At 5pm in the Black Box on the 18th of September, we finally hosted our very own event! The event involved a screening of the Academy Award winning film, Period End of Sentence. The short film revolves around the stigmatization of periods in rural India where men, and women, choose not to address the issue publicly. After the screening, we had a panel discussion. Brooke and Isabella from GEP were involved and we invited Vanessa Paranjothy (co-founder of freedom cups) and Claire Psillides (head of sustainability at UWCSEA) to talk about and answer any questions regarding the film or period poverty in general.
Preparation for the event started well in advance. We first began brainstorming ideas in May last year and sorted out the details by June to ensure it’s smooth running for the new year. Because we chose to host the event so early in the year, our new members couldn’t fully provide their input and feedback before the event as virtually everything had been decided. Nonetheless, we ensured that everyone had a productive and meaningful role to play in the success of the event.
At the event, we had a turnout of around forty people. Among them, to our surprise, were a good mix of females and males, a wide age range and myriad ethnicities. The fact that our audience was to culturally, gender and age-diverse meant that we had questions posed from all sorts of perspectives – whether it be those who are well-versed on the issue or individuals who attended to learn more. We were extremely motivated by the fact that boys showed interest in our event, contrary to what we expected. Furthermore, they stayed engaged and asked insightful questions which led us to believe that in the future, hopefully, GEP will become more diverse in that sense.
Vanessa and Mrs. Psillides are both exceptionally knowledgeable in this field due to the admirable experiences and wisdom they were able to share with us. When posed with a question they gave factual and discerning answers that also made our focus group more aware with the issue we’re grappling with. Isabella and Brooke also did their part in ensuring that the student body was represented in this whole discussion.
What we were most impressed by was the way some audience members challenged our thinking and made us question what else we could attain in the future of GEP. Moreover, their lack of apprehension, confidence, and zeal to learn more made us proud to be part of such an open-minded and receptive community.
Written by Shrishti Khetan