Friday, June 12, 2015

porn in the convent




WARNING: CONTAINS SOME NUDITY

Last Saturday, after my fantastic morning seminar on feminism, I took my habibi to what I thought was some kind of (an also feminist) exhibition, with some shorts and maybe some performances. This was in the evening, and after a torrential downpour that left me almost completely soaked despite my (apparently pitifully small) umbrella.

This event, called Muestra Marrana, was taking place at the Ex Teresa Arte Actual, a former temple/convent turned into an art space, right in the middle of the historic centre of Mexico City. It's really an old, very beautiful space...




But the very best part is that, once we got our dripping wet selves inside and got to what used to be the nave, we realized this was no ordinary exhibition. This was a feminist porn fest! Woohoo! Like, we walked in, and they were showing this very alternative short, called Hello Titty, from Germany, by Skyler Braeden Fox. And what were we watching on the screen? Well, a few transmen, a dominatrix, puppy play (where a person plays the role of a dog or puppy)... The story? Well, a transman (Tit Star Showboy) is enjoying his breasts one last fun time before he undergoes mastectomy, and in his caravan a number of diverse characters fight to get one last chance with him. How's that for non-commercial porn?



This was the 7th edition of the festival, with the 6 previous ones apparently taking place in Barcelona. The crowd? Pretty diverse, queer-ish feminist-ish alternative-y... Obviously, I was elated! 

After that previous short, there was a break, and then we had some porn by differently-abled people. Well, actually, first there was a documentary, called Yes We Fuck, from Spain, by Raúl de la Morena and Antonio Centeno. A pretty well made docu, if I may say so. One of the directors is also differently abled, and you get to see many different kinds of disability and how people handle their sexuality in their different situations. Very, very eye-opening. And the director and the people that took part were there! 



Now, after that, there were going to be a few porn shorts on that subject, but I was in real bad need of a hot coffee, as I was still a bit wet from the rain and we were sitting on the floor, so we had to leave quickly for a bite and to warm up. But we were more than ready for the final session of the day!

But wait, before I go there, someone could be wondering "porn? why porn? feminist porn? isn't porn always violence against women?" Well, this kind of porn they were showing was specifically aimed at showing non-heteronormative sexualities (that is, sexualities that do not conform to what is usually considered "normal" "male-female" sexual interaction). This is about giving marginalized, invisibilized, or stigmatized groups a space and a voice. It is, therefore, empowering, mind-broadening, inclusive, and non-stereotyping of any group. The Muestra Marrana team's motto is "otro porno sí es possible" (a different porn is indeed possible). OK? So, that being said, this is a sample of some of the shorts they showed in the last session:

"Dear Jiz" (Australia), by Ms Naughty: A gorgeous trans artist takes a bath in an old tub, while we hear the e-mails of the artist's fans read aloud, ending with a strong orgasm under the faucet's stream.



"posComunicado 1de1" (Argentina) de GATASWARRIORPORNOGIRLSLATINOCUIRS: a feminist communiqué read by naked, masked women smoking through their vaginas.



"this is not courbet’s cunt" (Israel), by Rinat Schnadower: instead of analyzing the painting or discussing it either for its symbolic or artistic merit, we watch as someone does a most simple, natural thing - stroking it.



"erraseshumanx" (Colombia / México), by Una and Eunuca postporno: when sex is decoupled from the genitals, what happens?



Now, let me be frank. I'm not sure all the shorts would qualify as art. But that's beyond the point, because, like I said before, this was a festival about different porn. DIFFERENT. And inclusive of other sexualities, and groups. And in that sense, it's hard not to watch all this and not leave a bit broader of mind. 

And the very end? Well, the organizers had to give an award to the best DIY short, of course! The prize was called the premio de la Cofradía de la Inmundicia (Guild of Filth). And it was given by a couple of women, one of which managed to avoid gendered speech by substituting words ending in "o" (which are generally masculine in Spanish) with "e", which is absolutely non-standard, rarely seen outside some rather radical written texts, and absolutely fantastic! Kudos to them! And the winner? A short with differently-abled people. Cool!



It's pure luck we caught this festival on its last day. It's so invigorating to see normally invisibilized (by heteronormative consumer patterns) sexualities, bodies and attitudes being celebrated and rendered visible . Absolutely loved it!

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