“Historically, feminism and fashion have been pitted against one another,” writes Manjima Bhattacharjya in her book, Mannequin. It’s a dilemma the fashion industry has struggled with for decades – being perceived as flippant, or existing in a vacuum”
In the video section, watch Tishani Doshi perform one of her most haunting and popular poems ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’. Using the movements of/in body, music and language, it is a powerful expression of Tishani’s expansive vision of resistance, freedom and solidarity in the face of violence.
The nature of the labor that goes into performing femininity is that it’s invisible. Or at least it’s supposed to be. As a culture, we expect women to look glossy and shimmery and smooth. We don’t want to know about the time and money that goes into this presentation.
For so long, private has meant a place that I was forced to create, claim and carve out to hide away from the public violence. And if I’ve been allowed to further wallow in it then I don’t want to – thank you very much.
The virtual world allows me to challenge the hold of patriarchy on my ‘effeminate’ body; in a sense, it allows me to evade the policing of desire that my body shares with another, its flows and slippages, the messy and the unkempt.
The virtual world allows me to challenge the hold of patriarchy on my ‘effeminate’ body; in a sense, it allows me to evade the policing of desire that my body shares with another, its flows and slippages, the messy and the unkempt. While virtual sex offers a window to revisit the sensual, it is also not immune to limitations and insecurities.
Performance and ‘proper’ go hand in hand because every performance has rules and prescriptions, so you can tell whether it’s a good performance or not, whether it’s skilled or not. Otherwise, it appears, you can’t understand or appreciate performance – or know if you’re doing it right!
In a world of prescriptions of performance and perfection, there isn’t truly that much space built in to risk non-performance, not being perfect, or to risk not fitting the prescription.
Most of us, during childhood, internalised the lesson that sex or pleasure is ‘dirty’ and ‘bad’. Artists around the world are increasingly using ‘tactile art’ to challenge the shame and embarrassment that people feel when they look at their bodies.
Time and time again, Galbaldon asks us, through the character of Claire, to remember that we are travelers, we move and are moved by the interactions and environments around us.
In Nanette, Hannah Gadsby’s hour-long Netflix special that transcends the very notions of stand-up comedy, forces of reclamation, protest, and rage culminate to form a darkly hilarious but heartbreaking diatribe against patriarchy, heteronormativity, violence and marginalisation.
“I’m afraid because I bring to bed more than just one soul of a scared conflicted boy. I’m bringing to bed a whole army that not only runs the streets within me but also spills out over my body and the body of the boy next to me.”
To think of sexuality as performative disrupts the need for stable categories and identities, instead suggesting that we all reinforce and disrupt normative formations as we attempt to inhabit the world in messy ways.
I’ve essentially thought of movement as a kind of freedom, but one that has the capacity to destabilise you in some way. My most creative moments are when I’m not moving, when I am in fact rooted and still.