The course of events - Feminine Tripper's refusal to consider applications by Israeli choreographers

This is a documentation of the course of events regarding Feminine Tripper Festival's refusal to consider Israeli aplicants. This is an attempt to gather information and to stay faithful to the act of documentation (although i was a side in these events). Nevertheless, as the discussion went viral it is impossible to grasp the whole of it. You are welcome to inform me about additional information regarding the topic.

Feminine Tripper Festival

FEMININE TRIPPER is an Oslo (Norway) based art festival which took place during March, 19-25th, 2018.

It is organized by the BUTOH-LABORATORIUM - Margrete Slettebø and Kristiane Nerdrum Bøgwald, and is supported by NORDIC BLACK THEATRE.

The festival deals with themes of gender and femininity, as describe in the open call:

"Feminine Tripper" - An event showing multiartistic research into topics of femininity, gender identities and power.
The strength to be found in fragility, the softness lurking in solidity. Two opposing forces, seemingly opposite, but where one entails the other. What gender dream are we currently dreaming? Are we moving towards androgyneity or multigenderism? Is femininity threatening masculinity, the other way around or are these labels outdated alltogether?
Gender is a way to display ourselves. Self-presentation and identities are connected to our bodies.The body and voice represents physical realities, but also abstractions. It can be a door into knowledge and curiosity about who we are. In a society where rationality and physical realities is given priority- where does art fit in? Are we still adapting to a hard-edged ‘what you see is what you is what you get’- man’s world or is there space for the soft, intuitive and ambiguous? Art is about self-expression coming from our minds, our bodies our souls. What gender makes art?

Facebook page:

(The FB page is blocked to Israeli IP's since ?)

Criteria described in the open call

The festival announces their open call through various internet platforms and the dead line for applications was 23/2/18. Here is one example for the content of the open call.

Quote for the open call:

"All artists can apply with performances, video works, poetry, music, installations, visual works, regardless of age, sex, gender and nationality." (emphasis added)

The Israeli applicants

Myself (Adi Shildan), and at least four other female Israeli choreographers (Nitzan Lederman, Eden Weisman, Maayan Cohen Marciano & Roni Rotem) applied to the festival, each with our own work independently. Additionally, at least two other Israeli choreographers that live abroad (Germany & Japan) applied as well. We all applied in time and sent all the required information, videos etc.

First response to my application (24/2/18)

After applying by sending an e-mail to the festival (23/2/18), i received the following e-mail (24/2/18):

Refusal letter from the festival (7/3/18)

On 7/3/2018 i received by e-mail a refusal letter, it was identically sent to all the Israeli choreographers living in Israel and also to the Israeli choreographer living is Japan. The Israeli choreographer living in Germany didn't get the same letter, but got an email that his work was not chosen for the festival.

Here is the full content of the e-mail:

Link to the article they refer to: (dated 20/9/2005).

A collective response from the Israeli choreographers (15/3/18)

After receiving the refusal letter, one of us posted on an Israeli dance Facebook group asking if other choreographers got the same response. Only then we realized we all got the exact same e-mail, and decided to talk with each other and formulate a common response to the festival.

The Attached response letter:

Links from the letter:

Haaretz, November 27th, 2017: Dances With Partial Nudity Stripped of Funding by Israel's Culture Ministry

The Guardian, November 28th, 2017: Nudity lands Israeli dancers in fresh conflict with culture minister

Haaretz, February 13th, 2018: Movie Theater of the Absurd: Regev's Boycott of 'Foxtrot' Snubs Israeli Culture

Haaretz, June 2nd, 2017: Resist Israel's Culture Minister, Don’t Fear Her

The Festival's e-mail response (15/3/18)

Israeli choreographers e-mail response (17/3/18)

Open letter from Feminine Tripper festival (18/3/18)

Going into a wider public discussion (16/3/18 going on)

After we sent the above email, the five Israeli choreographers published the email correspondence and the response letter in social media as open letters to the public (mainly personal FB pages and FB dance groups). Additionally, once the festival announces the participants, we also emails or messages through FB messenger to the selected artist in order to inform them about the situation.

That started a wider discussion in social media and press, locally and internationally.

Some individuals published these events in their personal FB pages.

Here is a link to one of the main FB threads by Mia Habib:

Mia's first post (21/3/18):

"Feminine Tripper is described as aiming at being “an event showing multiartistic research into topics of femininity, gender identities and power”.
The two artistic directors has chosen to boycott five Israeli dance artists (applicants to the festival) due to the political situation in Israel/ Palestine. The five artists answered with a longer letter