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This arts festival is a think piece on gender

Gender Bender 2016 is an arts festival that aims to promote conversations about gender. Created by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan and arts collective, Sandbox Collective, the project invites artists to showcase pieces that further the discourse on gender. The festival is in collaboration with the feminist magazine, The Ladies Finger.
“Our aim with Gender Bender is to offer a conducive space and support for individuals to create a fresh aesthetic in the crucial gender discourse, and in the process, heighten public awareness,” says Christoph Bertrams, director, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore.
The artists will be presenting their works through different media. They range from holographic installations to immersive performance art. For instance, artist Varun Narain’s project entitled Photosynthesis by Moonlight is an adult enactment with puppetry. The artist explores abstract concepts, such as, ‘if plants had evolved like humans, would our ideologies have been different?.’
“Gender has always interested us, so when the suggestion to work on an arts project on gender came from Christoph, we thought the time was ripe for a festival of sorts,” says Shiva Pathak from Sandbox.
Morgan Campbell, another artist, is working on a project about Bengaluru’s women bus conductors. She has been learning about them and recording their histories. Some of them have been in the profession since 1992.
Another interesting project is by a collective of South Asian women called Kadak. The themes they focus on range from growing up intersex and transgender in Bengaluru, to social media and sexism.
The festival hopes that artists will challenge themselves and the audience to look beyond the established traditions of gender. “Gender will always be relevant, more so now than ever before,” adds Nimi Ravindran, the co-founder of Sandbox.
Entry free. September 3 and 4. 5 pm. At the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Indiranagar. Details: 25205305

— Anagha M

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