EVENT: Feminist Workshops – 8th Oct 16 @ Central Methodist Buildings, Oldham St, MCR

Ladyfest MCR presents a series of talks, workshops and debates covering issues relevant to the lives of women in Manchester in the 21st century.

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Ladyfest Manchester will host a number of empowering and wide ranging topical debates, discussions and workshops about issues which affect women on a daily basis within their immediate and wider communities. All delivered by expert and knowledgeable self-defining women and non-binary people in their field.

To attend the workshops simply attend the event at Central Methodist Building, Oldham St, Manchester from 12-6pm on Sat 8th October and sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. There are up to 35 spaces per workshop so we hope to accomodate as many people as possible. Workshops are open to participants of all genders, however in the event of oversubcription we encourage male participants to step aside and allow women and non-binary participants to take their place. Some workshops due to the sensitive nature of discussions , for examples being related to experiences of abuse and violence, may at the facilitator’s request be open to self-defining women and non-binary participants only, this will be made clear in advance.

The building has wheelchair access to all floors. There is a platform lift at the main entrance and a lift to all floors in the foyer. Toilets and baby-changing facilities are available within the building. Accompanied children are welcome to attend all workshops unless stated otherwise.

Entry to all the workshops are free, however we encourage donations to keep this well needed festival running in Manchester.

‘Exploring Consent, Social Media and Sexism through Collective Creation’                Together we will be exploring how the presence of sexism on social media platforms blurs different boundaries by looking at trolling, contexts of Tumblr & Twitter vs Bebo and Myspace, issues of consent in online spaces and dating apps and cybersex. This workshop is based on discussion and arts and finishes with the collective creation of a physical social media community platform. Join sexual consent researcher Chelsea Murphy and community artist Carina Ripley for this workshop as part of Ladyfest Manchester 2016.
16+ only.

‘Queers Against the Prison Industrial Complex’                                                                                  CONTENT WARNING – In this workshop we will discuss prison conditions, including references to death and multiple types of violence.                                                                           As the government makes deeper and deeper cuts to the NHS and other vital services they funnel more money into incarceration, with proposals to build 9 new “Mega Prisons” across England and Wales by 2020. LGBTQ people face disproportionate rates of imprisonment as well as specific cruelty such as the housing of trans women in men’s prisons which led to the deaths of two women last year alone. Join the struggle against the prison profiteers and help build stronger communities instead of more prisons!

‘Trans and Nonbinary experiences as a Feminist’                                                                            Jess Bradley, director of Action for Trans Health, the UKs largest campaign for democratic trans healthcare will look through the lens of trans healthcare. This participatory workshop explores trans and nonbinary experiences as a feminist issue and what you can do to ensure feminist movements are trans inclusive.

“Reproductive Justice and Freedom”                                                                                                  What is reproductive justice, or (as some of us prefer) reproductive freedom? What is “social reproduction” and how could we liberate it on our terms? In this discussion we’ll be thinking about what a society would look like in which all generations can thrive, and what it means to fight for it. Everywhere in the world, abortion rights and access are being destroyed; trans and queer healthcare is being denied; services around maternity, child care and domestic violence are slashed as a result of austerity policies; working-class communities’ environments are poisoned; women are still forcibly sterilized in prison; migrants’ reproductive rights are crushed; and children in racialized communities are murderously policed and structurally punished. For the women-of-colour feminists who have led the struggle (e.g. the US-based SisterSong collective), all these issues and more come under the banner for reproductive justice and freedom. We’ll give a brief presentation to get the discussion rolling and then turn our attention to movements that are active today, including in the north of England. Gwyneth and Sophie are both activists with Feminist Fightback and other groups, as well as researchers on issues of reproductive justice. Gwyneth in particular has focused on migrant women and austerity; Sophie has focused more on so-called reproductive technologies.

‘Women, Race and Resistance’                                                                                                                  By Karis Campion, ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), Sociology,The University of Manchester                                                                                                                 Women have historically and continue to be key players in resistance and struggle around the world. However they are often written out of these stories or their significance within them is not celebrated enough. This of course is tied in to the generic positioning of women in our patriarchal societies as second to men. For racialised women however, this positioning is complicated further. As a result of their complex identities, sexism manifests itself in various ways and so the risk is that racialised womens’ power in resistance, struggle and change is muffled through sexism and through racism. In this workshop, we will unpack how those complex identities are actually powerful agents for change and equip racialised women with the tools needed to deconstruct oppressive white, male hegemonic structures. The experience of misogynoir for Black women, Islamophobia for Muslim women, anti-immigration rhetoric for new non-white women migrants keeps them all alert, woke and passionate to resist. Join us in debate.

‘Ending violence against Sex Workers’                                                                                                This year we are fortunate to have the Manchester based organisation Ugly Mugs who will come and discuss the valuable work they carry out with sex workers. National Ugly Mugs is a pioneering, national organisation which provides greater access to justice and protection for sex workers who are often targeted by dangerous individuals but are frequently reluctant to report these incidents to the police. These offenders are often serial sexual predators who pose a huge risk to the public as a whole. Our Mission: Ending Violence Against Sex Workers. https://uknswp.org/um/

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