Culture

More than a podcast: The Limerick Lady movement

Emma Langford and Anne Blake. Photo: Holly Kenny, Limerick Voice

Before recording their fourth monthly podcast gig, Emma Langford and Ann Blake sat down with Limerick Voice Reporter Holly Kenny to discuss all aspects of the Limerick Lady movement.

Founded in Limerick City in June 2016 by Emma Langford, the Limerick Lady aims to boost visibility and equality for all gender, encourage gender balance in performance careers,  and encourage a discussion surrounding gender, gender balance and inclusion.

The Limerick Lady achieves this in a number of different ways such as pop-up gigs, showcases, events and the newly added podcast.

The imbalance between male and female artists in festival line-ups across the country is what started Emma’s journey to create the Limerick Lady. Emma posed a question to a huge array of women in music and in the arts around the country and asked them if this was something they noticed.

Ann Blake, a musician and heavily involved in theatre in Limerick commented on this imbalance when she was growing up.

“My memories of doing soundcheck when I was a teenager was people thinking I was someone’s girlfriend and I’d get up on stage and plug in my guitar. I love the idea of younger artists who are in school now hearing these conversations and thinking ‘there is a place for me’,” says Ann.

The podcast, which is a newly added aspect of the Limerick Lady movement, is hosted by singer-songwriter and event organiser Emma Langford and musician Ann Blake and recorded once a month.

“You can have a Twitter feed and you can have a website and all that but a  podcast is a way to keep it very alive and current and also someone can come and play music on that as well,” continued Ann.

The planning of the shows is simply conducted by Emma and Ann meeting up for a chat before recording to discuss the agenda of discussion and perhaps to prepare for guests on the show.

“We’re never going to talk about current events just because it happened. There will always be some kind of a lead on reason for it or have a role in the wider conversation,” says Emma.

Their guest for this month’s podcast is Miss LaVelle, a burlesque performer and cabaret host.

“I’ve been dying to get Laura in to talk for a while because she’s got a lot to say and what she is so directly correlating what it is we’re talking about,” enthused Emma.

“This idea that ‘a woman can’t take her clothes off for a job and be a feminist at the same time’, what she’s doing is empowering for her and what she’s doing is her choice. It’s about giving women a right to their character and their identity and expressing themselves in a way that’s creative and interesting for them.”

The aim of the podcast is to continue the conversation of feminism and defining it: “I’d love it to move towards a live aspect at some point definitely.”

“We’re keeping it monthly at the moment. Teasing out issues just breaks it down and it makes more sense to people,” explains Ann.

To finish the interview, Emma had the final word: “You get a lot of people who are afraid of the feminist movement. Of course, there are different waves of feminists that are damaging to the general movement but I find when these conversations happen out loud it takes away the fear.

“Those conversations do need to happen and it’s nice when they do in a room that is welcoming and accepting of that.”

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