On Thursday 8th of March, the Adult Education College at Belvoir Street in Leicester celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting Abeda Sakha, a Doctor from Afghanistan, to address a group of 30 people who had gathered at the ground floor of the old Central Library. The event was organized by the activist Penny Walker, who also has been one of the original organizers of the Leicester Peace Vigil at the clocktower.

Abeda spoke about the roles of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban and before. She also read some of her poetry and answered questions from the floor.


After Abeda’s talk, it was time for the artist Anna Cheetham to present some of her poetry, which was a very animated rendition. Anna is the artistic motor behind the exhibition.

She has an open space atelier at the basement where she produces many of the exhibits which can be seen on the walls.

A wall poster at ‘The Art of Protest’ exhibition at the Old Library in Leicester

It is amazing that once on the journey of reporting and securing stories one finds out quickly that by digging a bit deeper so many more stories and contacts emerge. Thus a network of activists and community reporters is created.

The Council like people to use the building and put on events. – Penny Walker

Our first encounter with Penny Walker was at the weekly Peace Vigil, Grandmas for Peace, at the Leicester clocktower. Penny invited us to the ‘Art of Protest’ exhibition at the Old Library. There we looked around and had an interview with Penny after which she invited us to the International Woman’s Day celebration, also at the library. One thing leads to another and before one knows it one is fully absorbed and occupied as a Community Media reporter. And we do enjoy it, thanks to John Coster, our tutor and module leader. Below is the interview with Penny Walker at ‘The Art of Protest’ exhibition.