Ladyfest: Material histories of everyday feminist art production

Red Chidgey, Rosa Reitsamer, Elke Zobl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The following piece is a discussion, crafted into a performative dialogue, that took place in person and via email in Spring 2009 between Red Chidgey, a feminist activist historian and previous Ladyfest organizer; Rosa Reitsamer, a feminist sociologist, writer and DJ; and Elke Zobl, a feminist cultural researcher currently curating a digital archive on grassroots feminisms. In this piece, we see feminist visual ephemera, as Liz McQuiston has suggested as 'the agents and carriers of the ongoing call for change. Every battle needs identifiable heralds and uniforms; every propaganda campaign needs its visual aids and and modes of dissemination: every communications network needs graphic or electronic formats through which to talk and exchange information.' This piece explores how the visual ephemera of the transnational contemporary "third wave" feminist movement- in particular the contemporary art, activism and music Ladyfest festivals - can be read as producing feminist and material histories.
We believe Ladyfest ephemera, when approached critically, can speak eloquently about the conditions of production within the contemporary women's movement and the shifting articulations of gender/sexuality/race in its representational frame. Our insights on these topics are presented here as an auto-fictive conversation: generated b our individual experiences and exchanges, yet presented collectively as three characters (and here we admit we're cribbing from the Guerilla Girls, these are all names f dead women artists): Claude Cahun (France), Clementine Hunter (USA) and Joyce Wieland (Canada). In this slightly experimental format, we ope to pay homage to the working methods of grassroots, feminist networks; a network which produces collaborative, often anonymous texts or images, as gifts to the community, and which fosters an inherent celebration of female and queer creativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Journaln.paradoxa
Volume24
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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