Boyle Heights' All-Women Of Color Bike Crew Gets Their Own Documentary
A new documentary follows the lives the Ovarian Psyco Bicycle Brigade, an all-female group of bicyclists that aims to address issues of community, gentrification, and violence against women.The film, Ovarian Psycos, premiered last week at South by Southwest and was directed by Kate Trumbull-LaValle and Joanna Sokolowski. It focuses on the lives of three members of the group, which formed six years ago, and primarily rides around the streets of Boyle Heights and East L.A.
The Ovarian Psycos began when founding member Xela de la X organized the Luna Ride, a nighttime ride timed with the full moon in 2010. Since then the group has expanded and organized more rides and events, including Clitoral Mass, a community bike ride for women that now takes place in multiple cities. They also host community events, workshops, and coordinate with other local activist groups at La Conxa, a community space in Boyle Heights. Many of the members also wear bandanas on their face that feature white fallopian tubes printed on black fabric, and the group's motto is "Ovaries so big, we don't need no fucking balls."
"We are an all womxn of color bicycling brigade cycling for the purpose of healing our communities physically, emotionally and spiritually by addressing pertinent issues," explains a statement on the Ovarian Psycos website. "We envision a world where women are change agents who create and maintain holistic health in themselves and their respective communities for present and future generations."
The documentary follows the women as they navigate the congested streets of L.A. as well as topics like identity, feminism, abuse and community. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film also explores "complex territory between mothers and daughters, tradition and independence," while also drawing a connection between the group and the feminist and Chicano movements of the 60s and 70s.
In a recent interview with Good, De la X explained the significance of bicycles for the group:
Bicycles because, first and foremost, we're a working-class community, so for a lot of us, that is our mode of transportation. Bicycles are also very key in the sense that we as women, women of color specifically, in those areas—we were brought up with a fear of movement and of the spaces we inhabit, a fear of navigating them. We use the bicycles to say, 'We will be fearless! We will inhabit every space, and be mobile, and have access.'
h/t: Curbed LA