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8 March at Melahuset
Wednesday 8 March
Since 2017, Melahuset has marked International Women's Day by highlighting issues such as women's rights, oppression and intersectionality from a nuanced perspective. This year, 8 March will be marked with a book launch, musical performances and a focus on women and education, with the situation in Afghanistan as a starting point. On Melahuset this evening, there will be a conversation between Afghan activist and poet Hoda Khamosh and Mala Wang-Naveen, the launch of the book "Sita in Exile", written by Indian-American author Rashi Rohatgi, an appeal by Khansa Ali from the MiRA Centre and concerts by Abelone and 9 degrees north. The evening will be hosted by Selma Benmalek.
The activist and poet Hoda Khamosh was named one of the world's most influential people in 2022 by both the BBC and Time Magazine. Born in Iran to Afghan parents, she studied Persian language and literature in Afghanistan. When the Taliban took power in August 2021, she was one of the first to take to the streets to protest against the Taliban and for women's rights. She has also visited schools to talk to students about empowerment, has started an educational programme teaching girls and women to sew and was one of the activists invited to participate in the talks with the Taliban in Oslo in January 2022 and used the talks to demand that the Taliban release some of her fellow activists. She is currently residing in Norway pending the outcome of her asylum application.
The American-Indian writer Rashi Rohatgi is an associate professor at Nord University in Bodø. Her novel "Sita in Exile" is a lyrical exploration of sisterhood, migration and motherhood in contemporary Europe. The book will be launched in Norway at Melahuset on 8 March.
9 degrees north of the equator is the town of Jaffna in Sri Lanka, where half of the band originated. Together, the quartet offers a mix of different genres, such as baila, flamenco, jazz and Carnatic music. With instruments such as the bamboo flute and cajon, the group 9 degrees north aims to take audiences on a musical journey closer to their instincts. Their powerful and distinctive musical style has struck a chord with audiences and critics alike.
Music has always played a central role in Abelone's life Abelone's and her musical roots have inspired her since childhood. She released her first single in 2014 and since then she has managed to establish herself as a performer, songwriter and composer and has played concerts all over the world. She has also been a Unicef ambassador in Ethiopia, working for women's rights and health. Musically Abelone moves between different genres and languages, from r&b, hip hop, pop and afrobeat.
Khansa Ali Deputy Director of MiRA - Resource Centre for Women from Minority Backgrounds, will give an appeal on "Minority women's struggle in times of crisis - how to fight growing inequality".
Mala Wang-Naveen is an author and Head of Communications at Sintef Digital. She has previously worked as a journalist, reviewer and commentator in Aftenposten.
Selma Benmalek works as a programme consultant at Deichman. As a freelancer, she is a writer and editorial assistant for, among other things, 10 surveys, as well as a moderator/conference host at various cultural events. She is also a board member of Jeunesses Musicales Norway and chair of the board of the Norwegian Library Association in Oslo.