go drag! is an original concept and represents
an event that has not taken place before. The intention of this festival
is to bring together many different European gender artists and to celebrate
their work. We are creating a network of performers, in order to facilitate
and develop cultural exchange between gender-transforming artists throughout
For several years the Drag King phenomena has been given
much media attention. With this festival, we want to show that Drag Kings
arent just a fashionable Zeitgeist peculiarity covered by popular
Participating performers come from: Scandinavia, Italy,
Austria, Germany, Great Britain and the US.
The fact that go drag! explores exciting new
paths within the gender debate/discourse will have an enormous cultural
impact for each city that hosts the festival. Within contemporary gender
discourse the area of female to male gender transformation is a hot topic
and thus is reflected in the culture by increased public interest as represented
by the popularity of such movies as Boys Dont Cry and
by contemporary fashion design and photography (e.g. world famous fashion
photographer Peter Lindbergh shooting super models Christy Turlington,
Linda Evangelista and others in male drag).
Higher education is also responding to this increased public awareness
in gender by introducing Gender Studies Departments or expanding the Women
Studies Department to include Gender Studies.
Diane Torr has created and performed drag
performances since 1982 and began teaching Drag King workshops in 1989
in New York. By touring her Drag King workshops throughout Europe: Berlin,
Hamburg, Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Manchester, Bolzano, Zurich, Bern,
Copenhagen, Helsinki, Portugal, Athens and Istanbul a Drag King culture
began to emerge.
Bridge Markland is one of the main protagonists of gender transformation performance in Germany. She organized the first Drag King event in Berlin on Fathers Day in 1994, organized a Mens Evening tour of five major German cities in 1996 and initiated a previous much smaller incarnation of go drag! Festival in 1997 at STÜKKE Theatre in Berlin. Her most famous performance "The most beautiful woman in the world" has thrilled audiences in Europe and the US. Her full evening shows have toured in Germany, France and New York.
|"You have a lot more credibility as a man in this world. You walk into a room as a man, people immediately pay you attention. You walk into a room as a woman, they check out if you are sexy, thats the first thing, men and women. Then they check if you are a certain age. If you are over 35-40, forget it. Only if you are a particularly elegant looking woman, then people could be curious.|
|Diane Torr in the movie "Venus Boyz"|
|"I think that we are very
much in the tradition. In African and Native American societies people have
always done cross dressing and lived with aspects of both genders. Most
of the times those were the spiritual people, the medicine people, the healers.
By showing our comfort with living both gender aspects we bring a healing
to people, to society.
Now the world doesnt believe we should wear hair in our faces, before they didnt think women should wear trousers or drive cars. I think the world is changing.
|Storme Webber (singer, writer), in the movie "Venus Boyz:|
|" Martin was the Action Man of oxymorons. Even though in my head I knew he was female, the way she performed Martins masculinity was lewdly compelling and to me, incredibly seductive.|
|Del LaGrace Volcano talks about Shelly Mars/Drag King & Performance Artist from New York; "The Drag King Book", Del LaGrace Volcano, Judith "Jack" Halberstam, Serpents Tail, 1999|
|"Clothing has a specific
significance, which makes it a specific form of language predestining it
for transporting societal changes and lifestyles...how is it possible, by
a change of dress to also change the original meaning of clothing.
The biological sex is the effect of a sociocultural construction of societies definition of gender. Through the split the basic identity of gender and sex are disturbed. Because exactly these two categories collide with cross dressing.
Adolphe Binder/ Susanne Benedek, "Von tanzenden Kleidern und sprechenden Leibern", edition ebersbach, 1996
|"Youre born naked and the rest is drag."|
|"Lettin It All Hang Out", An Autobiography by RuPaul (bekannte New Yorker Drag Queen), Hyperion: New York, 1995|
|"Masculinity is for everyone, it is not limited to a biological gender, the same is true for femininity.|
|Judith "Jack" Halberstam, Gender Theorist|
LaGrace Volcano when asked: "What
is a Drag King? replies "Anyone (regardless
of gender) who makes a conscious performance out of masculinity.
" It was only by making a performance out of femininity that I was able to inhabit a female persona
|" It was only by making a performance out of femininity that I was able to inhabit a female persona |
|Del LaGrace Volcano, Judith "Jack" Halberstam, "The Drag King Book", Serpents Tail, 1999|