At Gendered Intelligence we believe that the arts is a great tool for platforming the voices of young trans people as well as to generate discussions about gender identity and the ways in which is effects us all in everyday life. Over the years we have delivered many different arts projects that have taken a different theme or focus that was pertinent to the participants involved. In addition we have also used various medium and approaches. Below is a list of our arts projects in order of most current first. In many cases we create websites for each discreet arts project where you can find more information about what those projects entailed. Read below for a short summary of the projects that we have ran since we began working in 2006.
The Transvengers comic was created by a group of young trans people aged 13-19 from Gendered Intelligence. It’s the group’s response to some of the themes and personalities in the exhibition 'Institute of Sexology', informed by their own experiences as young trans people. The aim was to create a lighted hearted response to some really complicated ideas, in a way that everyone can understand and enjoy. The group worked with artist Jason Barker to create the artwork and interviewed Dr Jana Funke as part of their research. Each person designed their own Transvengers character who travels back in time to challenge key sexologists and their ideas – many of which continue to shape society’s thinking about sex and gender today. The comic is on display in the Institute of Sexology exhibition. You can view it here.
Puffball was a theatre and circus project which engaged with LGBTQ youth in a series of workshops across the country. In 2013 Gendered Intelligence worked on Puffball in collaboration with the Roundhouse. The project was a unique workshop residency for 16-25 year-olds who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning. During the 4-day residency, participants worked with award-winning performance artist Mark Storor and a professional circus artist. Theatre and circus were used to explore themes of love, acceptance, joy and loss and people’s gender identities and sexualities. A taster session was held on June 11th with 12 participants. The explorations carried out at the workshops culminated in a final show with a circus troupe, who also identified at LGBTQ as well as a cast group of young LGBTQ people. Of the cast three were from our Gendered Intelligence youth group. The show was performed at the Roundhouse in April 2014 and then toured to the Cast in Doncaster and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Jay Stewart appeared in a post show discussion about LGBT human rights. In addition Gendered Intelligence carried out trans awareness training to each of the theatres, as well as Contact Theatre in Manchester.
Who Am I? is a heritage project that considers trans heritage in the world of science. It was generated by 17 young trans people in collaboration with the Science Museum and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund,as part of their All Our Stories scheme. In Autumn 2013 we gathered a group of young trans people to explore trans heritage in the world of science. It was felt by the participants that society has often viewed gender as a binary – an exclusive classification of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’. Yet, this concept isn’t always inclusive. Science plays its part in distinguishing ‘boys’ from ‘girls’, but science can also be used to empower us to express who we are. In February 2014, as part of LGBT History Month, the Science Museum launched a new case of objects that seeks to demonstrate a shift from seeing gender only as a boy/ girl binary towards viewing gender as something much more dynamic. This project consists of a display case in the Who Am I? Gallery of the Science Museum, featuring objects and oral histories and asks 'What makes your gender?'. The case is on display until July 2014 and has been seen by tens of thousands of people.
GI's Anatomy is a unique life drawing project from Gendered Intelligence exploring the science of sex and gender through art. The project aimed to use life drawing to engage with complex ideas and scientific practices around sexed and gendered bodies. The GI’s Anatomy project ran over several months in 2013 and engaged 38 people who took part in a series of practical life drawing workshops. In collaboration with London Drawing, the participants drew life models who were also transgender or intersex identified. The aim of the project was to engage the public in debates about sex and gender by representing ideas of sex and gender diversity. Throughout this project the participants interrogated the ways in which scientific discourses and practices have come to shape our understanding of non-normatively sexed and gendered bodies. Through the creation of new representations of trans and intersex bodies, as artists the participants have contributed to documenting the physiology of sex and gender variance in these present times. The project was run in collaboration London Drawing and the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and has been funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Gravity and Gender - Celebrating Gender Diversity in Physics, Science and Engineering looks at experiences of trans people working in the fields of physics, science and engineering. Following the Alan Turing exhibition at the Science Museum, which fused exhibits of early computer science engineering with the personal narrative of Turing’s sexual orientation and the homophobia he faced, LGBT History Month in 2013 dedicated its theme to maths, science and engineering. Gravity&Gender was Gendered Intelligence’s LGBT History Month’s project where we celebrated gender diversity in the field of physics, science and engineering. This project was been funded by the Institute of Physicsand Southwark LGBT networkand supported by Central School of Speech & Drama.
It has often been stated that men’s brains are innately better suited for physics than women’s. Gravity&Gender aims to explore, debate and challenge the complexity of gender stereotyping and male privileging within these fields of work and study. As part of the project we carried out several activities including carrying out a workshop with a small group of young trans people in order to raise awareness and aspirations in the world of science, inviting in trans people already working in the industries of physics, science and engineering to share their experiences and debating ideas of gender equality and diversity in these fields.
'Young, Sex-Changed and Lonely: Our Bodies are Prisons'
In Summer 2012, in colloboration with Boldface Productions 23 young trans people were given the opportunity to write a script, shoot and edit a film using the latest 3D technology. Over the course of three sessions, participants produced a 'mockumentary', parodying the way the media deals with the stories of young trans people. Boldface is the community facing arm of Wrank Film Productions. This project was funded by the EU SARACEN project. They also have a sister programme called TrueTube which is a free award winning teaching resource free lesson plans and resources to help bring teaching to life. TrueTube (www.truetube.co.uk) receives 1 million hits per month from over 130 countries. So far it has been screened as part of the ‘We Can Be Heroes’ series of shorts at the 2013 London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and at the Wotever Film Festival.
i:Trans was a £10,000 project in conjunction with the Science Museum and funded by the Arts Council England. In April 2012 approximately 20 young trans participants explored the relationship between identity and technology over a number of sessions, resulting in the creation of artwork which was then displayed at a sharing event in June 2012. As part of the workshops we considered some of the artworks and exhibits in order to consider how science and technology impacts on how we form our identities.
Move with GI
Move with GI was a small dance project engaging young LGBTQ people in different styles of dance, funded by Big Dance. The project had two aims - to make a safe and accessible space for young people who identify as LGBTQ to have an experience of dance, and to challenge gender norms. Dance lessons included the Paso Doble, the Tango and street dance (where a choreographed dance was formed around the song “Express Yourself”). The project included four sessions with a total attendance of 18 people. Many LGBT people do not access mainstream gyms and sports centres. Participants developed a sense of improved confidence in relation to dance, as well as to their bodies more broadly. This is a key area for GI as young people have noted that they feel very low in confidence and mood particularly in relation to their body image. The sessions were programmed by Rachel Sparks, a young and emerging dance facilitator dedicated to developing dance programmes for her LGBT community. Rachel also made fantastic links with other dance practitioners who were keen to get involved in future activities and offer dance classes to our community members.
This small dance project engaged 7 people during April and May 2012. Participants consisted of younger and older men aged 18-25 or 50 plus who identified as cis or trans and as gay. The project aimed to explore their experiences of using the internet and mobile phone platforms for dating and relationships. The group used discussion, movement and photography to explore ideas. In order to share work created throughout the project, an informal event was held for invited guests.
Interartswas carried out in collaboration with Age UK and supported by V-Inspired and Pfizer. Gendered Intelligence held a number of arts sessions with approximately 30 LGBTQ participants, aged over 50 or 16-24. Participants explored how age plays a part in forming oneʼs gender identity and sexuality, and how different genders and sexualities are expressed across our aged (younger and older) bodies. Participants have been involved in photography, film, drawing, creative writing, spoken voice & performance workshops. Workshops took place over 4 Saturdays, culminating in an exhibition of work created by the participants. The work included live performance, installation art, photography, poster art and film. Together, participants shared stories which enabled the LGBTQ heritage, history and culture - be it from decades ago, right up to the current day – to be explored and celebrated.
The aims of the project were to improve understanding and relationships between younger and older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, to challenge the stereotypes and address the social isolation that can be faced by younger and older LGB and T people, to encourage people from different generations to learn together, by sharing stories and exploring heritage, history and culture across the decades and to produce a series of work including film, visual art, music and theatre which would culminate in an exhibition and performance event.
Brief Encounters started off as an LGBTQ playwriting project. A group of young people came together and wrote a play which told the story of real-life issues faced by young LGBTQ people. The play was then performed in schools, colleges and youth groups around the UK, used as an educational tool to help students understand LGBT issues.
Sci:dentity was a project that we ran in 2006. As a performing and visual arts project we worked with a group of young trans people from across the UK, to explored their understandings of the relationships between sex, gender and science. This culminated in a multi-media exhibition at Central School of Speech and Drama, London in June and a short documentary film of the project was made.
In 2010, as part of the Identity Season at the Wellcome Trust, we were asked to re-edit the documentary footage and disseminate findings from the project further. To request a copy of the DVD or find out more about this project go to the website.