This is not a feminist festival.
This festival doesn’t pretend to be a substitute to the sociopolitical fights that have contributed to advances in women rights and those of gender minorities in the struggle for justice and equality. This is an arts festival, but also a festival for reflection, games, discovery.
And joy too.
The function of artists is not necessarily to educate, to cultivate, to make people more intelligent or less obtuse… though this can indeed happen. Artists are individuals who simply create art. Whether they are full-time or part-time; artists on weekends, on Sundays, one day a month or even once a year, they nevertheless contribute to our imaginary worlds.
Some of these worlds are more egalitarian or more inclusive than others and it is these that we want to share with you.
As stated above, this is not a feminist festival.
This is a festival that is feminist in its conception, its creation and in dialogue with feminists.
It is a festival that values and promotes the work and creations of female and gender minority artists, people of colour, white people, cis and trans, non-binary people, homeless people, those with or without savings, those with or without disabilities visible and invisible, lesbians, heterosexuals, bisexuals, those with or without families, professionals or amateurs and those from the present, past or future…
In the broad and troubled sense.
This is a festival for those who believe that women and gender minorities also have a rightful place in the world.
Come to the festival alone or with your chosen family, with your friends, children, grandparents… You will find a space for everyone and anyone.
To contribute to the visibility, dissemination and valorisation of the work and productions of women and people from gender minorities.
To facilitate the creation and exhibition of new, fairer, and more inclusive narratives.
To support the production and dissemination of knowledge on the dialogue between the arts and feminisms.
To offer emancipatory tools for women and minorities in the cultural sector.
To create a place for knowledge exchange and learning for the general public.
To change welcoming and accommodation practices towards artists and audiences and to rethink inclusiveness and safety in the organisation of and during the festival.
Since 2015, there has been an awareness toward gender inequality and discrimination in the cultural sector (Weinstein affair, Jan Fabre trial, #meetooththeater movement, creation of the FS movement, etc.). Quantitative and qualitative studies are now underway to continue to shed light on these violences.
In summary, women, gender minorities and even more so people of colour, are present but underrepresented in the cultural sector – both economically and symbolically :
maintains a glass ceiling of upward social mobility
· Less present in places of power, in theater management, in tenured teaching positions in art schools.
· Have shorter and more precarious careers.
· Have fewer financial means to create and are not institutionally supported to the same level as cisgender men.
serves as a model to determine social behavior and to perpetuate discrimination
· Often only have access to less complex and subordinate roles.
· Gender norms and beauty standards continue to determine casting.
· Women’s characters are often stereotyped, and disparities can be seen in relation to the roles of women of colour versus those of white women.
The creation of FAME · Festival where Arts Meet Empowerment is intended to support the work of these artists. It has a programme that aims to propose an alternative way of looking at the world, challenging us to reimagine things in a fairer and more inclusive way.
Here are different resources to raise awareness about the invisibility of women, gender minorities and POC in the cultural milieu (in french) :
The creation of FAME is the initiative of Delphine Houba, the councillor for culture in the city of Brussels. Her drive is to contribute to equality in the cultural sector.
FAME has given itself a series of verbs as a guide to orient our relationships with artists, audiences and between the members of the FAME team:
Press & Communication
Relations and Encounters facilities
Financial and Administrative officer
Relations and Encounters facilities
We would like to warmly thank the city of Brussels and the Riches-Claires theater, that facilitated the organisation of this festival.