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  M3CP © Goethe-Institut Chennai

3. & 4. September 2021
Online Conference

What does it mean to be a "real man" in 2021? What ideas are associated with the term - and should it not be replaced or supplemented by more differentiated views?

The Goethe-Institutes in India & Bangladesh, in an international conference (online-English) will bring together intellectual and cultural perspectives from experts and artists from South Asia and Europe on the theme of masculinities.
Do join us on 3. & 4. September 2021 to explore what it means to be ‘a real man’ in 2020s and how men are perceived and masculinity constructed in media, art and performances. And how does all that make young humans, who understand themselves as males, feel?
A multi-faceted approach through discussions, exhibitions, workshops and performances will keep you engaged interestingly.
We invite you to actively participate via Zoom and do register in advance for the sessions based on your interest.


Day 1: IST

Welcome Address: M3 Introduction
Spoken Word - Poetry 
By Anamika Joshi und Angshuman Sarma

The power of the Spoken word – as an intrinsic facet of Performing Masculinities, looks to open the topic and reveal the theme to the audience. This Performance Poetry juxtaposes a female spoken word artist with a male performer.

Connect with each other!
Talk about Masculinity and Power

Keynote Addresses: 

Male Domination under Pressure: Change and Persistence of Hegemonic Masculinity
By Michael Meuser

Thirty years ago, the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu noted that male domination no longer asserts itself in a self-evident mode. It still exists, but is increasingly questioned and perceived as threatened. It is something that has to be defended or justified. The talk pursues the question of to what extent and in what way the ideal of hegemonic masculinity has lost its self-evident legitimacy on the one hand, but remains present and effective as an orientation pattern on the other, and in some cases is deliberately attempted to be restored. Furthermore, it asks whether new positions of masculinity are emerging beyond hegemonic masculinity.

Men Behind Bars: Patriotic Masculinity in the Age of Colonial Incarceration
By Sumathi Ramaswamy

Focusing on images of incarceration of three men—Khudiram Bose, Bhagat Singh, and Mahatma Gandhi—all of whom spent various amounts of time in what the most globally famous among them referred to as “His Majesty’s hotels,” this essay will look at how the colonial jail or prison is visualized as a space for the production of a particular kind of masculinity that I refer to as patriotic. In such prints, the patriotic prisoner of the colonial state is pictured as the most manly of men, refusing to give in to the inevitable abjection and emasculation that incarceration meant under British rule in India. Sometimes stoic, at other times steely, and at still others smiling even in the face of inevitable death, these men show what it took for “real” men to turn sites of terror and everyday humiliation into spaces of mastery and triumph. As the colonial prison is aestheticized through the work of mass-produced art, such prints also helped serve a new nationalist imperative that “jail going” was a patriotic duty—and one to be undertaken with pleasure—of all good men

Connect with each other!
Becoming a Problem - A Text Concert
By Susanne Sachsse 

If you're not a woman, you're either a man - or you become a problem (Paul B. Preciado). 
In an online text concert, Susanne Sachsse presents “testosterone-based, voluntary intoxication protocols“,  „body-essay“,  „somato-political fiction“, and „a theory of the self, or self-theory“ of Paul B. Preciado. 

The taxonomy of sexual and gender difference collapses. A proposal for political resistance and action. Testosterone not to become a man, but to add a "molecular prosthesis" to his transgender body. Transition as a revolutionary act. In the beginning: the dildo. A tool of resistance against the prevailing order: as a machine, it knows neither man nor woman, but only body orifices. 

Narratives of transition. The testosterone inspired transformation of one's body and stories of social change. Susanne Sachsse collages Paul B. Preciado’s texts from An Apartment on Uranus, Testo Junkie and Contrasexual Manifesto and presents them in a form of a text concert.

Masculinity & Power -  A Panel Discussion 
Urvashi Butalia  
Madhavi Menon, Anindya Hajra, Meena Kandasamy, Romit Chowdhury, Dr. Sharful Islam Khan 

Stand up comedy
By Shreyas Manohar
Until Day 2! 

Day 2: IST

My Body, My Gender - explorations through movement
A Workshop
By Mandeep Raikhy

Where does the notion of gender locate itself in the body? Is there any tension between the gender you have constructed for yourself and the gender that is being prescribed to you?  How does masculinity play itself out in a moment of contact with another body? Is it possible for us to allow our bodies the space to resist and disrupt acquired notions of gender?

The workshop will engage the participants in an embodied dialogue about masculinity and enable them to explore their relationship of notion of gender through the body, their own body in particular. The workshop will open up several questions around masculinity through movement scores, improvisational explorations and discussion. 

How to Engage Young People in Gender / Masculinity Discussions
A Workshop 
By Glocal Film

A film seminar by Glocal Films on how to engage young people in gender / masculinity discussions. (90 Mins., registration necessary, number of attendees - max. 25 on first-come-first-serve basis) 


  • An introduction to the use of film and participatory video methods as a teaching tool in the classroom.  
  • What is participatory video?  
  • How to use the method as a learner centered teaching tool?
  • Basic tricks and tips – short practical exercises 
  • How does making a film enhance media critical thinking? 
  • Presentation of some film examples of the series followed by a Q&A.  
  • Demonstrating how to engage young people in gender discussions and brainstorm film ideas with the audience of this seminar. 
What Makes a Man?
A Workshop on Masculinities 
By Florian Fischer 
(By registration only)
What makes a man and how? What is 'typcially' male, what is not? Where does masculinity inspire us and where does it limit us? What can be „toxic“ about masculinity? And what does this have to do with sexism and feminism?

As men* we have learnt to act, react and perceive ourselves and others in certain ways. This workshop is an offer for people socialised as men who want to critically examine their own self and the topic of masculinity. Through conversations, input & exercises, we will reflect on our personal experiences, perceptions and patterns of behaviour as men* as well as the social conditions of masculinity.
Panel Discussion:
Moderator: Namita Bhandare
Speakers: Ravish Kumar, Sania Farooqui, Nadika Nadja, Alka Dhupkar.  

Masculinity in the Media examines verbal and body language in the news media, both online and offline. There is an atmosphere of competitive intimidation and we often see it inTV news channels and talk shows attempting to get ahead in the race for larger audiences and TRPs. What happens in the newsrooms and studios is often reflected on the streets and even in our homes. This section will analyse and understand the prevalent situation in the media and attempt to devise strategies to address the issue.

Even as the conversation around gender-based violence has acquired some nuance and visibility in both academic and popular media, there is relatively less discussion on the parallel rise of certain aggressive forms of masculinity. This toxic masculinity is sometimes expressed as physically violent pushback, sometimes in language used to talk about women, minority sexualities, religious minorities and marginalised castes. The project will explore the different strands of discursive - and material - masculinity that limit and at times overtake the effort to achieve a more gender-just and equitable society.
Wrapping up day 1 & 
Moving on to Day 2 
Destabilizing Gender and Sexuality through Dance
A Presentation 
By Mandeep Raikhy
Is gender an ongoing performance that we all engage with continually? Is movement central to this performance of gender? Can dance loosen the nuts and bolts of gender and allow it to become playfully unstable? Can dance become a way for us to challenge singular perspectives on gender and sexuality? Can dance become a political device that allows us to destabilize existing notions of gender and sexuality?
The presentation will open up several questions around gender, sexuality and performance by examining two dance works, a male ant has straight antennae and Queen-size, choreographed by the speaker in 2013 and 2016 respectively. 
Gaming & Masculinity
A Talk Session
ByAnokhi Shah 

Anokhi Shah will present an overview of the gaming landscape and a brief history of its evolution into the games we see today. The session will focus on how a predominantly male industry with very high youth engagement can be used as a tool for reframing gender identities and its potential to build empathy for its users in an innovative lived experience environment. 30 minutes presentation, followed by 15 minutes Q&A 
Connect with each other!
Talk: Fikri Anıl Altıntaşand Esha Aurora in Conversation regarding Performing Masculinity. The interactive conversation shall  encompass perspectives and contexts of gender performance;Topic of Honor of ascribed non-white masculinity, Gender-based violence and the concepts of Orientalism in masculinity. 
Panel Discussion: Performing Masculinity in Contemporary South Asian Cinema with: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Bangladesh), Rubaiyat Hossain (Bangladesh), Devashish Makhija (India),Tillotama Shome (India) moderated by Meenakshi Shedde.
Standup Comedy by Aditi Mittal
Until we meet again!

Speakers & Artistes

Esha Aurora

Esha Aurora is Editor of Business at Dhaka Tribune,  Bangladesh. She is an unapologetic feminist. She is passionate about dismantling systemic discrimination and building awareness on the intersectionality between economics and discrimination that includes racism and sexism.  

Aditi Mittal © Aditi Mittal

Aditi Mittal

Aditi Mittal is a writer, comedian, actor and barely managing any of the three roles with competence. She is not related to the rich Mittals. She has two stand up comedy specials on Netflix and one on Amazon Prime. Her comedy has featured in several documentary films and she has performed at comedy festivals all over the world. 

Shreyas Manohar © Shreyas Manohar

Shreyas Manohar

Shreyas Manohar is a writer and stand-up comic whose work has been on Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, Vice Asia, Netflix, AIB and more. A graduate of English literature and Creative Writing from Columbia University, Shreyas chopped his comedic muscles in the New York stand-up scene before returning to join the thriving stand-up scene in Mumbai. 

Fikri Anıl Altıntaş © Shaheen Wacker

Fikri Anıl Altıntaş

Fikri Anıl Altıntaş [he/him] is a freelance writer from Berlin and #HeForShe catalyst for UN Women Germany. ...

Romit Chowdhury © Romit Chowdhury

Romit Chowdhury

Romit Chowdhury is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam, where he primarily teaches courses in Urban Sociology and Gender Studies. He has published on masculinities in the contexts of urban life and mobilities, men's rights movements, feminist methodology, sexual violence, care-giving, and men doing feminist research and activism in India.

Urvashi Butalia © The Guardian

Urvashi Butalia

Urvashi Butalia is an independent feminist researcher and writer based in Delhi. Co-founder of India’s first feminist publishing house Kali for Women in 1984, she is currently Director of Zubaan, an imprint of Kali. She writes and publishes widely in India and abroad.

Anindya Hajra © Anindya Hajra

Anindya Hajra

Anindya is a transfeminist, transgender rights and social justice activist based in Calcutta, India whose relationship with transfeminisms has spanned about two decades.

Florian Fischer © Florian Fischer, Photo credit -Lisa Dinsenbacher​

Florian Fischer

Florian Fischer is a freelance trainer, consultant and writer on social justice issues, focusing on colonial heritage & de-coloniality, racism & whiteness and masculinities.

AJ © Goethe-Institut Chennai

Anamika Joshi

Anamika Joshi is a Hindi Spoken Word Artist based out of Jaipur, India. She writes & performs poems under the name “Batto Ki Bakwaas” on women empowerment, gender equality, and other unspoken social issues.  

Meena Kandasamy © Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy is an anti-caste activist, poet, novelist and translator. She has always been interested in deconstructing violence, understanding the trauma caused by caste, gender, and ethnic oppressions, and spotlighting the militant resistance against these powerful systems.

Sharful Islam Khan © Sharful Islam Khan

Dr. Sharful Islam Khan

Dr. Sharful Islam Khan obtained his MBBS in 1992 from Dhaka Medical College, Masters in Health Social Science from Mahidol University, Thailand, and his PhD in Sociology/Anthropology from Western Australia in 2004. Since 1997, he has been working in icddrb and now works as a Scientist and Head of Program for HIV and AIDS.

Madhavi Menon © Madhavi Menon

Madhavi Menon

Madhavi Menon is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality at Ashoka University.

Michael Meuser © TagesWoche, Photo Credit: Remo Leupin

Michael Meuser

Michael Meuser is a professor emeritus of the sociology of gender relations at the TU Dortmund University.

MR © Chandni Sarcar

Mandeep Raikhy

Mandeep is a dance practitioner exploring the intersections between dance creation, performance, research, and pedagogy. 

Sumathi Ramaswamy © Sumathi Ramaswamy

Sumathi Ramaswamy

Sumathi Ramaswamy is James B. Duke Professor of History and International Comparative Studies, Chair of the Department of History, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, and President of the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Susanne Sachsse © Susanne Sachsse, Photo credit-Bruce LaBruce

Susanne Sachsse

Susanne Sachsse is a Berlin based actress. In 2001 she co-founded the artists' collective CHEAP. Sachsse has worked internationally in various performance, film, and art contexts.

  Meenakshi Shedde

Meenakshi Shedde

Meenakshi Shedde is South Asia Delegate to the Berlin Film Festival, independent film curator, journalist and feminist, based in Mumbai, India.

AS © Goethe-Institut Chennai


Angshuman Sarma, spoken word poet, storyteller and an educator. He works as freelancer and a mentor at MyCaptain, mentoring 1000+ students.
Currently, he's doing #1000daysofpoetry project on Instagram @ipoemmythoughts where he posts one poem a day.

Glocal Films ©Glocal Films

Kerstin Rickermann & Silke Beller

Glocal Films is a nonprofit film production company based in London and was founded in 2004 by Kerstin Rickermann and Silke Beller. They conceive and direct a wide variety of participatory film projects worldwide
in the field of educational cultural work. 

Anokhi Shah © Anokhi Shah / TIFA Working Studios

Anokhi Shah

Anokhi Shah is a curator, architect, artist and a new media designer based in Frankfurt and Pune. She is the founder of company IOVR -an Interdisciplinary Design Research startup. She is currently a curator at TIFA Working Studios, Pune. She has hosted and curated multiple art exhibitions in Europe and India. 

Alka Dhupkar © Alka Dhupkar © Alka Dhupkar

Alka Dhupkar

Alka Dhupkar is a multilingual journalist based out of Mumbai, Maharashtra currently working with Times Internet Limited as an assistant editor. As a journalist for the last 17 years Alka previously worked with newspapers in Marathi and English and worked for seven years with a Marathi news channel, travelling across India to cover a range of social issues. 

Sania Farooqui © Sania Farooqui © Sania Farooqui

​Sania Farooqui

Sania Farooqui is a New Delhi based journalist and a filmmaker who recently launched The Sania Farooqui Show across social media platforms. The first series of the show, Not Just About The Sharia, is a deep dive into the lives of Muslim women worldwide. The recent second series, Women for Press Freedom, these are sharp conversations with journalists from around the world. She also writes opinion pieces and reports for IPS News and has worked as a news anchor, reporter, producer and writer for Indian and international media outlets. 

​Nadika Nadja ​© Nadika Nadja ​© Nadika Nadja

​Nadika Nadja

Nadika Nadja is a writer and researcher, with interests in history and archaeology, gender, technology and the internet. 

Namita Bhandare © Namita Bhandare © Namita Bhandare

Namita Bhandare

With a Masters degree in journalism from Stanford University, award-winning journalist Namita Bhandare has 30 years of writing and editing experience with such publications as Sunday, India Today and Hindustan Times. Since 2012, she has written exclusively on gender including a 12-part series on women and work for IndiaSpend and an ongoing fortnightly column for Hindustan Times. In 2014, she was appointed India's first gender editor for the publication, Mint, a position she held for three years. She is presently an independent journalist living in New Delhi. 

Devashish Makhija © Sorabh Munjal

Devashish Makhija

Devashish Makhija has written and directed the multiple award winning films 'Ajji' (Granny), 'Bhonsle', 'Taandav', 'El'ayichi', 'Agli Baar' (And then they came for me), 'Rahim Murge pe mat ro' (Don’t cry for Rahim LeCock), 'Absent', and ‘Happy’; ...

Rubaiyat Hossain © Khona Talkies

Rubaiyat Hossain

Rubaiyat Hossain is one of Bangladesh's handful of female filmmakers, known for her critically acclaimed debut feature film Meherjaan (2011) which faced political and cultural wrath in Bangladesh for its antiwar narrative, and its critic of masculine nationalism from a feminine point of view. 

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki © Kaushik Iqbal

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki

Bangladesh’s most widely internationally feted director, Mr Farooki has directed about 18 creative works, written 17 and produced nine that have been at festivals worldwide. 

Tillotama Shome © Tejinder Singh Khamka

Tillotama Shome

Actress Tillotama Shome has created a repertoire of exceptional performances in critically acclaimed award winning films both international and national. She is an extraordinary actress who navigates between cultures and languages effortlessly. 

Ravish Kumar © Ravish Kumar © Ravish Kumar

Ravish Kumar

In a stifled media environment characterised by “fake news”, sensationalism, TRPs, larger than life anchors, and the silenced on the ground reporter, Ravish Kumar stands out through his insistence on journalistic ethics, sobriety and adherence to fact-based reporting. Using social media to connect with his audience, he travels extensively, researching on and documenting the oft-ignored ordeals of the common Indian – caste atrocities, unemployment, farm distress, crippling education system and sectarianism amongst others. 



Tasveer Ghar ©