2020 peer group for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming artist

a collage by Pihla Lehtinen, pink background and white piece of paper with the group name written by hand. Above this, paper butterflies of different colours


This peer group is for trans, non-binary, gender nonconforming, and other non-cisgender artists and art workers. The group is organised as a form of community care: a safer and non-cis-centered space for supporting each other, discussing the struggles we face as non-cis artist, and for finding ways to navigate and collectively affect these issues.

The peer group is organised by Feminist Culture House, together with a rotating host from within the group. The 2020 host is Pihla Lehtinen, who will focus on how to navigate different positions and expectations related to being a non-cis artist.

We will talk about how gender often operates as a prefix to an artist’s position (eg. “trans artist”), strategies for including our gender in our art, and activism. These discussions are attempts to claim control of narratives that are often spoken about us without consent. Ultimately we are working towards building a culture in which these positions and labels are negotiable, fluid, and able to be wielded on our own terms, rather than something expected from us by default. We will also talk about community care, and view the peer group itself from this perspective. All the themes overlap, but we have loosely structured the first session to discuss activism, and the second session to begin from including our gender in our art.

Particular levels of input and participation are not expected or required. An important element of the peer group is just hanging out together. A maximum of 20 people can attend each session, and attendees take part in ways that feel good to them. You will not be asked to talk about your experiences more than you want to. The meetings are held in English, with Finnish translation provided if needed. If you have other translation needs, please contact Orlan at FCH and we will see if there is knowledge within the group for translation. You don’t need to have any specific educational background as an artist, nor any specific level of professionality in order to join. 

Pihla Lehtinen is a larp designer and a spoken word performer with a background in cultural studies. She has a deep, complex relationship with queer monsters, and she often works with themes of otherness, power structures, and resistance. Her art and her position as an artist overlap with queer, trans, and anarchist activism.

image of Pihla Lehtinen in front of a pink background. Pihla has black hair with a fringe and is wearing a black scarf with red roses on her face.

Self-portrait by Pihla Lehtinen. Courtesy of the artist, 2020

Image on top of the page: A collage by Pihla Lehtinen. Courtesy of the artist, 2020