January 19th saw FEM Zine’s first event. FEM Festival was the opportunity to expand beyond the boundaries of our print zine, and showcase film and performance that lifts, questions and enriches our print content. 150 people filled Stour Space at Hackney Wick to watch beautiful women and femmes from the first issue and elsewhere to speak, sing and celebrate the growth of our intersectional platform.  

The first viewing of the night was the release of FEM Films Volume I; a series of films produced by our founder, Mia Maxwell, for the festival. Each was filmed by a different femme filmmaker and featured a femme creative. The films became a collaboration between director and subject, as well as between FEM and the filmmaker, and are radically different from one another. The series, which explores how women present as creative people, can be viewed in our ‘films’ section. The night’s first half was linked to the theme of our first zine, ‘Women and Hair’. Alice Edwards and Yasmin Roye read their pieces from the issue, Girls On Film showed two stunning pieces about mixed-race and black hair and personal identity, before this half was closed spectacularly by performance poetry group 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE, who made us laugh, cry, and think. 

The rest of the night looked forward to our next issue; ‘Night Life’. The films screened, made by Shem Sylvester, Lo Harley and Fxck Conformity magazine, can be viewed in our ‘films’ section. Artist and activist Liv Wynter then brought the house down with a now rare performance of her poetry which rounded off the performances in the main room.

There was music by rapper/producer Gegge, before a disco dj set from Tony Cupac and Angus Higgins into the night.

Once again, thank you to everyone who came and partied with us; and to all of our performers and filmmakers, your talent and energy was the reason for the festival, and for more events in the future. Endless thanks go to Stour Space for making us feel so welcome and supported, and to Karma Cola for providing their organic, ethically manufactured soft drinks for the night!

Mia Maxwell: http://miamaxwelll.com / @miamaxwelll

Alice Edwards: https://alcedwrds.wordpress.com/

Girls On Film: https://www.girlsonfilmldn.com / @girlsonfilmldn on Instagram

4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE: @sunnahkhanwrites / @4browngirlswhowrite 

Shem Sylvester: @shemyyy_ / https://www.shemyyy.com

Lo Harley: @lo_lee_taaa

Fxck Conformity: http://conformitymag.co.uk/ / @fxckconformity

Liv Wynter: @livresearch / @livwynter

Gegge: @sqilorgeggz / https://soundcloud.com/gegge-t-adeyemi

Stour Space: http://www.stourspace.co.uk/

Karma Cola: https://www.karmacola.co.uk