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Between estrogenes, glitter nails and toxic masculinity: TAA returns to London

Starting on Thursday 26th September, the Temporary Autonomous Art (TAA) will return to a secret London location. This well established event brings together underground artists in order to put up an open access, and often unruly, art festival in a squatted venue. Most of the programme for the September 2019 TAA is finalised and includes film screenings, spoken word, performance art, music, cabaret, VJs, workshops and talks among many other joys. Obviously, there will be a party too.

One of the happenings at the TAA this year will be a performance entitled “Between estrogenes, glitter nails and toxic masculinity”, delivered by Maja. 

Maja operates an international tour booking agency called Queers to the front Booking, engages in different queerfeminist activist groups and puts on DIY punkshows in Germany. She is a trans*woman and uses the pronouns “she” and “her”. The following is the description of Maja’s TAA show in her own words.

Between estrogenes, glitter nails and toxic masculinity

Transpeople in society–between the rise of the alt-right, widespread anti-feminism and toxic masculinity the space grows small for gender-nonconforming individuals. Hostility against trans people, especially trans* people of colour, is on the rise with increasing numbers in hate crimes whilst ideas like the European Union and international cooperation have come under serious threat.

Again, the gender binary seems to be an untouchable construct even though trans* and queer perspectives and ideas questioning the heteronormative cisgender nuclear family gain more and more mainstream media spotlight in recent years –prompting both very dangerous and very positive outcomes. So, how can the gender binary be challenged? What can we learn from the anti-feminist backlash against the #MeToo- campaign and the overarching negative response by mostly men to the recent Gillette ads challenging toxic masculinity and rp culture?

As a trans*woman that spent a good par tof her life identifying as a cis-man, engaging in both men’s soccer teams and all-male punk rock bands before finally coming out at age 20and eventually getting into queer feminist activismI was able to really gain very broad insight on privilege and gender norm expectations in the most different of surroundings.

Speaking about my experiences to different audiences in different venues each night, Itrytocreate a safer space that is primarily for marginalized people such as queer people, women*, people of colour, (dis)abled or neurodiverse people.Together with you, I’d like to open a space that we can discuss, empower, critizise and grow in together, both sharing experiences and learning about privileges.

My events are open to all genders, but I ask (especially white) cisgender men to takeastep back for the night and give space to the less privileged.

Throughout my talk we’ll walk through my personal evolution and find out about my step sto coming out finally and eventually growing into the trans* woman that I am today. Sharing experiences of surroundings such as the punk rock scene, the BDSM and fetish scene, feminist activist groups but also men’s sports teams, I’d like to explore different facets of gender identity and gender expression but also the hurdles in navigating society as a transgender woman together with you.

From the limitation in access to transgender health care and estrogenes to sexuality, relationships, gender dysphoria, self-hate, the longing for femininity and the vital importance of sisterhood and solidarity–there’s much to discuss and see.

TAA will run from Thursday 26th to Saturday 28th September. The programme, logistics and info on how to get involved is available here.

Image: Queers to the Front Booking

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