Of Boxes and Ceilings: New Publication on Art & Gender

IETM, international network for contemporary performing arts, launches its new publication Of Boxes and Ceilings that explores how the arts relate with gender issues. This is the fifth issue of IETM’s Fresh Perspectives, a series of publications exploring how the contemporary arts sector is engaged with the crucial issues of today’s reality. 

Gender relates to the most intimate part of the human self – identity. Arts that stage (in any form) such a sensitive and intimate topic resonate deeply with audiences and can lead them to reconsider their vision, their gaze, ultimately their own identity. The gender issue is also a clear example of obvious binaries that limit our vision of reality – the binary male/female, of gender roles, and their false competition. Art can complicate the story, it can let us think outside the norms, the habits, the obvious binaries that way too often limit our perception of reality but also our imagination.  

This new Fresh Perspectives publication deals with a complex and delicate topic whose borders are often blurred. It highlights some crucial points – the definition of gender, gender identity, feminism, gender bias and discrimination – that intertwine in a complex individual and social web. It seeks to clarify some terms while acknowledging that there is no clear consensus, even in the academic field, but only general agreement on them. The publication focuses on the insoluble tension between the individual and the social and respectfully suggests possible ways to use this tension creatively in order to advance society.

Of Boxes and Ceilings is written by senior consultant Pascale Charhon, expert in anti-discrimination and fundamental rights.