Lesbian Conference (Lesbian Feminist Treffin) in Cologne.
Updated: Aug 31
In June 2019 the 43 rd Lesbian Spring Meeting (LFT) met in Cologne. The theme was to look up at the stars, where we have come from, what can come and what do we wish for. With two eventful years behind them there were almost as many topics as there are stars in the sky. A special small star (klitzekleine stein) was behind the L and the organizers felt they were on a tightrope walk with its critics on the one side who said they were too closed and the ones on the other side argued we were too open. The organizers did not want a meeting called “queer” since many of those groups exist. However they wanted to be open to women who may not call themselves “lesbian”.
The organizers wanted to preserve, keep up and even develop what has grown for a long timeand has been built by many women in the past. So they wanted a space for “women who love women”.
They planned for the LFT to be in a place where appreciating dialogues could take place about diversity and similarities where a march for diverse and solidarity of lesbians. The programme for the 1000 attendees was very full running from Friday evening until Monday 1pm. It all began with an official opening and a documentary film of the 70’s, a concert and then a Dance party. After breakfast on Saturday there was an opening plenary by the organizers, then lesbian TV from the 90’s, the music from the 1978 “Flying Lesbians” (Charlotte Museum has a sound track) and preparation for the 2pm March with a DIY radical cheerleading workshop and placard making.
The workshops over the weekend included singing and voice training, your strong self in relationship, the inner clown, the personal is political, Dyke Power, gender pay gap, fire making, sex when older, theatre improvisation, post digital, lesbians going right wing, pedophilic lesbians, gender as performance, feminist therapy, personal development, single lesbians, country lesbians, lesbian mothers, just juggling, feminist pornography for lesbians, radical feminist view of gender, safe sex, and the construction of identity.
There was a Weeds For Health Walk.
There were facilitated discussions on Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble’, You Make The World, Jewish Lesbians, Critique of Psychiatric Treatment (reading from a book), 1970’s and 80’s activism, Lesbian with children, Lesbians in Gambia and an intergenerational discussion. In the evenings there were cabaret, performances, film on body shaming and a sexuality documentary and then a Dance Party each night.
Activities for children were organized.
Stalls included crafts, the Tarot, Silverweed Matriarchal Culture, Dream Smoke, exhibitions, sculpture, natural healing, old lesbian songs, and a travelling house workshop. The conference was new to some and for others a great catch up reminding me of events at the Charlotte Museum.