The Arts – Discussion – Community – Storytelling – Change

Winnie at Paradise Yard

Festival organiser Winnie M Li at the Clear Lines Festival venue


It’s time to talk about sexual assault – and we’ve found a brilliant way to do it at a 4 day festival of discussion, music and art this summer. Every hour, the equivalent of one man and over ten women are raped in England and Wales.  One in five girls and one in twelve boys will be sexually abused. So many of us are affected by sexual assault, and because it’s so difficult to talk about, we’re missing opportunities to get together and tackle the problem.

The Clear Lines Festival will bring together comedians, performers, journalists, writers, visual artists, musicians, cartoonists, psychologists, activists, therapists, and the public in a vibrant, funny, very human exploration of themes around sexual abuse, sexual violence, and consent.

It’s the UK’s first-ever festival of this kind, and we have an ambitious and exciting programme. A wide range of performances, workshops and panel discussions will explore creativity both as a therapeutic response and as an agent of change.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Most events will be free and open to the public.

Clear Lines has a clear philosophy –  we want to the replace shame and silence usually associated with this issue, with insight, understanding and community.  Whoever you are, your voice and opinion count.  Let’s get together to have the conversations that don’t always happen, and find our way of creating change.

The Co-Founders of the Clear Lines Festival:

Dr Nina Burrowes is a psychologist and researcher specialising in the psychology of sexual abuse. She works closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and Police forces throughout the UK providing specialist training on sexual abuse. She is the author of ‘The courage to be me’ an illustrated book for survivors of abuse, ‘Eyes open to sexual abuse. What every parent needs to know’ and the creator of the online video series ‘Sexual abuse. The questions you’ve never had the chance to ask’.

Winnie M Li is a writer and producer, who has worked in the creative industries on three continents. As Head of Development at Ugly Duckling Films, she worked on six feature films and an Oscar-nominated short, and later programmed for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. She writes across a variety of formats, often about rape, and will soon begin her PhD at the London School of Economics on an ESRC grant, researching the impact of digital media on the public discourse about rape. Winnie is finishing her debut novel, Dark Chapter, which is partly inspired by her own assault. It is currently shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.


Nathalie McDermott

Nathalie runs the not-for-profit On Road, which tackles social problems by improving media coverage of misrepresented groups and issues.

On Road is currently looking at ways to improve the media’s coverage of sexual abuse and Nathalie will be organising a panel of journalists on Friday evening to tackle this issue.

Dr. Red Chidgey

Red Chidgey is Lecturer in Gender and Media at King’s College London. Her current research examines techniques of creativity and risk in online anti-rape activism. Passionate about grassroots feminism and DIY cultures, she previously curated ZineFest! at The Women’s Library London and the five-day arts, music and activism festival, Ladyfest Brighton.

Katherine O’Brien

Katherine O’Brien worked in Parliament for three different MPs, and currently serves as media manager for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a sexual health charity working to change the way women’s reproductive choices are portrayed in the media. She is also involved in grassroots women’s rights campaigns.

Sejal Chad

Sejal Chad is an HCPC-registered Integrative Arts Psychotherapist with over ten years experience in the mental health and community support field. She specialises in working with individuals and groups who have experienced complex trauma and abuse. Incorporating a background in creative writing, improvisation and conflict mediation with more traditional talking therapies, she supports people in articulating and understanding their struggles and experiences, and finding their own ways towards healing and moving forward.

Alana Avery

Alana manages projects for On Road and is currently delivering All About Trans: a ground-breaking project that changes how the UK media reports on and portrays transgender people. She co-ordinated the Vote for Policies media campaign during the UK general election and is supporting the Clear Lines Festival with branding and publicity. She has also delivered digital media workshops to help charities and vulnerable clients to get online and blog, co-ordinated film festivals and produced and developed several documentaries independently and for RTÉ and BBC NI.