When I was a baby feminist in the late 80s, in Ohio, MichFest was talked about as a feminist institution in my circles, like Ms Magazine (Ms was better then and I was infinitely more naive) or Off Our Backs, Take Back the Night Marches and Croning Ceremonies. I was privileged to see Andrea Dworkin speak at my college at the height of her and Catharine MacKinnon’s work to hold pornographers legally accountable for the harms they contribute to.
Just in the last few years I’ve had enough self-confidence, longing, and resources to actually participate in MichFest. This is the first year I got serious about planning to go, and then, like many other women, I became determined to go after the announcement that this would be the last Fest in its current incarnation. But life intervened. I have to work that week and there isn’t an option to say no without damaging relationships at work.
So, with gratitude for being in a position to help, I donated some of the money it would have cost me to go to the Festival. In this way I can participate in spirit, which is no substitute for what I have read about the MichFest experience: the feel of Women’s Land, the sensory overload, and the connections happening in real time with a glorious variety of women. Still, it’s better than nothing, and I am grateful.
I’m especially sad about missing the blog meet-up, which antilla-dean.tumblr.com is (co?) organizing–info about it will be on the printed program you get at the gate, she says! All of her entries about MichFest and what will come after MichFest have been lovely, by the way. But I have a comforting sense of anticipation and look forward to reading about the amazing and inspiring, “spinning and sparking”, fortifying and nurturing, celebrating and mourning, happenings on the Land.