Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/533/4105
Ladyfest: culture, politics and women
From 9-11 May Camden in London saw visitors from all over Britain, but also from other parts of the world. Ladyfest London 2008 aimed "to provide a platform for women's talents in music, art, comedy, photography, film, debate, written and spoken word, etc".
Anne Engelhardt, Hackney Socialist Party
As Socialist Women we booked a stall and had many interesting discussions about the need for socialist change. A lot of, mainly young, women and a few men participated in workshops about the music business, self defence and transgender issues and also on issues such as women in prison and abortion rights.
Many were interested in political ideas, debating about abortion rights but also how to organise against social cuts in the health service and education, and how to build a movement. The vast majority opposed the upcoming proposal to reduce the time limit for abortion and we mobilised for the Abortion Rights protest on 20 May. We sold copies of The Socialist and of Marxism and Science, the Communist Manifesto and Socialism Today.
We also campaigned against the BNP, displaying the articles about our recent anti-BNP protest from the Metro and The London Paper.
Ladyfest finished in the Underworld in Camden, with great comedians and amazing women bands: punk music by 'Betty and the Werewolves', rock á la Blondie by 'The Priscillas' and a really drop-dead excellent a cappella band: 'Peggy Sue and the Pirates'.
Ladyfest is based on the idea of a mix of political and cultural events for women to discuss, network and celebrate. Volunteers organise and perform during the three days. Any profits are donated to women's charities and organisations.
The desperate straits of these organisations were shown clearly when we discussed with a woman who worked for a charity for rape victims who has just seen her working hours halved.
Given this, she expressed an interest in attending Socialist Party meetings and joining the struggle for a socialist world where women don't face violence and oppression.
In The Socialist 14 May 2008:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party review