ID-clash - our Project 2013

Intercultural Performance and Installation Project on Trans Identity
In 2013, ID-clash was nominated for two awards: the ”Cologne Dance Theatre Prize 2013” and the ”Kurt Hackenberg Prize for Political Theatre”.

The project’s roots in Bangladesh

In 2010 Angie Hiesl + Roland Kaiser were invited to Dhaka by Angela Grünert, the then director of the Goethe-Institut in Bangladesh, to lead a workshop on sexual identity as part of the Rainbow Festival she had founded in the city. She also established the initial contact between the German performance artists and the community of hijras, or “third gender”. This sparked the idea for an intercultural project with transgender performers from Bangladesh and Europe.
Under its new director, Judith Mirschberger, the Goethe-Institut in Dhaka has continued to support the project. In a second, more intensive workshop in Dhaka in February 2013, which concluded with a public performance, the two Bangladeshi performers were selected for ID-clash.

Male? Female? Other?

Transgender people do not conform to the expectations of the gender role assigned to them at birth because they cannot relate to it. They feel they are in the “wrong body” and often experience a sense of dislocation. While their subjective sense of their own gender identity often provokes confusion in society, it is gaining increasing acceptance. ID-clash throws the exclusive nature of the gender binary into question. As soon as one moves away from a strictly binary system of gender, countless possibilities and models of gender self-definition present themselves. The project focuses on different concepts for living and stages of transformation.

In ID-clash transgender performers from Europe and Latin America encounter with representatives of the “third gender”, the hijra culture from Bangladesh. In Europe, the individual lifestyles of transgender people are shaped by opposing social attitudes that range from tolerance to rejection, tabooisation and prejudice. In the course of the public debate about equality and social acceptance, niches and safe havens have emerged. The lifestyle of the hijras in southern Asia follows a centuries-old mythological tradition. Genetically speaking, hijras are generally men who have the outward appearance of women but who do not feel as if they belong to either of the two sexes. They call themselves the “third gender”.

In ID-clash, which is performed in the grounds of the Municipal Nursery in Cologne-Poll, a little-known area on the outskirts of the city, the audience encounter people who do not identify with gender-role standards.

Please have a look at the documentation of ID-clash on vimeo.
The shorter film can be viewed here.

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