Neverending Circles – Women’s festivals and the lack of funds

In the winter I was part of the Magdalena Munich Season 2018, curated and organized by Helen Varley Jamieson. This was quite different from other Magdalena festivals – spanning three months rather than cramming it all into a few days. It also meant that out of town artists received residencies. So for the whole month of February, I was a resident artist at the Villa Waldberta – a luxurious mansion, where I had my own apartment and training space. It made working and creating a real privilege for me and my fellow residents: This is exactly how artistic creation should be! As well as the spatial possibilities, there was the respect and official appreciation as artists: not only did we receive a stipend for our stay, we were official guests of the city of Munich. 

It may sound strange that I was so grateful for this opportunity – after all I am a white academic cis-gendered woman living in Germany, one of the wealthiest, and (still rather) democratic countries in the world. Doesn’t this look like privilege all over? Yes it does, and it is. But to succeed as an academic woman artist in Germany, creating in the marginal genre of circus arts and taking a feminist stance within her work, also means the lack of funds and lack of recognition. It takes an overwhelmingly big capacity to persevere. It feels like an exception to be taken seriously as an artist by the official world. 

(This is part of a blog post on the website of the Magdalena Project. See the full text on the Magdalena Website.)