BENGALURU: With the verdict of section 377 still pending in the Supreme Court, and with debates around abolishing the archaic law that decriminalises the LGBTQ+ doing the rounds, this year’s gender bender festival was another attempt by artistes to explore the complexities of gender, sexuality and sexual orientation. And in the process initiate a dialogue around the themes of gender that are less in discussion in the public domain.
The fourth edition of the festival showcased new work of art around gender. Exploring gender as a
concept, discourse, construct and as an art in itself.
The platform is one where artistes and individuals create work around gender and exhibit these projects to the audience. Talking about how one can explore and understand the complexities of gender through art, Debosmita Dam, organiser of the event, says, “While art cannot change the world (that’s a huge ask), it can certainly help us make sense of a changing world. And all dialogue, conversations and work in the field of gender, equality and sexuality hopes to further that discourse.”
Speaking to CE about the five-day event, Debosmita says, “This year, we had the illustrative talks section that helped us make sense of and increase our understanding of sexuality, irrespective of whether we are gender studies experts or someone who has never even thought of what an alternative pronoun to he and she might be. The idea is to be inclusive, welcoming and learn and understand things together.”
One of the artists who showcased her work at the festival was Jinal Sangoi, a visual artist from Mumbai. Her work looked at how migration and domestic labour are interconnected. She says, “I’ve been making engravings on utensils on the basis of interviews that I’ve conducted with women.”
She comments on how women today have become more outspoken and are participating in decision making. But somewhere she feels that these women who look after their career and the domestic space at the same time, play a dual role and that effort is not recognised. “This fest provided the space to acknowledge this labour, by giving voice to issues, solutions and choices that are made by individuals,” she adds.