Gender Bender

GB 2023-Festival © Sandbox Collective

Gender Bender is a one-of-its-kind-annual festival held in Bangalore, India, that showcases new works of art that re-examine and re-imagine the spectrum that is gender. What started as a platform to display the works of the grantees, has over the last eight years, grown into a much-needed and recognised space for important conversations that aim to contribute to our constantly evolving understanding of gender and its implications, including the need for intersectionality, with artists and audiences alike. The festival showcases works created by the grantees, and also includes curated performances, panel discussions, exhibitions and workshops.

Who can apply*:
Applications are invited from individuals and collectives working in the field of arts to create new and original* work around the idea of gender. You are encouraged to approach this theme in a critical way, in relation to your own perspective. The artistic contributions can take any form of expression across different media - from dance to drawing, from photography to pottery, mixed media to mime, and everything in-between, so long as it is new work that can be presented, performed, screened, or exhibited to an audience.

An independent panel, comprising eminent individuals from various fields, shortlists the projects to be supported. The shortlisted projects receive a grant towards the creation of the work, awarded at the discretion of the panel with due reference to the proposal and budget submitted. The projects develpoed by the grantees will be showcased in Bangalore during the Gender Bender Festival from December 8 to 10, 2023.

Meet the jury team for this edition:
Afrah Shafiq is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Goa, India. Her work takes hybrid forms that bring together text, sound, animation, code, and sculpture to create interactive, sometimes simulated atmospheres to experience and unlearn. She often seeks ways to retain the tactile within the digital and the poetry within technology.

Mary Therese Kurkalang is a cultural curator and social researcher working across art & culture, publishing, and the social sector since 1994. She is the Festival Director of the Shillong Literary Festival and Co-Founder of Rachna Books Writers Residency in Gangtok. Based between Shillong and Delhi, forest walks and cooking is what keeps her grounded and nurtured. 

Rajyashri Goody is interested in creating space and time for thinking through these themes, and incorporates reading, writing, ceramics, photography, printmaking, and installation in the hope that these mediums enable further conversations about caste and hierarchies. Her art practice explores everyday and historic instances of Dalit resistance. 

Vqueeram is a gender non-conforming writer, researcher, poet, vocal queer activist, and independent academic based in Delhi.

Gender Bender 2023 Grantees:
Akramul Hijra
Inner Rhymes
Mavelinadu Collective
Mohd Intiyaz
Rajiv Bera
Santoshpur Anuchintan
Shonottra Kumar 
Shradha Raj 
Soumya Mishra
The Pomelo

Gender Bender is a joint project of the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan and Sandbox Collective and is conceived, conceptualised, and curated by Sandbox Collective.

Previous editions:
Gender Bender 2020
Gender Bender 2019
Gender Bender 2018