The third edition of Gender Bender focuses on visual arts
GENDER Bender, for the past three years, through its projects and installations, has been creating dialogue and discourse about gender and sexuality. A collaboration between Sandbox Collective and the Goethe-Institut, the festival is also co-curated by the online publication, The Ladies Finger. This year, 10 grantees will showcase their works on topics ranging from the LGBTQ community in the Middle East to a multi-player game about caste and gender.
“Gender is an issue which is on our priority list. And when it comes to the larger picture, we also support and promote emerging artists and this has been achieved in substantial measure through this project,” says Maureen Gonsalves, cultural coordinator at Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan. This year, the judges who selected these artists included Sadanand Menon, arts editor, Sameera Iyengar, co-founder and director of the theatre organisation Junoon, A Mangai theatre director and Jasmeen Patheja, founder of Blank Noise.
“We get applications from across the world, and across genres,” says Medha Agrawal from Sandbox Collective, adding, “Although in the past two editions, a majority of the projects have been performance-oriented (dance, theatre and puppetry), this year is more focused on visual arts.” While it may have started as a small grantee showcase festival, Gender Bender has grown into an important movement in the area
of gender politics.
This year’s grantees:
Ibtisam, a mixed African-American, explores the lives of the LGBTQ community in the Middle East with her project.
Madhushree Basu is a dancer based in Chennai and her project, Swachhandacharinee, is based on Malayalam poet Vayalar Ramavarma’s poems.
Sukriti Sureka, from Muzaffarpur, brings together women who are Madhubani painters.
Arunima Bose’s In Full Bloom: Playing with Pleasure aims to do away with the shame associated with women touching themselves.
Aarthi Murali’s Amma Is In Town explores the dynamics between a mother and daughter.
Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota recreates Yellammanaata, a ritualistic overnight play hosted by lower caste Hindus around Hyderabad, Karnataka and Southern Maharashtra.
Hysterical Hysteria, by Himani Pant, uses data research to examine what hysteria means in today’s times.
Elisabeth Pfahl’s Architecture of Humanness: Passages from One State to Another is an installation made with bras.
Sreecheta Das’s work revolves around a female artisan who works on creating the Durga Puja idols in Kolkata.
Fields of View, a research group, designs a multi-player game that provides the audience a firsthand, immersive experience of gender, caste and class.
Entry free. September 9, 9 am.
At Goethe-Institut Bangalore, Indira Nagar. Details: 25205305