Queer or straight, women perform their femaleness both within and against societal gender rules that dictate what women should be. In a patriarchal society we work harder to establish our womanhood against norms that trap us in limited boxes of “feminine” self-expression. Drag kings- women dressed in masculine drag to personify and perform male gender. Stereotypes are quite rare anywhere in the world. They are almost unheard of in India, where the publicly active queer community is even more marginal. This is the story of how thirteen queer women aimed to capture the raw masculine energy and style in them and sneaked out of their female bodies. They dreamed drag to bend gender. Being drag kings was of course a pleasurable pursuit, but to them, it was more about erasing restrictive gender boxes. The idea of drag, on paper, can seem like a fancy dress parade. But in reality, being a drag king involves both a physical and psychological shift. Men and women walk, sit, stand, and act differently. Mannerisms are different. Generally, men tend to throw back their shoulders and stand more upright. They walk with their legs apart. Women tend to sit quite neatly, but men take up a lot of pace. To seize these subtleties on camera is tougher still. That these gender-bending rebels is a bunch of female-identified women playing at being men is a mere back drop to the movement that they have launched — a revolution of sorts.
About the ArtistArtist Website
Indu Antony is an artist based out of Bangalore and Kerala, India. Born and raised in a conventional Indian family she overcame various social obligations to pursue her forms of expressions.
She has hence been working with individuals from the fringes of the society. She is known to explore tonalities of inward discussions which later on bursts out into the communal spaces. Her work primarily revolves around the notion of spaces and their intangible character in relation to the gendered body as a site of representation by understanding feministic stands which gives way to performances and installations.
Indu Antony has participated in several group exhibitions including the Serendipity Arts Festival, 2018; Kochi-Muziris Biennale (Collateral), 2018-19; Foto Fest Biennale, Houston, 2018; Queer Asia Photo Exhibition, London, 2017 and Photo Kathmandu, Nepal, 2015.
She won the Toto funds Award for photography for the year 2011.