Breast-baring t-shirt and twerking workshops at the Female Festival

Odense event will especially draw attention to how women are portrayed in the entertainment industry

For Christmas 2015, Odense Ungdomshus hosted a workshop where participants could get designs and images printed on a t-shirt.

After starting to learn about feminism and body positivity, specifically the ‘free the nipple’ movement, Asja Karkov made a t-shirt printed with a photo of her own breasts.

This Friday through Sunday, someone may find more breast-baring shirts during Odense’s inaugural Female Festival, as the event features a workshop devoted to making them.

More than t-shirts
“I hope people will do it,” Karkov, a student at Odense Katedralskole and one of the women organising the festival, told CPH POST.

“I don’t know if people want to do it because it … can be a little uncomfortable wearing your own boobs on your t-shirt if you’re not used to it.”

The festival, which costs 100 kroner to attend on all three days or 50 kroner for just one day, offers more than just t-shirt making. The weekend includes musical entertainment, workshops, speakers and opportunities to debate and discuss aspects of feminism.

“Maybe we don’t agree on everything, but that’s fine – we just want to debate it and make awareness about it,” Karkov added. “We can’t change anything if we just stand there being angry at everyone who doesn’t feel the same way that we do.”

Gender identity, life as a refugee and twerking
The festival has been organised by Ungdomshuset (Nørregade 60, Odense), and programming starts at 17:00 according to the festival’s website.

The variety of speakers at the Female Festival include a refugee speaking about what it is like to be a refugee in Denmark and a man elaborating on gender identity.

“It’s for everyone,” added Katrine Sønderborg, another festival organiser. “(It is) not just for girls.”

Sønderborg said she is excited that people are getting together to learn about a lot of different topics.

When planning the festival, Karkov added, ideas had to be cut back because there were so many topics the organisers wanted to address.

As for workshops, Twerk Queen Louise, a feminist blogger, will teach participants how to twerk and explain the feminism of twerking. The festival also offers performances from female artists and a comedian.

The festival planners hope the event will result in more focus on women in the entertainment industry.

Empowering women
Linea Klementsen, a student at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, said she had not heard about the festival but understands reasons why it is being held.

“There is a lot about feminism in the newspapers and the media,” Klementsen said.

She added that with proper advertising the festival could draw a turnout.

Sofie Eller, a student at Odense Katedralskole, said her and a friend decided to volunteer at the festival because they were “so excited” to participate. She said she is especially interested in the debates about female sexuality.

“I think it’s really unique and very interesting that Odense is having this festival,” Eller added.

Karkow said the organisers hope to sell around 100 tickets.

“We want to show people that there are a lot of talented women and to empower women to do what they want to do and to show some role models for young women because there aren’t that many in the media,” Karkov said.

The full schedule of events is listed on the festival’s website.

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