Sociology of Gender in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Work

The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, in Melbourne, made some interesting comments on gender.

Gaultier’s evolving style blends ideas of masculinity and femininity, but at the same time is still centred on mainstream ideas of heterosexual women: showing off curves on (mostly) slender bodies.

JPG has used gender non-conforming models throughout his career, including transgender women, and other body types and femininities seldom seen in high fashion, such as “plus sized” models. This is referenced as part of the exhibition, but it would have been more interesting to see this displayed via the mannequins.

The room dedicated to the artist’s punk roots was an absolute delight, and I spent way too much time in the futuristic-themed room displaying his film designs. I was ecstatic to see the designs from Peter Greenaway’s The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover.

The stories of the designer’s life were my favourite aspects of the exhibition, giving context for his lifelong interest for evoking traditional Western styles of femininity using corsets.

JPG is a fascinating figure that has commanded much academic attention, due to his contradictory reflection of art and commercialism and for speaking out on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) issues; and not without controversy.

Artability

Artability is a free exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne, featuring visual artists of various culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and ages who have a disability or who live with mental illness. This piece is “Offering of Peace and Love” by Kishari Patwardhan.

Visual Sociology of Christmas

Here is a visual sociology of Christmas in Melbourne.

The photos show a Melbourne nativity scene features people of colour. Not much further away in the Myer windows (second photo) it’s a different story… or rather the same story with only White figures.

Continue reading Visual Sociology of Christmas

African Music and Cultural Festival in Melbourne

This looks a lot like Latin dancing at the African Music and Cultural Festival in Melbourne but it is actually the Kizomba (from Angola and other countries). They then dance to a Spanish language song, an African salsa fusion they put together.

Continue reading African Music and Cultural Festival in Melbourne

Art and Culture in Multicultural Melbourne

Our visual sociology for March to June 2015 includes the Japanese Summer Festival in Melbourne, extraordinary public art in Canberra and a quick trip to Sydney.

World’s Most Liveable City

Melbourne: the world’s most liveable city! In late 2014 Melbourne was named number 1 of 150 capital cities in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index. This is the fourth time we topped the survey. We rated highly in healthcare, education and infrastructure. Part of Melbourne’s appeal is our multiculturalism. First and second generation migrants (people born overseas and their children) make up around half of all Victorians. Melbournians come from over 200 cultural backgrounds, speak over 260 languages, and belong to 135 different religions. 2 March

I took this photo off Hosier Lane. Artist: kilproductions. See the artist’s website. Continue reading Art and Culture in Multicultural Melbourne

Share the Spirit: Survival Day 2015

The 26th of January is Australia Day and a national holiday. Various events happen all over Melbourne, but some of these recognise that this day raises important issues about Indigenous culture in Australia. Protests over colonialism have been ongoing since Europeans settled in Australia in 1788. On the 26th of January 1938, 150 years after the decimation of Indigenous people began, William Cooper (leader with the Australian Aboriginal League) together with Jack Patten and William Ferguson (the Aboriginal Progressive Association) declared the first “Day of Mourning,” a day recognising the history of colonial violence and dispossession. Survival Day events represent the resilience and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who collectively make up the world’s oldest, continuous culture.

I attended the Share the Spirit festival, hosted by Songlines Music. This event has been running at the Treasury Garden since 2002. Together with similar events in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and elsewhere, they are amongst the biggest Indigenous cultural events in Australia. Continue reading Share the Spirit: Survival Day 2015

Iranians in Australia

There are almost 34,500 Iran-born people counted in the last Australian Census in 2011. Most arrived in the early 1980s as a result of the Iranian Revolution that began in 1979.

The largest proportion of these early arrivals are highly educated Baha’i who were granted special asylum status under our humanitarian migration program. Later in the 1990s arrivals have been predominantly Shi’a Muslim and they largely came as under the skilled migration program. A sizeable proportion of Iranians have migrated since 2001.

Iranian Australians are incredibly interesting sociologically as they are a relatively upwardly mobile group who outperform many other refugee groups who arrived since 1980s. The early arrivals who settled in Sydney in particular do well along many socioeconomic measures.

In the first two pictures, a group of Iranian-Australians in Melbourne are happily chanting in Persian about Iran’s greatness in soccer. In English they are talking about Australian scores in sports.

Emily Floyd

“Permaculture Crossed with Feminist Science Fiction,” by Australian artist Emily Floyd

“A Strategy to Infiltrate the Homes of the Bourgeoisie.” Art by Australian artist Emily Floyd.

Latin Summer Festival

In the 2011 Australian Census, there were over 107,300 Latin-Australian migrants. The majority were born in South America (almost 87,700 people); the second-biggest groups were born in Central America (14,900 people); and a smaller proportion were born in the Caribbean (4,7000 people). Continue reading Latin Summer Festival

Visual Sociology of the Western Suburbs

 

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A visual sociology of the Western suburbs of Melbourne, with an artificial lake behind a shopping centre. Like so many new shopping centres and estates in this area, we must have water and ducks surrounding us. The asthetic presumably brings us closer to nature and beautifies the ever expanding buildings.