Contemporary queer performance art in Switzerland

Auteur Muriel BRUTTIN
Directeur /trice Eléonore Lépinard
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Anna Leander
Résumé de la thèse

My PhD project looks into the various ways in which oppressed minorities can mobilize art to express themselves, build community, and foster resilience and resistance. I focus my investigation on the relationship between art and its context of production, or, in other words, how art and community intertwine and affect each other. I explore specifically the Ballroom scene within Switzerland, though at the beginning of my research I did briefly dip a toe into queer contemporary dance and queer contemporary performance based art as well.


By “the Ballroom scene,” I refer to the Black and Latinx LGBT underground scene that emerged in Harlem, New York, in the late 1960s. This scene includes performance forms such as voguing and runway (this is not the ballroom of foxtrot and salsa). This performance-based scene has since spread to many places around the world, and is now present in cities across Europe. The core of my research focuses on the scene that exists in Switzerland, especially the scene in Lausanne and its relations to the scenes in Zurich, Geneva and Bern. Because the various scenes in Europe are all interconnected and each of them also have a relationship to the scene in the US, I have also taken a peep at the scene in Paris, Milan and Rome in person, and at the scenes in Berlin, London, and New York and Russia through online ethnography.


For a sense of what Ballroom is, you can take a look at the google archive project "Explore the Ballroom Archive" available here: artsandculture.google.com/story/explore-the-ballroom-archive-destination-tomorrow/tgWBbYSyOJvuXw or watch the 1990 documentary "Paris is Burning" (this film has been criticized by many but remains a useful archive of the Ballroom scene).

Statut au milieu
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2025