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Harvest Festival: “You Do Not Have to be Fat …

September 28, 2009

Fat of the Land logo 2009… 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'll Be a Doctor Fat:" Charlotte Cooper poster by "d.i.y." London artist Lady Lucy

"I'll Be a Doctor Fat:" Charlotte Cooper poster.

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.

Fat of the Land organizers 2009

If you do visit the festival, please take pictures of the goodies and send them to us: AnglofilesMail at google dot com!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Roz permalink
    September 28, 2009 8:58 pm

    Hi Mandy,
    Been lax in keeping up with e-mail but now with busy holiday season over managed to see you your new “AngloFile” blog. What fun ! Haven’t been to London in years – the first on my honeymoon over 57 years ago. Uncle Ben and I would go back every year for several years before he died in December ’84. Our last trip was in Nov. that year. I have been back a couple times since then but not recently. Your blog whets the appetite. Loved it – and you all…….oar

    • September 29, 2009 10:19 am

      Hi, Aunt R.! Whets the appetite, indeed. This blog is to cover all things British — including the upcoming Olympics — but food seems to have been a singular focus in these early posts. Hmm…

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