Ladyfest London is nearly upon us. Here, Polly Cassidy, one of the organisers, guest-posts her pre-festival reflections
There’s just over a week before Ladyfest London 2008 launches. I have been involved with organising the festival, which showcases women’s/feminist/queer creativity, for the last year. Looking back, it’s been an increasingly lovely and invigorating experience; meeting a whole crowd of new people, learning how to organise and co-ordinate events, going to gigs and films and happenings that have really challenged my outlook on things. Eating quite a lot of curly chips and vegan cupcakes.
Ladyfests sometimes get criticised for being shallow, focusing on entertainment rather than activism or political engagement. I have sometimes grappled with this myself, and wondered whether the Ladyfest organisers really share that many goals.
I stopped worrying about that when I realised the value of the festival is in creating a community, where people trust and respect each other instead of trying to come up with a startlingly good critical analysis of your performance. Sometimes it means you overlook differences of opinion, sometimes it means you celebrate them. It’s a bit like sisterhood, really.
I’m very, very excited about Ladyfest and I want as many people as possible to come and share it with us. Workshops cover everything from felt-making to self defence, the film programme is bursting with African and queer gems, and the music and comedy is going to be awesome. Most of all, I’m looking forward to being around supportive, positive people who want to celebrate what women can achieve when we work together.