EVENT REVIEW: Traffic MCR X Wonder Woman for Loose Lips
Loose Lips sent me down to Texture the other day to review an inspiring day and evening supporting a range of issues facing women today as well as celebrating some of the finest female talent in techno!
On Saturday the 6th of March, Loose Lips went down to Texture MCR – a relatively new Manchester venue and creative space – to check out an event put on by Manchester-based techno label Traffic, and feminist festival Wonder Women. The event was supported by a host of brilliant charities and organisations focused around a number of pressing issues that females face in all spectrums of modern life. Curated by Anne Louise Kershaw, Brandon M. Bizzle, and Freddie Aitken, the entire day was an eye-opening and insightful experience projected beautifully by the organisations present. With talks from various charities and organisations, as well as some very astute artwork on show, the day progressed into a heavy-hitting techno night with an impressively talented and strictly female line up.
It’s nigh on impossible to argue that the music industry isn’t a male-dominant sphere. While chatting with the lads from the Traffic MCR label, they highlighted that almost everybody they deal with in the business is male; whether club promoters, nightclub owners or DJs. Thus, it is high time to re-establish a gender balance in the club world.
Having a rare chance in the day to float about and chat with the attendees, we managed to talk to some of the artists who created some of the interesting and brilliant artworks designed to provoke thought and banish the stigma surrounding female club culture. Unforgetable was the Vashrina; a giant 7ft vagina with a shrine embedded within. Not really knowing how to approach this provocative piece, we spoke to the Vashrina creators, Tess and Sarah. Sarah explained how the idea originated as a shrine of a black woman depicting God, which ended up becoming the Vashrina, as is the natural path.
We also managed to catch up with artist Liv Graham, who created a display of 28 photos – each depicting a different day of the menstrual cycle – in an effort to beat the taboo on periods. A series of striking images by Fiona Finchett also covered the walls for her Alone//Lonely exhibit. Drawn from personal experiences, Finchett’s work explores identity and self-expression.
Alongside the impressive adorning artwork, a series of talks, films and exhibitions were scheduled throughout the day by multiple groups of inspirational charities and organisations. The key themes of woman’s equality and welfare remained at centre-stage, and the hard-hitting talks played homage to a whole spectrum of issues women face in contemporary life, such as homelessness, body image, and periods.
Over the course of the day, we were able to listen to a host of organisations. Among them, MASH MCR – a group protecting sex workers from all backgrounds – explained how they offer hot food, drinks, computers, a needle exchange service, and even complimentary therapy. In addition, we were introduced to The Monthly Gift, a charity that supports women’s sanity for the homeless, with branches in Nottingham and a new branch opening its doors on International Women’s Day. Each talk was as compelling as the last, with a series of videos highlighting the great work and support offered by the groups, with particularly poignant moments of women from Inspiring Change Manchester, who had been helped by the causes and the progression they have made with such groups’ unparalleled support.
Featuring a line-up of raw techno artists, with a conscious effort to keep things inclusive, the night lived up to all expectations. Kicking off at 10pm sharp with Glaswegian DJ WeeDoT, a Pie Radio resident, her blend of industrial and experimental techno started things off proper.
As the night went on, there was a strong mixture of close camaraderie and pure vibes; a room full of creatives of all genders, present to not only have a good time, but also to support a greater meaning.
Kerrie, well-known to regulars of Manchester’s Eastern Bloc Records, as well as anyone familiar with Manny night life, kept the crowd moving until daybreak with a carefully selected set that kept my waved ass dancing on and on. To finish the night, Oriel—ex-Adapt resident—delivered a hard-hitting set of dark grooves, proving exactly why she has shared booths with some of the biggest names in the game. Oriel completed a well-orchestrated and meaningful event in celebratory style.
This was an eye-opening event that raised awareness by talking about issues that most men don’t think twice about. A memorable quote from the day was, “Walways do what women always do; they cope and find it hard to reach out.” It’s funny because growing up with two women, I was never really aware of their struggles. Now, I can see their true strength in a world that still favours the male sex. Here’s to change. Viva La Revolution!
Remember, a lot of these organisations rely on donations and support from the public. Links to the participating individuals and organisations behind Wonder Woman are listed below: