  • Gwendolenn Sharp (France), The Green Room
  • Herman KABUBI (Uganda/USA), Truth From Africa
  • Ian Smith (UK/Austria), Frusion / Fizzion / Ukeartswork
  • Malle Kaas (Denmark), Women In Live Music (WILM)
  • Matthew Covey (USA), Tamizdat
  • Shain Shapiro (Canada/UK), Center for Music Ecosystems
  • Sonya Mazumdar (India), EarthSync

Together with this year's local partner AMG Music, WOMEX is committed to providing visibility to the Jury-selected conference sessions and speakers, including those who may be unable to attend in person this year.

article posted by:Gideon Elfgen, Piranha Arts