The Feminist Writers Festival is happening this year in Melbourne in May.
The Feminist Writers Festival takes place in Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust in Melbourne, Australia. The theme this year is “Rewriting the Story” and as described on their website:
“Rewriting the Story invites you to explore feminist thinking and writing now. Discover how feminist writers in Australia are using words to make change, creating powerful personal and political narratives, and choosing stories over silence. Hear how feminist writers are tackling topics of violence against women, activism and advocacy, and how women actively mentor one another, sustain feminist voices, come together and break the silence. Learn about skilling up, inclusivity, creating communities and working towards change.”
For all sessions and workshops check follow the link below:
FWF 2018: Rewriting the Story
Created this jpg this morning as the thought has been running around in my head for a while now and its become my personal motto!
(C) T. Altman 2017
“Your writing starts with a vision – a dream.
A belief that you need to put down what you are seeing in your mind.
It drives you and inspires you…this vision.
It makes you want to feel something as you are passionate about the process.”
(C) T. Altman 2017
In December, I went on a trip to Brisbane for a conference and took some extra days off either side, to be able to further acquaint myself with the city.
Even though I’d been to Brisbane a few times before, it had been years and the city has changed into a sprawling modern metropolis with more things to do and see.
I found my time being spent walking around the city most mornings before the mercury got too high. I would then retreat to the comfort of my hotel room in the afternoon to read and write.
During one of my daily flaneusing trips, I came across the “Literary Trail” scattered throughout Brisbane which I thought was quite beautiful and a great tribute to the city’s poets:
These walks were just what I needed to reinvigorate me with my passion for poetry and short story writing.
(c) T. Altman 2017
Up until recent years, I used to walk around the city, alone – all the time.
I used to work in the CBD (Central Business District) and other than walking to and from my office building, I would spend lunchtimes and after business hours walking around the streets of Melbourne.
I was engaged in the city whilst observing it – two polarities joined.
Sometimes I felt like the untethered explorer, whilst other times I felt a foreboding danger and retreated to the safety of a heavy populated cafe or shopping district.
During these times I would sometimes jump on and off trams and trains to see what I could find. Sometimes, I would discover some well known artist’s graffiti on a brick wall or an independent retailer selling exotic homemade wares and even a budding musician busking in a underground train-station.
Now, I make an effort to go into the city and visit certain landmarks with purpose. I am more aware of my surroundings as I take precaution whilst observing as much as I can take in, for inspiration. I never knew how important it was for me to walk, observe and use that to fuel my imagination until I stopped and then went back to it. I didn’t realise that like some of my favourite authors, I am a Flaneuse and my hometown is my muse.
(c) T. Altman 2016
Its taken a while but I have learned to separate the art from the artist. When it comes to artist’s work – its not about you and your perceptions of the creator but the work itself.
I used to project all my expectations on artists due to how I perceived them through their work, which ultimately they didn’t live up to because humans are fallible and not perfect (same goes for the rest of us).
I’m making this in reference to some of my favourite writers whose life choices, behaviours and personal feelings I do not agree with yet their artistry speaks to me.
For eg. Lord Byron, a chronicled misogynist whose poems touch me, yet as a feminist his behaviour and comments towards women…not so much!
So next time you judge someone’s work because of their character – step back and separate yourself from it. View it from a completely neutral perspective and who knows? You might like it!
Was discussing poetry and other forms of artistic expression with one of my younger friends who “gets it” and during this to and fro, introduced her to one of my favorites which she’d never heard of before and I shared why I loved her and what called to me. During the conversation I brought up how she took her own life like a few of my other favorite writers and realized most of my favorite artists have suffered from the big black dog.
For those of you who are artists of any kind – take hope there is more of us than you realize and even though you feel alone, you’re not. Dont give up! Using art to express what you are going through is beneficial not for your own sanity but for those who drink from the water-bowl of the big black dog.
I came across this list on famous artists who struggled with the black dog’s barking and its a pretty good one. I do however feel they should of included some of my other favorites like Dylan Thomas, Anne Sexton, Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson.
This surrealist’s art has always made me wonder at the “characters” within his art. They speak to me of places I’m too wary to travel to, whilst giving me insight into the complex nature of his perception of life.
This is my favourite Dali piece which is titled “Woman Aflame” .
It helps me momentary escape and explore infinite possibilities as a woman as I compartmentalize my responsibilities and dreams…I might be held up to society’s standards but that is just a crutch which I use to propel myself forward.