Different ways of performing gender
Gender issues were the topic of the performing arts project Transforces on Stage – Queer Masqulinities, staged at Mad House Helsinki Festival in March 2015. The cross-disciplinary project included performances, exhibitions, workshops and discussions between Nordic and Baltic artists working with gender issues. The driving force behind the project is the art and activist group Transforces who strives to promote trans issues and gender diversity.
Leader of Transforces and curator for the performances Annu Kemppainen talks about the meaning of this particular project:
“The purpose with Transforces on Stage is that it seeks to give visibility to art that works with gender diversity issues and brings together like-minded artists. We wanted to create opportunities and space for the public and other involved to meet up around these themes.”
The idea to produce performances where artists with interest towards similar themes was born in Nordic and Baltic Queer Art Network that previously has been granted network funding from Nordic Culture Point.
The Nordic dimension has been crucial for the project. Kemppainen underlines that the contact between the different countries has been important:
“I feel it is extremely significant that people who works and lives in the same subculture and are geographically close to each other. It is important that our activism and art making is exposes to experiences of other in the same situation elsewhere.”
Transforces makes art and activism come together. A concept lately being used for this is artivism, which implies activities that wish to influence society through art. Often the purpose is to increase consciousness of marginalized groups or to start discussion around a topic in society.
The project has received Production-based funding from the Culture and Art Programme.