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Bring: Thinking caps and dancing shoes
Found Festival 2014
A festival with a difference, Found Festival recommends donning both thinking caps and dancing shoes when attending the festival, which is being held between 17 and 25 May 2014 at Abbotsford Convent.
This multi-platform arts event features performances by over 80 artists, comedians, performers, musicians, academics and workshop hosts in the on-site bar and Laundry space.
Dedicated to the millions of women living in torture, slavery and abuse around the world; this festival definitely has a serious side – it seeks to "champion the voices and actions of contemporary women by situating art and performance practise at the forefront of a social avalanche toward equal rights in an increasingly globalised world network", according to Found Festival's website.
Drawing on the history of the site of the festival – a now defunct Magdalen Laundry at The Abbotsford Convent, which for 100 years operated as a prison for women who were deemed 'lost and wayward' – Found Festival is based around inclusivity, celebration and a recognition of the power of positive action, according to the festival's Facebook page.
The Magdalen Laundry at The Abbotsford Convent operated as a prison for women who were deemed 'lost and wayward' for 100 years.
Found Festival's website notes that the aim of the festival is to nurture a community of practice that operates with integrity, inclusivity and sensitivity to cultural, generational and economic divides, adding that "by inviting cross sector partners, artists, performers, academics and the audience to look deeply at our past, we consider how our actions now might shape the future".
While drawing attention to these serious issues, Found Festival's program is silly, crass, harsh, spiritual, intelligent, funny and raunchy. This is because that is the history that they sought to erase, according to the festival's website, which states that "if we choose not to stop apologising for being these things, eventually we will stop being expected to".
Described as "cultural activism towards learning based inclusivity", the festival welcomes everyone, including the strange, the absurd, the malaligned, the outliers and the deviants.
The program includes:
DAY 1 (17 May) The Ass Liberation Front, which is dedicated to the emancipation of booty Bam Bam, a feminist performance artist specialising in sideshow and burlesque
Power pop group, The Pink Tiles
DJ Miss Goldie
Carly Fern, member of self-expressionist collective, Awkward/Amazing
Bubble Boys Go-Go
DAY 2 (18 May)
Cherchez la Femme, a talkshow that explores pop culture and current affairs from an unapologetically feminist perspective
Valhalla Social Cinema Double Bill, which features screenings of Daisies and Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
DAY 3&5 (19 and 21 May)
Laneway Learning workshops, with classes including A Fresh Look at Everyday Feminism by Kate Iselin; Braiding: It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3 by with Theresa Winters; and More than Muses. A History of Women Making Art by Sophia Dacy-Cole
DAY 4 (20 May)
Petty Intrigue Salon, which comprises talks by Clem Bastow, Dr Lucy Ward, The Art Therapy Alliance, Mairead Phillips, Ros Almond and Laura Saxton on topics such as philosophy and the shape of contemporary feminism, definitions of femininity and doing 'woman' wrong, and women's writing as a genre
DAY 8 (24 May)
Ungodly!, the festival's closing night party, which will include Brunswick Women's Choir singing operatic versions of pop songs; three curated acts – Death, Life & the Ever After (Life) – and an open dance floor