The way one imbibes the concept of gender is different for each person.
The second edition of ‘Avant-garde’, organised by the Gender Park and the UN Women in Kozhikode on Saturday, was an effort to bring out that understanding of gender among college students through art to spread awareness about it.
Thus teams from eight different colleges in north Kerala competed with one another by representing their understanding of ‘gender and leadership’ through dance, music, mime, poetry, speeches, and skits, or a combination of different art forms on the Gender Park campus at Vellimadukunnu.
They delved into the social perception of leadership based on gender, on the marginalisation of people socially, culturally, financially, and educationally on the basis of gender, and the ‘glass ceiling’ that people of certain genders encounter as they try to rise to leadership. The team from Farook College was the one to win the contest, while the Thunchathezhuthachan Malayalam University team came second and Government College, Kodenchery, third.
Earlier in her inaugural address, Mayor Beena Philip stressed the need to come out of conformity, even for herself. “Try to get rational thought and knowledge. Only then can you protest against conformity,” she said, adding that slow changes in attitude were long-standing rather than impulsive ones.
In her keynote address, Paulomi Pal, programme specialist of UN Women, India, explained the functioning of the UN Women and the areas in which the organisation was bringing about changes. She answered queries from students.
Presiding over the event, District Development Commissioner Madhavikkutty M.S. said expressing the idea of gender through art forms was more effective than a thousand lectures on the topic. Director of Gender Park and Sub Collector V. Chelsasini was present.