The festival "Les Femmes S'en Mêlent", takes its autumn quarters in Paris and in five Paris municipalities from November 14 to 26. The 24th edition, supported by the DRAC Île-de-France, presents, under the ALLIANCE Diversité et Égalité label issued by AFNOR, intergenerational artists and musicians who clearly make up the living chapter of music. For the second year, the new program "Women Get Involved" takes place in parallel with the artistic programming.
On March 8, 1997, the "Women Get Involved" was created in Paris by Stéphane Amiel. For the founder and programmer of the event, promoting the place of women artists in current music is a priority. For 25 years, this great event has been able to establish itself in the musical landscape, to mark its difference, to affirm its necessity and to impose itself to respond to their under-representation on a large number of stages of shows. Over the years, it became the first international festival offering 100% female programming.
"Les Femmes S'en Mêlent" seeks to create a positive impact in the trajectories of women and non-binary people in the current music sector, relying on support, participation and expertise, a network of actresses and actors committed to gender equality in contemporary music.
On stage, confirmed artists and new talents
Stella Donnelly + Banjo Lucia, Aoife Nessa Frances, Emilie Zoe + Francis of Delirium, Claire Days + Morjane Ténéré, Derya Yilidrim & Grup Simcek + Ora Cogan, Soom & The Stone Monks + Camille Esteban, Kalika + Sally, Miss K + Deleo, The Vulva Assassins, Laura Cahen + Gisèle Ppape + Inès Damaris, China Moes + Maë Defays, Tracy de Sa + Fanny Polly + Eline
a new action mechanism
In November 2021, under the leadership of Adriana Rausseo and Stéphane Amiel, with "Les Femmes S'engage", a new device accompanying the artistic programming is implemented to support gender equality in current music. It thus paves the way for hundreds of women to consider the approach of new vocations or to improve their experience. In 2022, it will be possible to take part in workshops and attend conferences, professional meetings, screenings and debates. Its primary philosophy: to reduce the many obstacles to achieve real equality involving all professions and all levels of the music ecosystem.
Creative freedom is expressed in the expression of diversity
Meeting with Adriana Rausseo and Stéphane Amiel
You have chosen to renew for 2022 the "Women Get Involved" operation, launched in 2021 in parallel with your artistic program "Women Get Involved". Can you explain what the initiatives and actions are based on, how they are adopted and how they are translated?
The Women’s Commitment proposals are the result of collective work. For almost 3 years we have been meeting collectives, associations and other initiatives led by women in the sector, in order to understand their approaches, join forces and collectively build concrete proposals. The idea is to be able to contribute, humbly, to equality, diversity and inclusion in current music. Through these exchanges, and thanks to feedback from artists and other professional women and men in the sector, we were able to identify themes, identify needs and adapt our actions accordingly.
Then we offer an evaluation to the participants of the scheme (workshops, conferences, screenings, debates) and their feedback allows us to improve our initiatives by integrating other points of view.
Is diversity one of the key words of this device? What are the other main foundations?
Creative freedom is at the heart of the project Les Femmes S'en Mêlent and therefore of the Femmes S'Engage mechanism. This freedom is reflected in the expression of diversity, whether it be in musical aesthetics or in the cultural baggage of artists and speakers. Inclusion could also be one of the key words, or at least the desire for inclusion and openness to various representations.
What was the feedback from the first Paris edition and some of its actions? Is it too early in time to already see progress?
Indeed, it may be a little early to see progress. However, we will see an increase in participation in the proposed initiatives, including technical workshops. The observation we can make is that there is an increasingly important interest and communication around the issues of gender equality in today’s music. This is also reflected in the many initiatives that have emerged in recent years throughout France. We hope, after this second, to be able to draw a more complete balance by comparing the returns of last year.
Deconstructing prejudice: is it a necessary mix of realism and utopianism?
As prejudices are social constructions, we can say almost realistically that it is possible to deconstruct them. It is a long process that requires a willingness, a lot of education and a lot of caring. This is what we try to contribute to with the women are committed by proposing meetings on specific themes that question these prejudices. Rather than a utopia, deconstructing prejudices is a vast undertaking.
Thanks to this device, some women artists, technicians, etc. dared to take the plunge and say, "Finally, it is possible!"
It is often said that there are not enough role models for women to project into certain occupations. This is a reality in the technical professions, although there are developments, women are under-represented, for example.
To propose technical or writing workshops animated by technicians, artists and musicians, could contribute positively and perhaps even create vocations, allowing women to identify and therefore to project themselves in these professions.
One might think that making women visible in these positions could have an influence in the choice of "skipping the step". At least we hope!
What role should the State play in this area?
One of the roles of the state must be to ensure equality and fair representation of diversity in the arts. To ensure that there is equal access to artistic expressions for all in order to ensure a rich cultural offering.
How are your commitments experienced with artists and audiences?
The artists are happy to meet each other and discover other artists in an event that is committed to putting everything in place to offer a moment of sharing and celebration as benevolent and safe as possible.
On the public side it’s more complicated to answer, because depending on the artistic programming or the actions, we have very diverse profiles. it would be interesting to hear their feedback on how they perceive our commitments. We work hard all year round to offer them the time for a concert, a workshop, a conference or a projection, a festive and committed space, a place of freedom and celebration.
Encouraging artistic creation and the presence of women in live music
November 14: Introduction to MAO workshop with Beats by Girlz
November 14: Computer Girls! beatmaking workshop with Sônge
Support the development of artistic projects
November 18: Stage coaching workshop with Frieda
More women on stage … and elsewhere & Les voix des artistes
November 21: Meeting: The future at work open the field of possibilities – Identifying and overcoming the blind spots of gender stereotypes with Shesaid.so France/ Parisian premiere of Singer Chôme episode 2 followed by a meeting
Raise awareness, prevent and combat gender and sexual violence and harassment (GBV)
With more than 400 musicians and composers programmed since 1997 including the first scenes of Christine & The Queens, Emilie Simon, Jeanne Added, Catpower, Feist, Soko, M.I.A, Yelle, Regina Spector, Nouvelle Vague, Daphné, La Grande Sophie, Corine, Austra, Courtney Barnett, Irene Drésel and its national influence (with an average of forty dates per edition throughout France) and international (remember London, Madrid, Brussels, Lausanne, Geneva, Montreal, etc.), the festival has become a reference both for its influence in the musical sphere and for its action for gender equality.
Women’s Paths by Le Fil
As part of the International Day Against Violence Against Women of 25 November* 2022, at the request of the Drac Ile-de-France, the Le Fil in residence at La Boutonnière Theatre presents the performance "Women’s ways"to students on Thursday, November 24, starting at 1 p.m., at theUniversity of Paris-Saclay in the theatre of La Scène de Recherche.
Le Fil is born from the meeting of artists wishing to go beyond their own discipline to explore the intermingling between the arts, Le Fil is in search of decompartmentalities, dialogues between knowledge and integrates them in the artistic manifestations that it organizes.
*This day was introduced on November 25 1999 by the United Nations (UN) . it was chosen in memory of the three Mirabal sisters, Dominican activists brutally murdered on the orders of the head of state, Rafael Trujillo.