Gender Bender 2021

GB 2021_Banner © Sandbox Collective

Gender Bender is the first festival of its kind in India that showcases new works of art around gender, as concept, discourse, construct, and as art itself, creating a space for gender with artists and audiences alike.The festival aims to contribute to the ever-evolving understanding of gender and its implications, to help produce works that re-examine and re-imagine the concept.

Faced with the challenges in the past year and a half, a shaky present and an uncertain future, the only thing we are certain of at this point is that we must continue the work however and whenever possible. These difficult times have only taught us how much more we must persevere to further the gender discourse in the hope of contributing to a better understanding of gender and art.

Gender Bender 2021 is envisioned as a digital manifestation of the physical festival – an interactive online space for audiences to engage with. Keeping this in mind, this year, only applications for ideas that can be realised in the digital space will be considered.

The Gender Bender grant (Rs. 25,000 - Rs. 75,000) is awarded to individuals/groups who are selected by an independent jury of eminent artists and scholars from across India.


Deadline for applications:
October 10, 2021
Final selection: October 30, 2021 
December 10 - 12, 2021

Adil Kalim
Anurati Srivastva
Dheeraj Kumar
Johnson Rajkumar
Prerit Jain
Saad Khan
Sharanya Ramprakash
Sudhamshu Mitra
Teresa A. Braggs
Twisha Mehta
Vastavikta Bhagat

Jury: An independent panel, comprising of Ambika Joshi, Nadika Nadja, Renuka Rajiv and Swati Bandi have shortlisted the projects to be supported.

Ambika Joshi: Ambika/Computational Mama has been learning, teaching, and experimenting with creative computation since 2017. She is a co-instigator of dra.ft and co-founder of Ajaibghar Cultural Services. Her work explores coding as a form of self-care and learning. She is a regular live streamer on Twitch, where she hosts "Coding with Friends" and also teaches the basics of creative computation. She is a Processing Foundation fellow in the 2021 cohort.

Nadika Nadja: Nadika is a writer, researcher and communications professional with diverse subject interests, including but not limited to history, archeology, gender, queerness, technology and tech policy, politics and Tamil.

Renuka Rajiv: Is a fine arts graduate with experience in visual art exhibitions in both informal and formal spaces. Their work inhabits a space that accommodates the imaginative, observational and autobiographical.

Swati Bandi: Swati Bandi is a scholar of Media and Gender. She is currently an adjunct professor of Communication at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and is also a documentary filmmaker. Her teaching and research interests span the fields of cultural and media studies, specializing in the study of media production, cultural policy and visual cultures in India. Her research examines the politics of empowerment in women's rights discourses, particularly the impact of market-driven policies and global/local media empowerment projects.

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