MOTHERSHIP: The Feminist Festival You Must Know About

Our Interview with Creator Laura Wise

MOTHERSHIP is a three-day music festival campout in Coachella Valley packed with super unique workshops and panels you won’t find anywhere else in the world—especially all at one event.

With over 40 workshops there is something for everyone: plant healing, yoga with a live 90’s girl power dj, shamanic practices, self defense, intro to BDSM…just to name a few. Womxn come here for different reasons (learning, healing, expansion, etc) but from the comments we’ve read, one thing is for sure: Being removed from any male-gaze puts womxn at ease to solely focus on their internal desires while connecting with other womxn in the community with love, compassion, and trust. Laura Wise is the founder of Mothership Festival and we had a chance to sit down and chat with her! 

Women are multifaceted and we reflect that. Our event is uber-inclusive; it’s hard to know who is staff, and that is intentional. We don’t want a hierarchy, we want a community. Our media and most talent camp right alongside everyone else. We don’t do VIP.

OOM: What was the inspiration behind this idea?

LW: I have been a feminist all of my life, but I never knew the ideas and words behind what I felt and believed. While in graduate school for psychology I discovered feminist theory and everything about it resonated with me. It made me realize that so many people could have this same feeling or experience. At the time L.A. had very little happening around feminism that was fun and celebratory. I wanted to created a space around powerful women that might expose others to the same ideas that resonated with me. My friends weren’t calling themselves feminists at the time and I wanted to change that. It’s not a dirty word.

OOM: Anyone who identifies as woman, partly as a woman, as well as non-binary folks are welcome. This is very unique to the Mothership (though we hope that your message of equality spreads beyond this festival)why was this important to you?

LW: It’s so funny because people always ask about this component like it’s revolutionary. The reality is yes we have trans women and no one cares. And I mean that in the best way. It’s a non-issue. Trans women and non-binary individuals are welcomed, accepted, and embraced as a part of the diverse fabric of our event. Women roam the grounds topless, in costume. Everyone does their own thing and embraces the concept of intersectional feminism. You can really feel the love.

OOM: Trump. Charlottesville. Trans-phobia. It’s been a hell of a year, with lots of downs. Though there is still a lot of work to do, it does feel like a shift is happening. People, but particularly womxn, are becoming more informed about their rights and the rights of people with less privileged voices. What type of change have you seen the most this year?

LW: I see women moving away from watering themselves down for others. We have the right to speak up about our rights and it doesn’t have to be cute and sweet. You WILL hear us. I love watching that unfold. Feminism is a conversation and listening without becoming defensive is a key component of any safe space.

OOM: There’s been a lot of talk about “white feminism.” What needs to change?

LW: What’s been dubbed as ‘White Feminism’ is feminism that is not intersectional. I’m white and I’m a feminist, but I value intersectional feminism that takes into account different ways people may experience oppression like income, ability, race, and gender expression. Feminism is an ongoing conversation, not a stagnant set of ideals. When you can embrace that fluidity you can become more intersectional in your approach to smashing the patriarchy.

OOM: In 5 years, what does Mothership Festival look like?

LV: I see this event taking the space of the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, with a few modern upgrades. It was the largest and longest running fest for women. We needed a new place and this is it. We’ve been growing rapidly with participants from around the world. It’s only up from here.

Buy your Mothership tickets here.

photography by Britney Gill 

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Author: Alexandra D'amour

Alexandra is a writer and the founder of On Our Moon. She believes women are healing the world with vulnerability as their compass. And cats, cats heal everything.

 alexandra@riseloveglow.com