Feminist Arts Festival comes to Glasgow

Rafiki among films screening

by Jennie Kermode

My Favourite Fabric
My Favourite Fabric Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Opening at the CCA tomorrow, the inaugural Glasgow Feminist Arts Festival will give film fans a further chance to see Kenyan Cannes hit Rafiki (aka Friend) as well as four other important films about women's lives. The Legend Of Ruby Pasha, My Favourite Fabric, Waru and The Owls round out the cinema line-up and there will also be a series of events.

Co-programmer Becca Harrison, who selected Syrian-set drama My Favourite Fabric and Lebanese short The Legend Of Ruby Pasha, says that she was keen to provide different perspectives on the way women live in Arabic cultures. "There are far more parallels with our lives here in the UK than we might think about," she says, comparing the former to multiple award winner Lady Bird. But she's keen to stress that the festival is a collaborative effort and that a conscious effort was made to ensure multiple people were involved in the selection process.

Rafiki
Rafiki

Alongside the films there will be evening dedicated to music, song, spoken word and performance by Scottish creative artists, and a women-only creative writing workshop based on the home movies of local filmmaker Nan Taggart.

"We're trying to make the event as inclusive as possible. We do have a couple of women only events because we wanted to try and create safe spaces for people, so the première films are showing twice - once in a big, open, inclusive space and once where we're thinking more about women just being comfortable in a space on their own," Harrison explains.

The organisers had originally planned to have more events but this didn't work out.

"The aim going forward is to increase the amount of other creative arts that we have as part of the programme," she says. "We really want to bring as many different creative women together as possible so that we can share work together and also have conversations about how to improve the quality of what we can do and strategies for ourselves to get our work out there."

Women interested in contributing to the festival in this way are invited to contact the team.

Harrison says that the ultimate aim is to create a network so that creative women can keep in touch. She's also hoping that the festival provides a route through which people can connect with and join conversations about feminism, and she's keen to emphasise that men are welcome to attend the open films and events because feminism can interest and benefit everybody. The festival has also made an effort to provide the best disability access it can on a low budget, with advice from supporters like the Scottish Queer International Film Festival. Accessibility notes are available on the website.

The festival is being held at the CCA from 16 to 18 November.

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