PASSING THE BECHDEL TEST
In 1929 Virginia Woolf stated that female characters are usually defined by their relationship to male characters. The Bechdel test was developed in the 1980s: an informal test to assess the degree of sexism in fiction. A determiner of this would be when at least two women converse about something other than a man. When applied to today’s mainstream films and literature, the results remain troubling.
Together with thirteen young
people (f/x), Jan Martens creates scenes
that consider gender diversity and gender equality. The young people take on
board each other’s position and those
of female authors and personalities: from Virginia Woolf to Susan Sontag, from Toni Morrison to Ma ie Nelson. Fragments from letters, diaries, lyrics, essays and TED talks form the frame to which their own biographies are added. For the first time, Jan Martens focuses on text. From his choreographic perspective and together with the young people, he designs a manifesto for the future.