New deadline! call-out for proposals – one-day conference


Montreal, May 28 2015

 french version here / version française ici

Recent controversies have only illuminated and re-centred an observation many have already made: the mainstream institutions of the performing arts exclude certain subjects and identities from their stages. This process of marginalization is realized across different axes of oppression already present in society: gender, race, class, disability, legal status, etc. Indeed, more often than not, the projects proposed by the most widely broadcast artists in the performing arts reflect white, privileged, heterosexual realities. Although many artists are invested in groundbreaking perspectives or subject matter, it is without a doubt that their work has difficulty moving beyond underground networks to reach larger audiences, adequate funding, or broader recognition. On the occasion of a one-day conference this coming May 28 in Montréal, we invite you to explore this juncture, its origins, and its consequences, as well as possible solutions that would allow our stages to reflect the richness of the comtemporary world.


This event will be an opportunity to reflect on the lived and social impacts of the representation / under-representation dyad. How does the homogeneity of representations on our stages construct a certain image of our society? How is the lack of representation of marginal identities or populations injurious? What consequences could a plurality of representations have? What roles or responsibilities do performing arts venues have in this issue of representation?

As well, we invite reflection on the hazards that impede access by marginalized artists to the stages of mainstream performing arts institutions. Are there specific, structural obstacles that must be overcome (artistic directors, funders, schools, etc.)? How are marginal practices shuffled off into underground spaces? What solutions can we imagine to attenuate the impact of these obstacles? Is it truly desirable to access a broader audience? Would such an access imply the transformation or adulteration of marginalized practices?

Often, investing in groundbreaking subject matter involves the creation of new forms, new modes of expression, new instruments. How do we describe or qualify these forms? Are there certain specificities that translate across different marginalized artistic practices? Do artists animate the subversive function of art, and how? How can the work of certain artists destabilize norms in art, in art history or in the institutions of power?


This conference aims to be open and inclusive. It will be a meeting space between artists, academics, cultural workers, activists, the public, etc. We therefore invite proposals of various forms and colours (academic presentations, performance, interactive workshops, interviews, etc.), in French as well as in English. Activities should be between 15 and 20 minutes and each will be followed by a Q&A with the public. At the same time, we are completely open to proposals that may not fit this structure (which may be limiting for some). Surprise us!

OFFSTAGE is a project of projets hybris, a budding company of interdisciplinary creation with a queer and feminist approach, based in Montréal.

Please send your proposal of approximately 250 words as well as a short biography to

New deadline: April 20, 2015


PDF version of the call-out