Without Sacrificing Her Femininity
The AllBright, 23 August, 7-9pm
Michelle Williams Gamaker, Sam Roddick, Nando Messias and Marissa Begonia (The Voice of Domestic Workers)
Is femininity confining or empowering? Are traditionally feminine qualities only useful as lubricants for social bonds, to catch a lover or to raise a family? What is femininity now and how can we use it? These questions and more have come to the fore due to the upsurge in feminist activism following the election of Donald Trump and the accusations against Harvey Weinstein. Such activism succeeded at forcing the Merriam-Webster dictionary to change the definition of femininity. It had previously included the following example of how to use the term in a sentence: “She managed to become a female CEO without sacrificing her femininity.” This episode of The O Show therefore aims to continue the process of radicalism and re-definition. To this end, it features a panel of guests who relish in their femininity while stretching its boundaries, including: the erotic entrepreneur and activist Sam Roddick; the performance artist Nando Messias; and founder of The Voice of Domestic Workers Marissa Begonia.
Marissa Begonia is a mother and a domestic worker. She is also the founder of a self-help, grass-roots organisation called The Voice of Domestic Workers, made up of multi-national migrant Domestic Workers in the UK, to support each other and bring change in national and international politics and on the ground.
Nando Messias’ work straddles performance art, dance and theatre. His performances combine beautiful images with a fierce critique of gender, visibility and violence. He has performed at venues such as The Hayward Gallery, V&A, Tate Tanks, Roundhouse, Royal Vauxhall Tavern and the ICA.
Sam Roddick is an artistic pleasure provocateur, erotic entrepreneur, passionate activist, creative thinker, disobedient filthy mouthed feminist, celebrator of loving masculinity and feminine power. Roddick has combined her business pursuits with socio-political campaigning, having founded the ethical sex shop Coco de Mer with an activist arm called Bondage for Freedom to support human rights and end sex trafficking.
Michelle Williams Gamaker is a moving image and performance artist whose work reimagines marginalised brown characters as central figures who challenge the fictional injustices to which they have been historically consigned. These fictional activists are mutable subjects that can be played either by the artist herself – as her alter ego Violet Culbo – or by long-term collaborators.