Joshua Serafin

GIF - Ghent International Festival
21.01 - 22.01

Behind the scenes of the queer beauty industry

The Philippines is a bona fide record holder in the realm of international beauty pageants, boasting no fewer than fifteen wins in competitions such as Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss International. And beauty pageants are serious business in the country itself. In the city of Cebu, for example, the Queen Philippines contest takes place every year, the largest and most prestigious event of its kind for transgender women. In ‘MISS’, dancer Joshua Serafin explores the politics, culture and practices behind the queer beauty industry.


Zooming in on the strict regimes and choreographies of the industry, Serafin casts a critical eye on the codes of performativity typical of the transgender beauty contests of the Philippines, ‘where queerness explodes any fixed categorisation of femininity and fantasy’. Serafin based this work on interviews with a number of regional queens. In this way he unravels not only the mechanisms behind these contests but also the religious and colonial influences that can still be felt today.

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Part of


Fri 21.01 - 19:00 & Sat 22.01 - 22:00 De Vooruit Domzaal 
PODIUM / performance / dans  
€14 / 10 (red)
in English
50 min.

Discover the GIF lineup! 


performance & choreography: Joshua Serafin  - dramaturgy: Arco Renz & Kopano Maroga  - artistic advice: Rasa Alksnyte - sound design: Marc Appart - light design: Ryoya Fudetani - video trailer: Davide Belotti - photographer: Isaie Humblet - coproduction: Arts Centre Voo?uit, BIT Teatergarasjen & Taipei Performing Arts Center - residencies: Bellas Artes Projects Manila, Queer Zagreb, Zinnema & Beursschouwburg - special thanks to: Mercedes Zobel, Eisa Jocson, Russ Ligtas & Tang Fu Kuen - in coproduction with: LOD muziektheater

in the frame of GIF, a collaboration between Voo?uit, CAMPO, KOPERGIETERY, NTGent, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen & S.M.A.K.