When Los Angeles based therapist and activist Laura J. Wise created the feminist festival MOTHERSHIP three years ago, her vision for the event was more than just a weekend of camping in the desert with other women.
“The sharing of stories and experiences is empowering,” said Wise, “I think a lot of women don’t realize how isolated they are in their experiences of sexism, racism, etc. Or maybe they don’t even realize how permeating these inequalities are in our culture. When you come to MOTHERSHIP and men are removed from the equation, it becomes glaringly obvious how special and important these spaces are. It’s magical to watch women bloom in a safe space like this.”
Although women’s retreats and festivals have always been somewhat of a staple in the feminist movement, these events seem few and far between these days, yet now more than ever, they are vital in keeping up the fight for women’s rights, as well as providing a place for women to come together in a loving, judgement free space.
“I think existence is resistance,” Wise said, “We are stronger and louder when we gather together. While our festival is intended to be fun, there is power in gathering, learning and celebrating as women in spaces that certain members of our government would rather did not exist at all.”
Your experience at MOTHERSHIP can be whatever you want it to be. During the day, you can spend time attending various workshops and panel discussions, take a dip in the beautiful lake on the campgrounds, eat delicious food from various local food trucks, or cook out at your own private campsite.
“We have everything from yoga and self-defense to BDSM workshops and a special panel with Tegan and Sara,” Wise said. “We also are welcoming Tasya Van Ree and Whitney Mixter on panels this year. Lots of powerful women from different bubbles are going to be in one place at the same time. It’s exciting!”
When the sun sets, you can dance the night away to the all-female line up of musicians and DJ’s.
“We’re so excited to welcome back Madame Gandhi, her song “The Future is Female” was essentially the anthem of the women’s march,” said Wise, “We’ve got Faarrow, two pop singers who are refugees from Somalia. Model, Madison Paige will also be doing an acoustic set. We have some incredibly brave and unique talent this year. It’s going to be one for the books.”
As a way to give back to the community, each year MOTHERSHIP donates a portion of their ticket sales to a non-profit and this year, they have partnered with Tegan and Sara Foundation, an organization that fights for economic justice, health, and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.
“We partner with a new organization that benefits women in some way each year,” Wise said, “Last year was #happyperiod and they provide period supplies to homeless women in Los Angeles. This year, we chose the Tegan and Sara foundation because the twins have been such advocates for social justice and we knew their mission-aligned with ours.”
“Now more than ever, we are using our platforms to promote positivity in our community and we’re thrilled to be able to do that at MOTHERSHIP this year,” said Tegan and Sara to GO Magazine.
Mothership is from October 13-15 in Coachella Valley, CA and open to all people who identify partially or wholly as women/womxn, and who want to celebrate feminism.
“We so desperately needed a special women’s festival again,” said Wise, “It’s 2017, the orange cheeto is president, and ALL WOMEN need a safe space to escape that, regroup and relax.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.mothershipfest.com.