In line with the “Meet the animal”, “Tous earthlings” and “We others” festivals, which invited the public to reflect on social issues, The Big T (Nantes) creates a new event entitled “to be a man” centered on the concept of masculinity. “Five years after the #MeToo phenomenon and in view of many feminist or gender debates, I thought that the time was right to explore and reinvent the idea of masculine by getting rid of patriarchal clichés”, explains the director of Le Grand T, Catherine Blondeau. To support her in her reflection, she has approached professors from Nantes University, local partners – the École des Beaux-Arts, the École nationale supérieure d’architecture and Stereolux – and has multiplied meetings with the civil society, activists and associations. The proposals made by each have contributed to the development of a very eclectic program which not only allows cross approaches, but also to make the chosen theme accessible to large audiences, and in particular young adults, very concerned by the changes at work. This is also why Le Grand T wanted to make the National School of Architecture of Nantes the epicenter of the festival and invite many students to design projects with artists and researchers. “Our approach always proceeds from the same principle: to attract the spectator by the word, the image, the experience and the sensitive”, specifies Catherine Blondeau.
During five days and in different places in Nantes (in addition to those already mentioned, the TU-Nantes, the Conservatory and the Katorza cinema join the adventure), the public will be able to attend conferences, of the shows, of the film screenings, of the performance (among others, those of Karelle Prugnaud, the author-composer D’ de Kabal, the actor, director and trans director Océan, Marion Thomas and Meg Boury who imagined an interactive journey in the mode of escape game…), discover entresorts and facilities. They will also be called upon to become actors in changing mentalities, by expressing their creativity during several workshops. While the author Coline Pierré will help them create a fanzine intended to deconstruct worn-out and toxic clichés and to dream of other masculinities, the choreographer Stéphane Imbert will offer them couple dances “in a degendered spirit”, and the Collectif Gonades will assist them in making a male contraceptive underwear. A chef will question gender in the preparation of dishes. A great way to to defuse, through humor, serious questions and of make humanity together. “Such subjects often generate epidermal reactions. Thanks to this festival, I would like everyone to grasp its complexity, to understand that it is not a question of pitting women against men, or cisgender against trans, but of uniting them to fight against the weight of representations masculine,” concludes Catherine Blondeau.
The detailed program of the festival is accessible by following this link.