Right down to the workshops..
Focus on Feminism
Kicking off a series of inspiring talks and discussions, two informal seminars will look at women’s history in the past century with the focus on Leeds and West Yorkshire’s own history. But that’s not all:
• Rebel Girls and Political Prisoners: The Suffrage movement in Leeds 1900-1914 will focus on the scene in Leeds for ordinary women who made history with their relentless, often militant fight for the vote. Author Jill Liddington will tell us about the lives of several young suffragettes, whilst scholar Di Drummond will combine role play with questions to teach us about the way suffragettes were prosecuted for their actions
• A History of Women in West Yorkshire - Then and Now: Women’s lives and feminist action 1970 to the present day will share the experiences of activists and those who lived through the changes in recent history, while looking at ongoing debates in gender and sexuality equality and discussing how our history has informed our present. Storytelling, films and animation along with plenty of discussion will make for a seminar that aims to bridge generation gaps and show us what we can learn from the ‘second and third waves’
• Race, Feminism and Activism - a discussion facilitated by Humaira Saeed, aims to create a space to share ideas and experiences on addressing race issues, empowering participants to feel able to enact change, while;
• Reclaim Your Education! a discussion led by Elinor Milne will focus on our experiences of education and the education system, the problems within in them and ways to combat their effect on us, open to people of all ages and educational backgrounds
• The Men in Feminism two-part workshop will offer the opportunity for a discussion of a neglected topic, and will take place in two parts: single-gender groups where Hywel Lewis will lead the self-identified men only discussion, and Amy Brachi will lead the self-identified women only discussion, followed by a session where the two groups will join together to discuss the issues raised
• In Art Behind Bars: retrospective on educational arts programme for women in prison, Elliat Graney-Saucke will talk about their project and facilitating a discussion on art and approaches to prison activism
• Siobhan Fahey will lead a eye-opening talk and discussion about Hepatitis C in Hepatitis C – The virus that affects us all, drawing on her experience as a nurse in the UK and in Asia
• The weekend will end on a talk and debate on a controversial, even explosive topic, Feminism, Pornography and Censorship, facilitated by Alexandra Dymock and Eleanor Wilkinson.
Friday is for 11 to 18 years olds!
Ladyfest Leeds will also feature a wide range of workshops for young people, with most of these happening on Friday 13th:
• Christelle Guilet, experienced juggler and workshop leader will hold a workshop for 11-18 year olds, and will take you from making your own juggling equipment through learning to juggle and having fun doing it in just an hour and a half in Making Juggling Props and Juggling as a way to socialise
• Anna Reilly and Debbie Clements’ Revolution Zine Style! workshop will explore in a practical way the potential of zines (home-made self-published magazines) to empower and inspire. It will look at what zine-writing involves, share 'how-to' tips.
• Experienced youth workers, Debbie and Anna will run also two workshops aimed at 11-18 year olds; in Hands off my body image! they will explore how to have a positive body image and I don’t want to do that!’ Young people, Bullying and Assertiveness Workshop will help you to say and get what you want!
• Not only that, but there will be a host of other activities for young people to get involved in and see.
Get creative and hands on
There will be an array of ‘hands on' practical workshops, where in just an hour or so you could:
• Learn new musical skills and have fun improvising with them in a workshop on Improvisation and Jamming Techniques aimed at participants of any (or no!) experience,
• Learn practical self defence techniques to get out of violent situations, and improve your body confidence in our Tai Chi Self Defence For All workshop
• Take part in Cathy Russell’s Bass Guitar Practical Workshop which will explore different aspects of playing bass guitar, in a supportive, friendly environment with all equipment provided. This workshop aims to encourage an alternative, creative approach to learning/playing, where technical skill is less important than experimentation and ingenuity
• Learn to Write from the heart! Run by Fiona Durance, this practical workshop will empower anyone, from total beginners to experienced writers, to write passionately and poetically on love, art, activism – whatever lights you up!
• Elsewhere in Leeds, at The Art Market in the Merrion Markets, Ladyfesters can get involved in the Re-Toyed Trash art workshops, where existing materials and found objects are used to create something really unique. Run by Alicia Talikowska you could create a monster, a robot, something that looks like a duck or some kind of art piece, whatever you’d like to call it. Materials and adhesives, but people are encouraged to bring some of their own junk to Re-Use too.
Advance festival passes are currently on sale £25, which give entry to all festival events and can be booked through the Leeds City Box Office at The Carriageworks by phone on +44 (0) 113 2243801 and in person at The Carriageworks in Leeds. A range of individual event tickets and day passes will go on sale from 26th March. Enquiries about tickets can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about Ladyfest Leeds
Ladyfest Leeds has a DIY ethos: all the organisers and participants have come together as volunteers to showcase the very best of what Leeds can offer. All proceeds will go to charities which support gender equality. This is the first Ladyfest to be held by people living in Leeds, building on the heritage of over 100 Ladyfests around the world since 2000: non-profit, feminist events organised mainly by women and platforms for the talents of female artists and performers. The events have been focused mainly on encouraging the talent of women and girls, but are open to everyone.