Trans Institute of Trans Pleasure

by Carly Everaert, Daniël Olivier and Selm Wenselaers

Leaning heavily on the work of Adrienne Maree Brown, which centres on the question of how to make social justice the most enjoyable human experience, we have added the term Trans to the title of their book. To come together with the idea of ​​pleasure in mind, and through all kinds of embodied practices, to give our Trans bodies the peace to discover where we can create space for our pleasure and thus develop new thoughts about our work.

We have created that space through several private workshops for Trans writers and Trans performers. We learned self-massage, singing techniques, intergenerational exchange, writing from clichés, transforming into tigers, discovering that we are the freedom our ancestors dreamed of and threw off the disciplining gaze of the cis world.

Countersex Education in Bijlmer Parktheater, image Gwen van der Zwan
Countersex Education in Bijlmer Parktheater, image Gwen van der Zwan


Daniël Olivier, Selm Merel Wenselaers & Carly Everaert
  • Carly Everaert


    Carly Everaert is a costume designer. In 2022 they received the Proscenium Prize for their entire oeuvre. As a teacher-researcher at the scenography department of the Academy of Theater and Dance in Amsterdam, they are a member of the Embodied Knowledge research group and research questions about costume, space and embodiment from an intersectional, hands-on perspective. Carly recently received a research grant with which various existing collaborations can be further developed, such as the one with Mira Thompson - where teaching material is created on Dissability Justice in art practices and Carly together with Selm Merel Wenselaers has shared the curatorship of SHEBANG's Issue 3 to further explore the importance of a Trans view on and in performance.

  • Daniel Oliviër

    Assistant curator

    Daniel Olivier studies creative writing at Artez University of the Arts. He is engaged in making prose, songs and comics. He writes historical fiction in which he fantasizes about extinct plants and animals, and forgotten genders from classical antiquity. He likes to read and be read to.

  • Selm Merel Wenselaers


    Selm Merel Wenselaers studied History at the University of Antwerp and the Freie Universität Berlin. In 2008 she wrote the book The last Belgians. She founded historical research agency the 'Geheugen Collectief' and 'De Kleine Expeditie', a creative project agency. In addition to her work as a historian, Selm developed a theater practice as a dramaturge and cultural producer, including at the Frascati theater, and she was associated with Museum Arnhem as a city curator. She operates freelance as a dramaturge, curator, moderator, writer and researcher. She is currently working on the book Tussenmens, which will be published in 2024.


Institute of Trans Pleasure Trans Activism Zine

A Zine made by Jack Porter. With contributions from Alara Adilow, Shishani, Marijn Lems, Daniel Oliver, Carly Everaert, Olave Basabose and Alex Bakker, among others. With fabulations on a possible future of the Trans Institute.

Artisanal Wet/Dry 2023 and Pink Lounge by Maxivive

Presentation of fashion and art activist Papa Oyeyemi of fashion label Maxivive (NGA) with a fashion show of the Artisanal Wet/Dry 2023 collection and the film screening of his documentary Pink Lounge, about Safe Houses in Lagos. In collaboration with Jean-Paul Paula. “People in a hallway so brightly lit, it hurts… They speak of sexuality, politics, religion, and the place of God in the lives of contemporary people… They prattle on in excited voices, as people do in a crowded airport, moving in and out of an alternative reality composed of their consumerist desires and dreams of a better life. In the midst of the melee, one face stands out – that of Judgy Stella – whose eyes reflect a studied sophistication and swim in pools of exotic fantasy.”

Countersex Education by Maxime Dreesen

Theater performance Countersex Education by Maxime Dreesen in the Bijlmer Parktheater, with a discussion led by Szymon Adamczak, Elioa Steffen and Maxime Dreesen, participants of the theater critics workshop and the audience. With contributions from: Bebe, Laurence Scherz and Lux ​​Sauer. Countersex Education is a TED talk meets workshop meets performance by teacher/performer Tabooboo, the alter ego of Maxime Dreesen. Tabooboo immerses you in a world of new orgasms and blushing cheeks. Here, the anus steals the show and self-pleasure is a party you don't want to miss. A journey of discovery for people who suspect that sex is more than a penis in a vagina.

Theatre critics' workshop

Workshop program about the importance of a Trans view on performance practice(s) within performing arts, theater education and the theater field. With contributions from: Elioa Steffen and Szymon Adamczak on Queer Pedagogies and Queer feedback (research project of Das Research). The workshop was linked to viewing the performance Countersex Education by Maxime Dreesen in the Bijlmer Parktheater. With this workshop, the Trans Institute of Trans Pleasure aims to make everyone aware of how a dominant gaze can get in the way of other creative practices. With a screening of Dr Rachel Hann's YouTube lecture: a great analysis of how Trans rights and creativity are doing in the UK society and theatre field. An invitation to all of us to translate this into Dutch practice and ask critics to apply the knowledge they have learned in a written review of Maxime Dreesen's performance.

Read-aloud relay Stone Butch Blues

8-day reading relay (online) of 'Stone Butch Blues' with various speakers on Instagram Live. With contributions from: Bebe, Kevin Pieterse, Mira Thompson, Marte Hoogenboom, Steff Geelen, Rick Busscher, Pelumi Adejumo, Valentijn Hoogenkamp, ​​Eddie Azulay, Selm Wesselaers, Laurence Scherz, and hosted by Carly Everaert.

Trans performers Workshop

A 2-day gathering for Transformers with workshops, sharing, eating together and a film screening. With contributions from, among others: Raoni Muzho and Lux ​​Sauer.

Trans writers Workshop

A 3-day gathering for Transwriters with workshops, talking, moving, being silent, good food, thinking, listening and writing. With contributions from, among others: Valentijn Hoogenkamp en Gwen van der Zwan. In all our conversations, what kept coming up that we wanted to share and give. That we didn't want to go get. The weariness of always being pulled into the center of a battle fought through (our) Trans and gender-diverse bodies. The ultra-right-wing lobby trying to discredit the transgender law, the shooting at the Q club, not being allowed to be or remain invisible, all this leads to internal tensions, the Trans day of remembrance ceremony and much more. It makes us want to create a Wiccan place where we put our bodies at the center. These bodies, which are allowed to learn to find their voice, to process trauma, to move and roar like a tiger in unobserved space; to get out of the hetero-normative, Cis gaze for a while. The workshop programme consisted of viewing and writing assignments, eating together and exchanging for a small group of invitees.


Das research has asked Elioa Steffen to write a piece about Elioa's experiences with and in the Institute of Trans Pleasure Trans Activism. You can read her blog here.