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Ladyfest Romania 2005 is a volunteer driven organization that both showcases women's artistic expression and shares ideas through music, spoken word, performance, film and video, exhibitions, panels and workshops. Our festival will be taking place in May 2005.

Ladyfest aims to show the talents of women artists. It saw the light of day in Olympia, US, in 2000. It has since developed into an international cultural festival, operating in many different countries in Europe and across the US. The first Ladyfest in Romania will happen between May 20th and 22nd, 2005. We are organizing Ladyfest because we want to promote female artists and musicians and because we believe that these ladies have something special to offer. It is our mission to create a unique, brilliant and diverse festival and to bring you some of the most innovative female artists from the underground, women who all present an alternative perception of women from that in mainstream culture, and who turn the concept of gender upside down.

We feel that providing a venue for women artists addresses and counters the obstacles and discrimination that women often face, including sexism, homophobia and racism. As part of the festival, we will be trying to address these issues in our workshops, along with encouraging a D.I.Y. (do it yourself), hands-on approach to skill sharing. We believe that political action can be fun and creative!

Ultimately, we hope Ladyfest Romania will inspire women everywhere to organize themselves and create similar spaces that allow women and their creativity to be seen and heard.

What's up with the word lady?

We’ve been thinking how to explain to other feminists why we as a feminist organization are using the word lady when it has the potential to be diminutive or degrading. In many political, social, and civil movements throughout history, disenfranchised people have taken words used against them by oppressive forces and reclaimed these words so that the oppressive forces no longer have the power to insult us with their language. We redefine their terms as an empowering and rebellious way of resisting. Words like Chicana, dyke, queer, fag, bitch, cunt, whore, etc. have been reclaimed and transformed into self-defining, pro-active terms. We by no means imply that all activists and/or feminists need to reclaim all negative language used against us. We recognize that some people prefer to eradicate the terms completely and create self-definitions from scratch. We completely respect and encourage this as well. Ladyfest is an organization made up of proud bearded ladies and intelligent ladies of the night. We are not ladies in waiting. We are not quiet, polite, submissive, or proper. We are guerrillas, womyn, grrrls, trannies, and our allies and friends. We live outside the sphere of patriarchally defined and approved self-expression. We are ladies by our own terms and when anyone uses the term lady to refer to us, we know who we are (even if they don’t), and that strength in self-knowledge outweighs any sexist, demeaning, discriminating, or otherwise intended marginalization.

from the Ladyfest Out West FAQ