Ladies First Street Art Festival
India’s only street art festival focused towards women artists. Over two editions, the fest has managed to engage over 50 women artists across three cities; Opening the door for many of them to taste what it feels like to paint on the streets.
The idea behind our street art festival is to have women artists lead the charge to activate communities. To get them together to paint, to clean the streets, to play music, to become aware of the street art culture through films, workshops, talks, hip hop cyphers.
Ladies First has been held across three cities in two editions and with each edition the idea is to reach out to more women artists and get them out onto the streets, painting whatever they like. We also have select artists put up stalls during the fest promoting their art. All of these activities make it an inclusive fest for both artists and audiences who want to experience a community event.
We hope that each edition moves the needle for gender equality forward.
2019 - The Birth Of A Movement
The phenomenon of Ladies First was first conceptualized in 2018 when we started feeling the need to for women artists to find more representation on the streets. We didn’t know what to do so we decided to do the best way to celebrate them that seemed possible – organize a street art festival – only for women.
For the inaugural version we had 7 powerful women artists paint walls and the citizens of Marol assist them. Anpu Varkey, Lena McCarthy, WomenPow, Shirin Shaikh, Ratna and Abigail Jensen turned up and set the place on fire with unique styles and unique vibes.
The fest was not just limited to walls. We had street art and graffiti workshops. Open mics. Talks by Sadhna Prasad, Artwhoring and Giggling Monkey. Graffiti walks in Marol. Waste collection drives. Art exhibition. Street art film screenings. Breaking cypher. In 7 days, Mumbai had woken up to a new possibility.
2021 - Despite The Pandemic
The 2021 edition around 8th March was focused solely around painting due to the Covid restrictions. Despite that, we managed to pull of quite a lot in three cities. More than anything else, it was a challenge to ourselves to keep hopes alive when morale all around was at its lowest ebb.
Ashwini Hiremath aka Krantinaari led the assault on the 5 story wall in Marol Art Village for the Mumbai edition. Assisted by an army of over 20 female artists and Wicked Broz community members, she managed to complete the wall in 5 days. To make women’s presence a natural part of the surrounding is the attempt of this artwork. It was the only wall painted in Mumbai and kind of the show stopper of the entire street art festival. A big applause once again to MRRWA for their sincere help for our activities in Marol.
In Gurugram, Sec 52, the mahila police thana was the venue. 7 women artists, Aanchal Gupta, Shruti Taluja, Shivanika Raghav, Kiran Dayal, Aditi Kapur, Saumya Shukla and Shikha Agarwal created 7 different original artworks lined up on the wall outside the police station. Apart from our team of volunteers even female constables joined in on the action at times. A great collaboration made possible thanks to Kalagram and our community leader Mr. Buzzinka.
In Dehradun, Mojartian aka Mukesh Negi, with the help of community members found a nice wall. With Yatagiri Bhavya, Monaal, Shreya and Shravya, we painted 3 different artworks inspired by Muhammed Sajid who likes to paint around the theme of exploring different sides of a womans life.
Stories From The Past
Experience the festival from the eyes of our team organizing it and the point of view of artists and volunteers.
Voices Who Vibe
It was through Wicked Broz, that I found my art family. I was that art kid who ALWAYS stayed at home, drawing by myself. The Ladies First Street Art fest, got me out of my comfort zone, introduced me to such brilliant people and artists and a very homely community that honestly, I'm so so grateful to be in! It's been such a rewarding experience being a part of this little happy team:)
My salutes to the power winthin each one of us... The power that protects, nurtures, gives meaning to every life. Happy Women's Day! Ps. Not every day I would appreciate my canvas being shared BUT with people here at Women Police Station I am honoured they wanted to give it a try. Thanks to the team for this thrilling opportunity 😊
A great community of people, sharing knowledge, experiences and opportunities. Providing great deal of value to all sorts of artists.