At Ladyfest Brussels in 2016 I met Madda. We both participated in the animation film workshop and were both not so fluent in French, so we formed a team to make a little stop motion film together. Madda felt so inspired by Ladyfest Brussels that she wanted to bring Ladyfest to her town, Maastricht. And so she did. Together with other local feminists she organised Ladyfest Maastricht in the Madril squat on May 6-7th 2017. That’s the cool thing about ladyfests: you can organise your own, all diy, even if you’ve never organised a festival or feminist event before!
I had only been to Madril once briefly when I was given a guided tour of the building by some of the ladyfest organisers. It is a squatted building, once part of a factory producing rubber. Now it houses artists’ work spaces, a café, a library, and a yoga room. In the basement there is a concert space and outside there is a little garden. Everyone is invited to start their own projects as the idea of the squat is that once you enter it, you are a volunteer making this free space possible.
One such project is Ladyfest. This feminist DIY festival has happened all over the world in various cities and countries since the year 2000 and can be organised by anyone sharing its main ideas. This was the first one ever in Maastricht. It was spread over a weekend and included workshops (on bicycle repair, zines, and more), talks/discussions (on afro feminism, anarcha-feminism, witchcraft, and more), music (on Saturday I saw the Vaporellas from Brussels and Sans Gene from Cologne), poetry, and visual art. Sounds like a perfect weekend out, doesn’t it?
For this Ladyfest, Madda had invited me to do a zine workshop and I asked my friend Megan who’s an amazing zine maker and artist to join me. It was so nice to travel with her on the train and spend the weekend at the festival. The zine workshop that we did went really well. Lots of people enthusiastically participated and we created a huge creative full-colour zine together. You can download it here. We were very pleased and proud!
Here you can see some photos takes at the festival (of the bands and the art):