Michfest is such a unique experience that it is near impossible to talk about with folks who haven't actually experienced it. Quite honestly, it makes people uncomfortable. For up to 7 days, you are immersed in a women-only, primarily queer space, feasting on non-stop music, workshops, healthy food, and more. It is a place to recharge, an entity to run to after dealing with the bullshit (politics, misogyny, homophobia) of the world the whole other 358 days of the year.
When you take the experiences home and talk about them, more often than not, it just results in frustrations because people JUST DON'T GET IT. They roll their eyes and call it a dykefest. Or they stereotype it as crazy goddess-heady women running around topless in the woods. Or they box it into "a festival of angry women." And yeah, it actually IS all of these things. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. It's a big space. A space that turns all your notions on their head. A space that reminds you that, yeah, shit still ain't perfect for folks who aren't straight white males, and THAT'S BULLSHIT. And sometimes it's really just good to be reminded of that.
Since the ineffability of this year's experience was pretty strong, I instead share it with you through pictures. (And my apologies. I got so swept up in the fun of the week that I forgot to take pics of a lot of the meals. BUT YOU WILL DEAL.)
Hope you enjoy.
FOOD AT THE FESTIVAL
(Many recipes can be found HERE if you're interested)
Food is served cafeteria-style. You bring your own plates and utensils and use them all week (hence the lovely compartmental tupperware featured in all my pics).
Scrambled eggs on Wednesday & Friday, scrambled tofu* on Thursday, and huevos rancheros on Sunday. Fruit*, granola, yogurt, bread (or sometimes rice cakes*), peanut butter* and tahini* are provided every day as well.
Lots 'o Fixings*
Tuscan White Bean Salad*
Banana Yogurt Raita
Cous Cous Salad*
Penne Pasta Puttanesca*
(Vegan option: Black beans*)
*Vegan (or with vegan options)
WORKSHOPS I TOOK
YOGA, BEGINNING (10am-11:30am)
Enjoy gentle stretching, relaxation, and breath training uniting your body, mind and spirit.
CHANGE YOUR BREATH, CHANGE YOUR LIFE (2:30pm-4pm)
Pranayama is often defined as breath control, and its true meaning is "life expansion." Come and learn how to change your life with breathing.
WOMEN'S STUDIES TODAY (9am-10:30am)
What's up with women's studies today? Bring your experiences, insights and questions. Discussion lead by womyn with graduate degrees.
There is no longer a women's movement - but its ideas and projects live on. Converse with us.
WOMYN BUSINESS OWNERS (2:30pm-4:30pm)
If you have an old or new business, or are interested in starting one, come share, and network your ideas/experiences/tips with others.
PERFORMANCES WE SAW
- Yang Ying
- The Vagina Monologues (performed by Alix Olson, Staceyann Chin, Marga Gomez, and Elvira Kurt, w/special guest C. C. Carter)
- Hanifah Walidah
- Ferron and Bitch
- Von Iva
- Ellis with Anne Heaton
- Natalia Zukerman
- Isle of Klezbos
- Erin McKeown (whom I still would like to marry, thank you and please)
- Toshi Reagon and Big Lovely
- emma's revolution
- Holly Near
- Laura Love and HarpersFerry
- Patty Larkin
- Antigone Four
- Chix Lix Flix (a compendium of songs from films as performed by all the night-stage musicians and more)
- Comedy w/ Sandra Valls
- The Drumsong Orchestra
- One World Inspirational Choir
Hip Hop at High Noon:
(There were many other performances that, due to timing of workshops, I managed to miss. But you can read about the rest HERE. Also worth noting is my favoritest of MC's, Elvira Kurt who is funny as shit.)