L Fest 2015: A creative space for LBT women
L Fest is a particularly unique, relaxed and open space for LBT women to celebrate diversity and equality whilst enjoying authors, discussion, poetry, creative workshops, dance, music, comedy, sports and family.
There are plenty of opportunities to participate in activities with workshops on dance (e.g. Latin & ballroom, salsa, Brighton flashmob, line dancing), poetry, figure drawing, a dog show, song-writing, yoga, creative writing, author panel discussions, meditation, drumming, humourology, Short & Girlie Improvisation and many more. This year, Dr Meg Barker (@megjohnbarker, Open University), a keynote speaker in 2013 at the Psychology of Women’s Section Conference, was part of a discussion panel organised and hosted by Jane Czyzselska (@czyzselska) from DIVA magazine (@DIVAmagazine). Other panellists included Rachel Morris, Anna Sansom, and Amanda Gay Love who put forward fascinating discussions on challenging gender binaries, changing bodies, and sexual practices. Meg contributed her expertise on this area by drawing from her well known work on Rewriting the Rules. Given the positive and inquisitive responses from the audience, it is likely that this will be on again next year.
Even though this event is in its fifth year and there are more and more women and families each year, there are still many LBT women who are unaware of its being. This year the event received funding from the Arts Council England in recognition of the creative contribution the festival makes to LBT communities to incorporate a creative arena which includes activities (e.g. pottery, wood carving, and weaving), work from 8 artists and a graffiti wall in collaboration with Nomad Clan Graffiti artists.
I feel extremely lucky to be part of such a wonderful event but as Ali Hendry commented before the finale to remind us of our obligations to maintain a feminist consciousness –
“I don’t want to feel lucky to have equality, we need to get to the stage where equality is a non-issue”.