On Propagating Collective Resilience in Times of War: A Conversation with Cassils


  • Eliza Steinbock Leiden University
  • _ Cassils


In this conversation between trans scholar Eliza Steinbock and visual artist Cassils, they discuss the current state of culture wars against transgender rights, and how citizen artists can respond to the waves of hate and violence. Cassils shares in detail how their performance and visual art methods pay homage to political artists who've come before, and how they incorporate resilience into their artmaking practice.

Author Biographies

Eliza Steinbock, Leiden University

Eliza Steinbock is assistant professor of Film and Literary Studies at Leiden University’s Centre for the Arts in Society, and a former “Veni” Talent Scheme postdoctoral researcher (awarded for “Vital Art: Transgender Portraiture as Visual Activism,” NWO 2014-2018). They are completing work on a manuscript comprising interviews with twelve contemporary trans visual artists and analyses of their art practice. Steinbock has co-edited four special journal issues, including Parallax's “Installing the Body” and Somatechnics's “Cinematic Bodies.” Their articles have been published in Photography and Culture, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Spectator, Feminist Media Studies, and in over fifteen edited volumes, including the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Feminist Art. Since 2004, Steinbock has programmed trans cinema and occasionally curated trans-themed art events. Their forthcoming first book, Shimmering Images: Trans Cinema, Embodiment and the Aesthetics of Change, is with Duke University Press (2019).

_ Cassils

Cassils is a visual artist working in live performance, film, sound, sculpture, and photography.They received their bachelor’s degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a Masters degree in visual arts and integrated media from the California Institute of the Arts. Cassils has adjudicated exhibition selections at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitons and currently is a lecturer in the Art Department at Stanford University. Cassils is the curator of Vital Signs, a performance series at Stanford University which aims to highlight and showcase underrepresented performance forms such as experimental performance art, durational art, and body art.