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<nettime-ann> #female: pressure / International Women's Day
Diana McCarty on Thu, 14 Mar 2013 22:20:03 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> #female: pressure / International Women's Day

Press statement – 8 March 2013 – International Women's Day
An urgent call for female representation in electronic music and digital arts

Following on from recent public debate on sexism in the German media
female:pressure is calling for a collective revision of female
representation in electronic music and digital arts. We would
therefore like to contribute with an analysis of our current working

female:pressure is an international database and support network of
women in the fields of electronic music and digital art: musicians,
DJs, producers and performers; vocalists; visual artists; booking
agents; label owners; researchers and academics in these fields. We
have over 1100 members in 56 countries, many of whom are
internationally-active professional artists in their specialist

The members of the female:pressure network operate within a seemingly
progressive electronic music scene and its subcultures. However, we
find that women are notoriously under-represented in the realms of
contemporary music production and performance. The female:pressure
group would therefore like to invite you to take a look at the facts
and make the mechanisms of this specific market more transparent.

We have looked into statistics regarding festival line-ups, record
label releases and the appearance of women in several top 100 lists.
The results are shocking and disheartening, even for us deeply
involved in the scene. Most festivals – whether financed through
public funds or not – clearly do not place any value on ensuring an
appropriate ratio of female artists, or diversity in general. This
also evidently applies to label releases – in Germany (an epicentre of
electronic music and female artists) as much as in many other
countries. Nowadays, a 10% proportion of female artists can be
considered above average. We feel it is unacceptable in the 21st
century that we can still end up being the only woman performing at a
large festival. We find our female colleagues inspiring and feel that
audiences would also like to hear them and see them perform. Please
find the results of our research so far here:

As a collective body, we believe it is crucial to raise awareness
about this issue and push for more diverse line-ups in festivals and
on label rosters – in terms gender, age, culture, ethnicity and
(dis)ability. We do not want to assume that the motive of organizers
and curators to book almost exclusively male, white artists lies in
pure misogyny. We would rather conclude that they do so because it
matches social conventions, because they want to promote their peer
group and because they don't consider the socio- political dimensions
of their selection. There are more concerning issues of equality of
opportunity and accountability where festivals are largely funded by
arts funding bodies which, in turn, receive financial contributions
from a cross-section of society.

We demand a new awareness, an attitude that makes clear that a lack of
diversity is uninspired and lazy, socially reactionary and can in no
case claim to be visionary – neither presenting the panoply of
exciting artists and art of today nor the future. There really is no
excuse for the prevalent lack of visibility of a diverse range of
competent and exciting artists. Festival line-ups (especially those
that enjoy public funding) need to be aiming for a more representative
female-to-male artist ratio, thereby reflecting the population they
hope to serve more closely.

Our work is important to us as a manifestation of a culture with
vitality, an expression of our times and our contribution to this
cultural dialogue. Of course, we also attach importance to quality, to
the mastering of our production tools and instruments, to the
sophistication of our musical means of expression and style. But the
crucial point of cultural progress and improvement lies in the
interaction with an expert audience: performance, exchange, feedback,
evaluation, releasing, representation, trial and error are essential
steps in the development of one's craft and creativity.

Let's be frank – enough is enough. female:pressure believes there is
no justification for more male- dominated music events. We need – and
paying audiences deserve – invigorating and entertaining diversity!

Festival curators, sponsors, label owners, journalists: Give more
opportunities to women!
Female festival curators, sponsors, label owners, journalists: Don't
try to be the better men by only taking ‘risks’ on established, male
artists! Give more women a chance!

We look forward to your response and positive developments in this
cultural sector in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact us at
info {AT} femaepressure.net if you have any questions regarding this issue.

Here's to a brighter future for the arts.


Freies Künstlerradio aus Berlin!
88,4 MHz in Berlin & 90,7 MHz in Potsdam.


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