In the early 20th century, 'magdalen' or 'magdelene' laundries sprung up across Ireland, imprisoning wayward young girls who were then enslaved into labour, to fund the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the reach spread as far as Australia, with one laundry remaining in tact in Abbotsford Convent. And now it's being reclaimed, with a festival that's all about empowering women. This nine-day multi-platform arts event will gather over 100 artists, comedians, performances, musicians and speakers to focus on issues of women's empowerment.
In addition to the thought-provoking arts program, Found Festival – in conjunction with Karen Pickering's Cherchez La Femme pop culture digest, Valhalla Social Cinema, Laneway Learning and others – will host a range of screenings, workshops and discussions. At the speakers' salon on Tuesday May 20, share ideas of art, politics and culture with writer and critic Clem Bastow and other feminist speakers, before rewarding all that brain-stimulation with a dance party by a variety of local DJs. Thursday will see a comedy showcase hosted by MC Geraldine Hickey, and the final afternoon (Sunday May 25) will be an opportunity for a meditation, massage, tea and cakes.