Here's the low-down on our plans for 2019...
: Self-making workshops
How can we make different versions of ourselves ‘fit’ into a single image?
In 2018 we ran 5 small group workshops exploring digital self-representation with gender-diverse and queer folk. Through creative and abstract painting and drawing, dressing-up, sharing stories, and experimenting with digital tools and platforms – from panorama functions on smart-phones, to photo-montage apps; from Instagram to Tumblr to Twitter – we each started making a single artistic representation of some of our fluid and multiple selves. In 2019 these workshops continue, with previous participants returning to mentor newbies, as we work towards a publication deadline for Midsumma 2020. The final ‘selfies’ we produce may or may not include our faces, but will probably be recognisable to the audiences who know us best, as intimate assemblages of ourselves.
Can sharing gender-creativity help us understand our own complexities and ‘everyday’ transitions?
The ‘Code Switching Identities’ exhibition will be curated primarily online at ‘Stories Beyond Gender’, with some printed and framed pieces on display during the Symposium (below). Each artwork will be accompanied with brief description on how the artist conceives of their changing identity descriptors and their thoughts on being categorised differently for various purposes in distinct spaces and at contrasting stages of life.
How and why does a ‘Crisis of Categories’ fuel hostility towards, and between, minority groups?
The Symposium invites stakeholders in gender diversity to think through the ethics and utility of categorisations like ‘male’, ‘female’, ‘other’ etc. We bring into discussion the utopian ideals of non-binary and gender-fluid people alongside the utilitarian processes of classification undertaken in law, policy, libraries and archives. How can we compromise the apparently irreconcilable objectives of finite measurement and agentic self-identification?
Safe to Selfie?
: podcasts with pictures
How safe do gender diverse people feel in public toilet facilities? Selfies as a reflection of ‘safety’.
We invite stories that navigate risk and affirmation in binary-gendered public spaces. How is a ‘hospitable’ facility recognised – is it an ‘all-accessible’ sign at the train-station, library or pub, or is safety determined by the people who are using the space at the time? Do signs make a difference? What about the design choices that orient cubicles, urinals, hand-dryers and mirrors in particular lines-of-sight? Is taking a selfie surreptitious or celebratory? These 8-minute podcasts will be shared online and linked to Instagram hashtags and brief descriptions of where and how they were captured. Creative outputs will also have a presence in the Exhibition and Symposium (above).
: geo-locating gender-diverse experiences of public bathrooms
How does locating a bathroom on a google map make it more or less safe?
We’ll link the selfies and podcasts to a location pin, illuminating the ways that bathroom spaces are experienced as safe only momentarily, according to context. They are suspended in time and place and while they should be freely available to everyone, they are often sites of surveillance and boundary wars over gender-presentation and stereotypes.
There'll be more updates soon on how you can get involved... but you can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're super-keen!
About the blog
This blog is all about progress of the Beyond Gender project, updates to the website, new content in the gallery, and upcoming events.