October 30, 2012

IconSapphormation, Manchester’s newest queer festival

Alternative hip hop band Ajah

Workshops on sound engineering, sex, comedy and poetry (not all at the same time); discussions about children’s stories and lesbian parenting; a bicycle tour of women’s history in Manchester, a Pussy Riot smartmob; Manchester will be treated to something slightly different next week (3-4 November 2012).

We spoke to organiser Amelia Lee to find out a bit more about new festival Sapphormation.

What is Sapphormation?

Sapphormation is a festival for women who love women, who also like to think, discuss, debate, try new activities, experience culture and basically do a lot more than the usual things found on the gay scene (which frequently exclude many more women than they include).

Who’s it for?

This festival is for women who love women (self define this as you see fit, we definitely wanted it to be more inclusive than just ‘lesbian’ or even ‘lesbian and bisexual women’).

The festival includes trans women who love women, and we wanted to spell this out to make sure all trans women know that they are very welcome at all the events.

The event is not for men or for women who do not love women, although some events are LGBTQ such as Rapture Club Night and the Rainbow Families event, the main ethos of the festival is to have some precious women-only space.

Why do we need events like Sapphormation?

There are a lot of issues that affect women who love women, that we don’t always have a chance to explore.

Things like dealing with ‘multiple identities’ – being working class and bisexual, for example, or identifying as a lesbian who is also a mother, and who also has a disability.

We thought it was important to have a chance for women who love women to get together, think and talk about issues that affected them, outside of the narrow scope of clubs and pubs in the gay village.

What are you personally looking forward to the most out of all the events on the programme?

I can’t wait for the ‘Les-Bi Clear About This’ panel debate and question time. We have some real superstars of our community represented at it, so expect some lively discussion!

 Sapphormation takes place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th November 2012, at venues around Manchester, UK. It is free to attend, but booking is recommended as some sessions have very limited availability. 


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Milly Shaw


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