Ladyfest is a community-based, not-for-profit global music and arts festival for feminists and female artists, run entirely by volunteers; individual Ladyfest’s span all four corners of the world, and here in Manchester, we have our very own. Ladyfest MCR is a collective with a feminist ethos, who organise and run events combining music, art, and ideas on the streets of Manchester.
Their aim is to promote art of all kinds created by women and for women, and help to develop practical and political skills and knowledge to give opportunities to feminists who want to make art or music, and feel a part of something.
According to their Facebook page, they “aim to create a sense of community amongst those who attend and participate in our events and activities, to bring together those interested in music and feminism in the local area and inspire people to work together to bring about social change.”
Following the success of their festival Ladyfest MCR 2016—which included an all-female DJ night, a Self Care Sunday event, and a plethora of feminist workshops, among many other things—the team at Ladyfest are already generating new ideas to inspire success, equality, and a sense of community for the women of Manchester. The next big thing? Body positivity.
The Body Positive movement has really taken off in 2016, with models and celebrities such as Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday taking over our Instagram feeds and global magazine covers. The movement aims to encourage women to see their bodies in a more affirming and nurturing light, no matter their shape or size, with an overall goal to improve the health and wellbeing of women around the world, and to combat the often damaging viewpoints that pervade discussions of the female body.
The women at Ladyfest MCR are taking this idea and running with it, having heard from women in the city about their experiences with their own bodies, and having “discussed the good, bad, and ugly of the body positivity movement” during Ladyfest MCR 2016.
To this end, on Monday 24th October, Ladyfest MCR are running their own Body Positivity Workshop, and hope to begin discussions and brainstorm ideas on how they can harness the body positive movement for the good of all women in Manchester and beyond. In their own words, “we learnt a lot about the way women feel about their bodies and why, but we’re not done.
“We want to work to achieve better awareness of body ACCEPTANCE, improve body REPRESENTATION from local brands and media who use women’s images in their communications and champion those people who CELEBRATE women’s bodies of all shapes and sizes.
“We can shout about it all day, but to really make a change, it’s going to take many voices, so we want you guys to get involved.”
Check out Ladyfest MCR via their Facebook page, and sign up to the event on Facebook for details about the location and time. You can also read a blog post from the organisers of the event here, to learn more about their aims and aspirations.