Harvest Festival: “You Do Not Have to be Fat …
… or queer to come to this event.” You do have to be in London this Saturday, October 3, 2009.
That’s the message of Fat of The Land: A Queer Chub Harvest Festival to be held at St. Anne’s Parish Church in Soho.
As its name (and blog) would suggest, taboos are pretty much taboo at this event. Except, perhaps, an aversion to euphemisms like “heavy,” “that way” or, God help us, “large-boned.” No, these are folks who rather embrace descriptives like “queer,” and “fat.”
I heard the event’s main impresario, Charlotte Cooper of London, at this summer’s D.C. conference of the Association for Size Diversity & Health. She’s a human whirlwind, it seems, blowing orthodoxies to smithereens while powering events and activism around fat and lesbianism and their acceptance, and completing a doctorate in her spare time. Her talk was amusing — proud and enthusiastic, yet wittily self-deprecating (Brits do that well), and larded with irreverence. On the substantive side, her mostly American audience listened enviously as she described U.K. government support for research on obesity and health from a Health at Every Size perspective. A U.S. campaign for similar from our own health authorities has yielded but limited progress.
Some of this momentum comes across in Cooper’s portrait, at left, by “d.i.y.” London artist Lady Lucy (aka, Lucy Woollett). It also comes across in plans for the Harvest Festival, complete with taste-offs and bake-offs. (Cooper is entering her homemade chutneys. I tell you, the woman is ruining things for anyone prone to using terms like “fat” and “lazy” in the same sentence.) Some of the tasting may already be underway, as seen in this snap of Cooper flanked by fellow organizers.
If you do visit the festival, please take pictures of the goodies and send them to us: AnglofilesMail at google dot com!