Responding to the obligation imposed by the social relevance of the Festival and relying on almost ten years of continuous cooperation with local and international independent artists, cultural workers and their initiatives, the Festival of Feminist Culture and Action is the ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО is dedicating efforts to develop production in the field of performing arts. With the support by Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and FRIDA Young Feminist Fund, we are transforming this year Festival’s performance program into artistic platform based on solidarity, co-learning and cooperation, to address:
* absence of women authors, staging women’s experience and deconstruction of gender representation on the local art scene,
* general lack of political theatre advocating for social change,
* limited opportunities for women performance artists to present their work to wider and diverse audiences,
* insufficiency of gender perspective in the formal art education,
* unavailability of open platform for continuous professional development of women performance artists,
* the deep effect COVID pandemic had on the already precarious position of independent women artists and cultural workers and
* the underestimation of the social relevance and the needs of the local independent cultural scene and the insufficient and inadequate support provided for it by the relevant institutions.
In the period June – October 2021, 2 (two) feminist performances (conteporary dance, performance and/or theatre) by 2 (two) local independent women artists who are active in the field of dance/performance/theatre, are not employed, nor affiliated with a public cultural institution on regular bases.
The Program of the Platform includes:
* Selection of artists through an open call. Gender perspective and research based approach in their artistic work will be considered as preference,
* System of continuous support - each artist will be provided continuous support from an experienced performance professional with vast international education and experience in the field of dance, performance and/or theatre, who will respect the artists’ authentic expression while supporting them in all the stages and aspects of their creative process,
* Lectures - artists will participate in a series of lectures on gender and art by local and/or international lecturers. The lectures will also be opened for wider (professional) audiences, to compensate the lack of perspective of gender in the formal art education,
* Creative processes - each artist will be continuously supported - creatively, logistically and financially, to develop individual or collaborative performance piece through research based practice. The artist honoraria, production (rehearsal space, equipment, props, contracts with fellow artists etc) and promotion cost will be fully covered,
* Production - production and logistics of the two performances will be delivered by an experienced producer, specialized in the field of performance and events production. Both productions will premiere in October or November 2021 within the framework of the International Theatre Festival MOT, an official partner of ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО Festival since 2017, reaching out to a wider audience.
Feminist theatre, then, according to my definition of feminism, is theatre that provides an alternative not just to the male gaze but also to the normative gaze by intervening in cultural assumptions about identity, dismantling binaries, and creating equality.
Holly L. Derr, feminist theatre director and writer
By positioning the creative processes in the framework of feminist performance and theatre, the selected artists will be encouraged to find new approaches in staging the female experience, by re-examining the constructed female identity, interpreting the women personal experiences as political and advocating for social and political change. They will be encouraged to rediscover excitingly authentic classical women playwrights from a feminist position and to search for texts and performance projects dealing with gender as a historical construct under pressure (Reinelt, 2012) - presenting women's feelings and experiences without sentimentality but from a political position, as basis of developing new approaches in their artistic practices. Feminist theatre approaches, have great potential to boldly interrupt the political and artistic status quo, deeply rooted in the local theatre scene as it is unfortunately rooted in our society in general.
Program Time frame:
April 2021 Open call for local independent women artists.
May 2021 Selection process
June 2021 Lecture 1 and Public presentation of the platform
June - October 2021 Creative process: research, initial development of the performance projects, lecture 2, finalization, production
October – November 2021 Premiere on the International Theatre Festival MOT
The activities of the platform are related to #wowprogram of the Women for Women Project (Wow Project) and the project Peach Preach implemented by Tiiiit! Inc, aimed to contribute to promotion of the public interest in gender issues and the greater presence of women in the public sphere. The Platform is financially supported by The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation and FRIDA Young Feminist Fund and it is implemented in collaboration with MOT Festival.
* Photo by Irena Mila of the dance performance "Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown" by Ivana Kocevska, Viktorija Ilioska and Bojana Dodevska, performed at ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО Festival in 2015.