06 Genders, Sexualities, and Other Jokes: Embodied Practices to Mock Power


We will perform and think of laughter as a device for resistance and subversion of discursive limits that exclude specific bodies and subjectivities. Similarly, we will center the subversive use of laughter as a device for trans/feminist and queer action, as well as a space of realization for the desire of multiplicity, and an idea to approach knowledge through the triunfal incorporation of the party. (Kirkwood 1982).

The experience of embodied actions of protest from women, feminist collectives fighting for human rights, and trans/feminist-queer forms of activism teaches us that humor has served to resist, survive, transgress, and intelligently and ironically reimagine hard and risky situations.

How can we break normative frameworks and re-contextualize ownership of one’s body in contexts in which the possibility of freedom is taken away? How can we conceal the weight of ontology and explode the expectations of substantial identities? What advantages does performance offer as an embodied practice? What ethical and political opportunities are presented through parody and the subversive reorganization of a body? How can laughter translate the non-heteronormative conscience and experience? What are the repertories of laughter? In what ways can we move the panicked body? Through laughter, mamarracho, or subversion?

Our objective is to reflect and experiment on the use of laughter as an art form that weakness that facilitates the agile connection between knowing, doing, and saying; (De Certeau 2000; Ludmer 1985) a tool to think through other modes of expression and political resistance.

Format and Structure:

We will begin discussing the use of laughter and parody as tools of resistance and transgression of colonial and heteronormative frameworks. Thus we will study an archive of queer/cuir and trans/feminist artistic actions and activist practices in the Americas. In which we will be able to study humor as a mechanism to break down hegemonic narratives that seek to define the body and reign within contexts of political and patriarchal represion.

We will follow with a experimental theatrical techniques which will help us practice collective corporeal resistance that the participants will be able to use as a vessel to transform affective public and embodied experiences. Our objective is to transform uncomfortable feelings into action. We will use humor as an important tool to disturb order, to eliminate decomposition and work towards better lives.

To end, we will devise a performance which will be replicable, deformable, and adaptable in other contexts of protest and subversion. We will seek to articulate a riot of laughing and indisciplined bodies, which will shake the fiction off of biographic-sexual realism, and the civilizing seriousness of patriarchal language. We will put the body in perspective as a field for thought and action, as well as an invitation to consider its materiality and potential for the development of a revolutionary proyect seriously (but not too seriously) as we push the limits of social legibility.

List of what applications to the work group should include:

We are looking for artists, scholars, and LGTTBIQHAHAHA activists willing to unlearn and unarm themselves and willing to commit corpolitically to laugh at the seriousness of the civilization’s patriarchal language.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Soledad Falabella: Spanish (first language), portuguese (regular oral and written skills, excellent reading), fluent in English, French, and Dutch (oral, written, reading), German (regular oral and written skills, (excellent reading).

Naty Menstrual: Spanish (first language).

Ana Laura López: Spanish (first language), English (regular).

Constanza Muñoz: Spanish (first language), Portuguese, English, German (regular).


Soledad Falabella holds a Ph.D. in Languages and Hispanic Literature from University of California, Berkeley. She is a professor of feminist critical theory, performance, and poetry in the Gender and Culture masters program at Universidad de Chile, and a member of the project “Women Mobilizing Memory” from the Center for the Study of Social Difference of Columbia University. She is the academic director of the Advanced Academic Writing course for scholars of the Consorcio para Investigación y Capacitación Avanzada in Africa, and a member of the Editorial Board for the magazine published by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (HEMI), as well as a director for ESE:O. Falabella is the author of ¿Qué será de Chile en el cielo? Poema de Chile de Gabriela Mistral (LOM Santiago, Chile 2003) and the editor several poetry anthologies by mapuche women such as Hilando en la Memoria: Curriao, Huinao, Millapan, Manquepillan, Panchillo, Pinda, Rupailaf, e Hilando en la Memoria, Epu Rupa (Cuarto Propio, Santiago 2006 y 2009 resp.). In 2007 she coordinated the performance “El cuerpo indecible” alongside the performer and visual artist Gonzalo Rabanal.

Naty Menstrual is a writer, actor, performer, deformer, designer, and visual artist. She studied radio broadcasting at the Instituto Superior de Enseñanza Radiofónica de Buenos Aires, as well as industrial textile design with Marcela Roldán and experimental design with Dante Taparelli.. In 2011 she was featured in Javier Van de Couter’s film Mía, and in 2015 in Juan Manuel Ribelli’s Huesitos de Pollo. She is the author of Batido de Trolo (Ed. Milena Caserola, Buenos Aires, 2005), Continuadísimo (Eterna Cadencia Editorial, Buenos Aires, 2008) and Poesía recuperada (Zindo y Gafuri, Buenos Aires, 2017). Menstrual is the protagonist of the Naty Menstrual Show Cabaret.

Ana Laura López studied Communication (UBA) and she is an actriz, theatre director, and writer. She has received awards for her poetry twice in consecutive years, from the Universidad de Morón, as well as an Argentores y Metrovías award for her monologue Las Manos de Perón, published by the Editorial Cadán, and the Eugenio Cambaceres award from the Bilblioteca Nacional and Televisión Pública for her novel LA MANADA.

Constanza Muñoz is an actor and holds a masters in Gender and Culture studies from the Universidad de Chile, where she is currently an assistant professor of feminist rhetoric. Since 2009 she has been a member of the artistic collective La Junta in which she has participated as a performer, dramaturg, and director in several experimental projects which focus on exploring the causes, limits, and consequences derived from systemic violence from neoliberalism in Chile and Latin America. She is also a theatre scholar, focusing on art, gender studies, feminism, performance, memory, and resistance practices. She is a coordinator and co-author of El género en escena: relaciones en la práctica laboral de teatro en Chile (Osoliebre, Santiago 2017), the first study in Chile that explores the reproduction of gender stereotypes and inequalities in theatre and its material and symbolic effects on labor. Currently she is writing her second piece on the use of humor as a rhetorical and political-aesthetic device in human-rights-female-activist performances during the Chilean dictatorship.


  • Andrea Vertone
  • Andres Carreño
  • Fernando Rodriguez
  • Karla Silva Ribeiro
  • Letícia Barbosa
  • Lin Alves Arruda
  • María José Rodríguez Ávila
  • Melina Gaze
  • Melissa M. González
  • Rae Langes
  • Ricardo Marinelli Martins
  • Roxana Gómez Tapia
  • Solana Chehtman