Nominee: Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices 2020
For my graduation project, I am creating a short movie called touch’M which will serve as a symbolic depiction of how nonsexual touch can heal parts of toxic masculinity. It will be a sensory experience which uses sound and diverse materials to create an alien yet beautiful atmosphere that is the universe of touch.
For this project, I created the concept, served as the art director, assembled the team of creatives to ensure its production, as well as worked as the choreographer and set designer.
The viewers will see male figures of all different shapes and forms moving in together in a blank space engaging in moments of touch.
Men living within western society are locked into a box of limiting norms which dictate how “real men” should behave. Unfortunately, these norms often hinder men from being vulnerable. They are often denied the ability to engage in basic human emotions and acts such as crying or hugging and if they do, they are often seen as weak or feminine.
However, many scientific studies make it abundantly clear that nonsexual touch has immense value as it pertains to communication and bond creation.
The conducted research for this project also seeks to draw clear connections on how the lack of nonsexual touch can contribute to the increase in violence and aggressive behaviour.
The film, “touch’M” serves as a personal depiction of the power and beauty of healthy nonsexual touch amongst men and seeks to raise awareness while providing a potential strategy for addressing a widespread issue. Imagery which we consume through media, books, and film etc. has a strong influence on how we perceive the world around us. Therefore, this short production will run counter to mainstream norms and work to “normalise” this depiction of nonsexual intimacy between males.
The larger underlying message, however, is to make clear the unquestionable beauty, necessity, and beneficial nature of intentional nonsexual touch.