Interview mit Mad Kate

„Old habits die hard“ – Interview mit Mad Kate
von am 7. Juni 2012 veröffentlicht in Antifee, Gespräche

Diesen Sommer findet am Campus der Universität Göttingen zum sechsten Mal das Antifee Festival statt. Unter dem Motto „Festival für feministische Gesellschaftskritik“ wird an zwei Tagen neben inhaltlichen Veranstaltungen ein musikalisches Bühnenprogramm geboten. Einige der Bands und Künstler_innen waren bereit, uns ein paar Fragen zu bewantworten. Schauen wir doch mal, was Performance-Künstlerin Mad Kate zu sagen hat…

Monsters: Please introduce yourself. Who are you, what are you doing on stage and since when are you doing it?

Mad Kate: Hi! I’m Mad Kate and I’ve been a writer since I was a little girl but it wasn’t until I was 25 that I decided I wanted to use my writing in a performative way and work with movement and music to make the concepts I was writing about come to life! I have been living and working based out of Berlin for the past 8 years as a performance artist, singer and dancer. I am now working with a new duo project called Mad Kate and the Tide. I do the lyrics, concepts, singing and movement and The Tide does the guitar, loops, effects and electronics.

Monsters: Today, the whole music scene is clearly dominated by men. What do you think are the reasons for that?

Mad Kate: That’s a good question and hard to answer. Basically I think that for a long time women really weren’t encouraged to get into music, so men had only other men to reference as their heroes. They formed bonds among men and worked with other men. The musicians they emulated were men. They sampled and resampled and made allusions to men. They chose men to work with because men were in their immediate circles of who was thought of as “serious musicians.” Old habits die hard, so even though today I think more women are encouraged to go into music or more women are empowered to do so, we still see so many men in music because there is a long tradition of men working with other men and taking each other seriously as professional musicians over women. It’s going to still take more time to change that and there is still sexism alive—that means that societally many people still think that girls can’t learn to be serious drummers, guitarists and bass players, et cetera.

Monsters: Have you ever felt that your gender is relevant for your work or how it is anticipated? If so, in what sense?

Mad Kate: Gender has always been relevant in my work because it is relevant to the experience of every human. It is a life long process for all of us to understand our own gender, sexual orientation and sexuality. Some of us like to use these processes as the motivations in our work, others not, but it is relevant to every human being. I just happen to like to talk and think about these topics because I believe that if we can think more openly about them, we can create more love and liberation for ourselves.

Monsters: The Antifee Festival emphasises on its political self-conception. That is why the promoters keep an eye on these things, when it comes to booking. Do you consider yourself as a political act, and if so, to what extent?

Mad Kate: I am an artist that believes that everything we do is political. To say one is “not” being political is to deny or be blind to one’s own standpoint or apathy. Although I am not dealing directly with German politics, I am political in the sense that topics of gender sexuality and queer life are relevant and contested topics that repress and cause violence all over the world. Because we are connected humans that effect each other, we are all part of the structures that cause that violence and oppression even if in our immediate circles our politics are liberal or open minded.

Monsters: Have you ever noticed the Antifee Festival before?

Mad Kate: Only by name but I’d never been there before!

Monsters: What are your thougts about the festival’s approach to combine an event like this with an anti-sexist claim?

Mad Kate: I think it’s wonderful! I can’t imagine how the festival WOULDN”T be linked to anti-sexism since all of our struggles are interconnected —

Monsters: Speaking of the festival, what are your personal expectations?

Mad Kate: I hope to meet great new people and to have some interesting conversations about performance and activism.

Monsters: Thanks for the interview, you have the last word…

Mad Kate: Thanks for bringing us to the festival!

Weitere Informationen findet ihr auf der Website von Mad Kate und auf

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