Lecture Emily Witt (author Future Sex)

A Clean Well-Lighted Space: The Visual Presentation of Sexual Identity  – lecture by Emily Witt (author Future Sex) on 15 March 2018

In the early 1990s, when the first internet dating sites appeared on the World Wide Web, entrepreneurs discovered broad differences in what kinds of graphic design would attract users of different genders and sexual orientations. To attract women, in particular, dating sites used a strategy of white backgrounds, and friendly logos. They banned sexually explicit photographs and erased all hints of open sexuality, even though these were sites where people were coming to find sexual partners. This marketing strategy came to be known as creating a “clean, well-lighted space,” where women could feel comfortable looking for dates online. This lecture will explore the lessons and limitations of this visual strategy, and what it reveals about the stories we tell ourselves.

Izabella Finch

Izabella Finch has a mission to invoke gigglegasms as a medicine for the masses. She created the bombastic, eco-feminist character Priestess Pussylicious, and the comedy cabaret, performance lecture ‘The Pussy Tutorials’ to preach her ideas about empowerment through sexual intimacy, honouring persons and loving our human form… and making silly of our seriousness.

Izabella has trained in dance, singing, theatre since a child,  BA Choreography at Dartington College of Arts, and currently in her 3rd year of Voice Movement Integration studies in Amsterdam. Her work has been shown at EYE Museum, Foam Museum, Mezrab, Sexyland, Ruigoord, ADM, Tropen Theater, at comedy nights across Amsterdam & Berlin and at the Brighton Fringe in England.

Izabella Finch performs with Melanie Bonajo on 15 March in SEX  & the Sexual Politics of the Gaze, Three stories on sex, rituals and intimacy.

Julius Thissen

Julius Thissen is a visual artist and a gender activist. After receiving his BA Fine Art at the ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem in 2015, Julius has produced multi-disciplinary works that include photographs, videos, sculptures and installations.
In his work Julius questions (gender)identity and diversity in society. Using masculine stereotypes he explores gender roles and the influence of social expectations on our behaviour. His work also serves as a means of exploring his own identity: his graduation project gave him the confidence to come out as a transgender man.
Ever since Julius has entered the male domain, he has been taking a close look at toxic masculinity: socially-constructed notions that typify the masculine gender role as violent, unemotional, aggressive and so forth. He is keen to challenge these assumptions and put them to the test. What does it mean to be a man? And are our social expectations of what men are supposed to be fair and realistic?



Melanie Bonajo

In her work, Melanie Bonajo examines the paradoxes inherent to ideas of comfort with a strong sense for community, equality, and body-politics. Through her videos, performances, photographs and installations, she studies subjects related to how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, gender and attitudes towards value.

Melanie Bonajo studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and completed residencies at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Amsterdam (2009-10) and at ISCP in New York (2014). Her work has been exhibited and performed in international art institutions and her films have been screened at numerous international festivals.

The video work ‘Night Soil -Economy of Love’ portrays a group of sex workers in Brooklyn who regard their work as a way for women to regain power in a male-dominated pleasure zone. Their mission is to transform sexual conventions and ideas about intimacy. The vivid images are accompanied by spoken text, an expression of Bonajo’s vision of contemporary spirituality and expectations about gender roles, with playful, sensual and feminist means. Power to the female body!

Melanie Bonajo is guest in the programme ‘Tools for engagement: Three stories about sex, rites and intimicy’ (part of Sex & the Sexual Politics of the Gaze).

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

photo by Erik Carter

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, originally from Detroit, MI, is a Nigerian-American curator, author, and performance artist. He is a 2017 Princeton Arts Fellow, a 2017 Jerome Artists in Residence at Abrons Arts Center, and a 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellow. His work has been presented throughout Europe and the United States. He has created original roles in the performance works of visual artist Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Keely Garfield Dance, Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, Headlong Dance Theater, among others. Kosoko’s poems, interviews, and essays can be found published in The American Poetry Review, Poems Against War, The Dunes Review, Silo, Detroit Research v2, Dance Journal (PHL), the Broad Street Review (PHL), Movement Research Performance Journal, and Critical Correspondence (NYC).

Jaamil lectures, speaks, and performs internationally. His previous work #negrophobia has toured throughout Europe having appeared in major festivals including Moving in November (Finland), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), SICK! (UK), Tanz im August (Berlin), Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival (Norway), Zurich MOVES! (Switzerland), Beursschouwburg (Belgium) and Spielart Festival (Munich). Visit Jaamil.com or philadiction.org for more information.

Jaamil gives a lecture and workshop on 13 April 2018. Check Jaamil on video:


Fleur Hulleman

Fleur Hulleman is a material designer and concept shaper. She makes items for use close to the body. You can wear it or it’s an interior product you can have interaction with. Her work is ecstatically and attractive. She has a fascination for relations between color, material, tactility and what experience it brings. What effect does it have on space and the spectator?
January 2017 Hulleman graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven. With her project ‘Porn for the soul’ she seduces people to create sexy fantasies. It is a new vision on the known porn industry.




Liedeke Plate

Liedeke Plate is Professor of Culture and Inclusivity in the Department of Cultural Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen. She studied English and comparative literature at Utrecht University (NL), the University of Southampton (UK) and Indiana University (US), where she obtained her PhD in 1995. She wrote her dissertation on women’s rewritings of classic texts: Visions and Revisions: Female Authorship and the Act of Rewriting. She publishes internationally on the subject of women, reading and rewriting, the material turn in literary and cultural studies, cultural memory, and gender and urban space. Her current project explores literature as participatory culture, focusing on the social and material ‘things’ people do with great books.
Liedeke is guest in the programme ‘Tools for engagement: Three stories about sex, rites and intimicy’ (part of Sex & the Sexual Politics of the Gaze).

Hanne Lippard

Hanne Lippard’s practice explores the voice as a medium. Her education in graphic design informs how language can be visually powerful; her texts are visual, rhythmic, and performative rather than purely informative. Her work is conveyed through a variety of disciplines, which include short films, sound pieces, installations and performance.
Artist, curator and editor John Holten says about Lippard’s work:
‘Common sayings, turns of phrase, everyday chitchat become for her a repeated chorus rather than a coherent meaningful construction of words: with Lippard they become melodies in themselves. At times graphic, playful and intimate, this is an artist using language in all its forms in an effort to create an original aesthetic of the word.’

Hanne Lippard is guest in the programme ‘Tools for engagement: Feminism, the erotic view and the male gaze’ (part of SEX & the Sexual politics of  the gaze).