Inky Goings On.

Hanging Out With Germaine
30 April, 2008, 1:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Taking a break from the never-ending essays, I met up with some members of Birmingham Feminists and headed to Sheffield for the FEM08 conference. This a free conference set up on a shoestring budget that is now in its fourth year. On arrival, a friend who was volunteering ran up to me shouting “Why aren’t you knitting?” and dragged me in the direction of the Oxfam stall. I’m sure some of you in the UK will have heard of the Oxfam “Blanket for Maternal Mortality” project, which aims to get knitters to send in 9inx9in squares to be presented to the Prime Minister when it’s finished. Oxfam had cleverly set up a stall to explain the motives behind the project, along with a suitcase full of needles and wool for people to knit squares through the sessions. And for the non-knitters, they had bizarre looms, as demonstrated by the lovely Clare:

Clare got the hang of it relatively quickly and produced two squares to my poxy one. She even knitted several rows on the arm of my jumper on the train home. So the conference was excellent, both in terms of content, with numerous seminars and workshops on topics ranging from Pornography, Lapdancing Clubs to media, but the highlight (aside from seeing over a hundred people knitting in a room) was this woman’s fantastic speech:

Shoddy phone photo, but GERMAINE GREER! She spoke for an hour without notes, just on things she feels strongly about culturally and in the news at the moment. And whilst I didn’t agree with everything she said (we took apart her thoughts on the HPV vaccine in the pub post-conference), her delivery and confidence was astounding and completely inspiring. She’s such an incredible public speaker. Note my friend Amy sat immediately in front of me, knitting the Boogie vest from Knitty whilst listening to Greer.

Such a great experience. Now I just have to finish these essays and figure out what to do with all this tofu:


4 Comments so far
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Wow, Germaine Greer? Her writing has such an incredible voice, I can’t imagine how awesome she was in public. So cool!

And fry it up? That’s about all I know how to do with tofu.

Comment by mick

Greer is against the HPV vaccine? SAD SMILEY FACE. But she is an astonishing speaker – I saw her speak on Romeo and Juliet once, and her force of personality and warm wit are captivating, even when the thinking is a bit wobbly.

Comment by SRW

Yay, I did some knitting too. I was actually a first time knitter but my Mum and friend helped me to get the hang of it! Incidentally, you have a photo of the back of my friends head with red hair 😀 Germaine was fantastic..I was in awe really.

Comment by Liz

Aha, we have a friend in common then, as it is indeed Amy (I’m doing the MA course with her) 🙂

Comment by Liz

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