I am an experienced public speaker with regular speaking engagements at branches of NADFAS/ The Arts Society, the WI, the U3A, English Speaking Union, Rotary Clubs, and schools. The last few years have also brought speaking engagements at the Albanian Presidency at the invitation of the First Lady, in London at the Royal Anthropological Institute, at the London Book Fair and Orllan and Ilkley Literary Festivals, at RHS Wisley and the American Embassy, Prishtina, a lifeboat station and a jazz club.
I've appeared on the BBC World Service, Radio 4, Australian ABC Radio, and BBC Radio Oxford. You can hear the Saturday Live recording of me interviewed by John McCarthy or watch the video produced by LandRover featuring me in the Accursed Mountains of Albania. I am a regular contributor to Radio 4's 'From Our Own Correspondent' e.g. with the dispatch I wrote about the 'Troubleshooting Teddies of Tirana' which you can hear on iPlayer or my recent pieces telling the story of manhole covers in Kosovo or Kosovo's sportsmen's ghosts, Albania's adventurous pelicans and the 'ill winds' of Montenegro.
You can also watch my recent TEDx talks in the UK and Albania.
The talks are illustrated with my photographs (you can see examples on my Flickr photostream, under the name 'ElizabethinKosovo'). My photographs have been published in national newspapers in Kosovo and by National Geographic as well as being exhibited at the National Gallery of Kosovo and in London.
I offer six talks:
Unlikely positions in unlikely places; a yoga journey around the UK - tells the stories from my explorations of yoga. I am not a likely yogini; I am too fond of chocolate and To-do lists, and sometimes fall over on my mat. So this is not a 'how to' talk - it's given by an explorer rather than an expert. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, it evokes the characters and communities met along a fascinating journey, from my dripping day of 'hot yoga' to yoga in prisons.
Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo - drawing on the adventures which led to my book of the same title
The silver thread; filigree jewellery - an ancient craft which spread across the former Ottoman Empire. Still practised by men and women who turn into dragons as they puff fire, sprinkle silver dust, and magic thick silver rods into fine wire and this into lacy jewellery, adornment and religious artefacts. My book The Silver Thread; a journey through Balkan craftsmanship was published in 2015 and is available on Kindle
The Rubbish-Picker's Wife; an unlikely friendship in Kosovo - what happens when you find your community but it's a long way from home. The story of what I've learned with, from and about the Roma and Ashkali community over four years of working and living with them in Kosovo. The book of the same title was published in 2015.
125 000 flowers - what it takes to make a spoon of honey, and how you can use it in cooking and natural remedies. This draws on my experiences as a beekeeper and my research for my Little Book of Honey, published in 2012.
How to travel; sellotape and a Twining's teabag drawing on my journeys around 53 countries: what to pack, why art-lovers shouldn't go to art galleries, how to travel at home, why earbuds make better souvenirs than liqueurs and when to stop taking photographs.
Feedback from my talks:
'A fascinating and inspiring speaker... I received many warm and enthusiastic comments concerning your address from parents, girls and Governors afterwards' (Head, Oxford High School)
|'A wonderful presentation... they listened with such rapt attention... top quality' (SW19 WI)|
'An excellent talk... everyone enjoyed it hugely' (Kent ESU)
'It was superb' (Broxbourne U3A)
'Last night we had the amazing Elizabeth Gowing come and speak to us. Fascinating women, as was her book and her stories. Highly recommend her!' (Harrow WI on Twitter)
'What an interesting, amusing and informative talk' (Worcestershire ESU)
'Such an entertaining and informative address on such an unusual subject... one of the best speakers this year' (Diss U3A)