Gender Bender, which was launched in 2015, is a multiarts festival that celebrates questions and fresh perspectives on gender in order to generate positive change and increase empathy in society. The events cut across dance, theatre, performance art and more.
Each year, the festival invites applications from artists and individuals worldwide for the creation of works that play with innovative ideas around issues of gender. Projects are then shortlisted by an independent panel and awarded a trigger grant. Most of these works have gone on to have a vibrant post-festival life.
A number of prominent activists, filmmakers and writers have been part of the festival over the years. The list includes Aarthi Parthasarathy, Gautam Bhan, Kalki Subramaniam, Nadika Nadja, Nisha Susan, Paromita Vohra, Saba Dewan, Urvashi Butalia and Vijeta Kumar. The festival was staged online in 2020 and 2021.
Over the last eight years Gender Bender has evolved into an arts festival that makes space for all things gender by curating and programming everything from stand-up comedy, dance, music and literature to panel discussions and technology as part of the festival.
The eight edition of Gender Bender is back in the physical form in December 2022 with a programme comprising music, dance, theatre, film, podcasts, art works and installations to pop-up library, Karaoke bar, photo booth, talks, discussions and workshops. the 10 grantees for 2022 that include both artists and collectives are Anup Let (he/him), Jafrin Akhtar (any pronoun), Mridul Kanti Goshami (they/them), MRS TAN (she/her), Pranami Rajbangshi (she/her), Revival Disability (they/them), Rishabh Shetty (they/them), Shehzor (ae/aem), Swaja / Saransh (they/them) and Apurupa and Tejaswi (they/she).
See the event list here.
Check out more multiarts festivals here.
How To Get There
How to Reach Bengaluru
1. By Air: You can reach Bengaluru via air at Bengaluru International Airport, which is located at a distance of 40 km from the city.
2. By Rail: Bengaluru railway station is located in the heart of the city. Various trains from all over India come to Bangalore, which includes Mysore express from Chennai, Karnataka Express from Delhi, and Udyan express from Mumbai, which covers many major cities in between.
3. By Road: The city is connected via major national highways. Buses from neighbouring states run on a regular basis to Bengaluru, and Bengaluru bus stand also runs various buses to major cities of South India.
- Free drinking water
- Gendered toilets
- Parking facilities
- Wheelchair access
Items & Accessories to Carry
1. Woolens. Bengaluru during December is pleasantly cold, with temperatures ranging from 15°C-25°C.
2. A sturdy water bottle, if the festival has refillable water stations and the venue allows bottles to be taken inside.
3. Comfortable footwear. Sneakers (a perfect option if it’s not likely to rain) or boots (but make sure they are worn in).
4. COVID packs: Hand sanitiser, extra masks and a copy of your vaccination certificate are things you should keep handy.
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