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PERFORMING LOLITA: Göra, vara, visa mode och femininitet som motstånd
University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Institutionen för Bildpedagogik (BI).
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

During the spring of 2014, I have investigated the visual culture of Lolita as practiced in Sweden and Japan. My focus has been on the performative aspect of Lolita. By looking and participating in this colorful subculture, I have met people who are living the Lolita lifestyle on a daily basis as well as former Lolita practitioners. My main concern has been how does one use Lolita.

I’ve tried to investigate if it is possible to look at Lolita as being more than just a clothing style. Can it be seen as an everyday performance? Can it be seen as a kind of subversive counterpart to the images of femininity that we are being fed everyday from media and via tradition? In my text I argue for the opportunity to consider the Lolita movement as a post-structuralist version of the female masquerade. By enhancing many of the attributes that are traditionally linked to femininity in the West, the Lolita style highlights the conflicting aspects of the female gender role. With her doll-like silhouette the Lolita crosses, breaks down and defies everyday boundaries.


I have organized Lolita workshops in Stockholm and Tokyo. At these gatherings I and other participants have discussed the topic of Lolita while dressed in Lolita clothes. The participants have answered a survey, and the whole arrangement has been concluded with a tea party performance. I have recorded these sessions on film and with photography and written down my impressions afterwards. I have also met with people who are former Lolita practitioners in Sweden and Tokyo and interviewed them.


The visual portrayal of my work is a short film where I present the making and use of Lolita as a dreamlike vision; PERFORMING LOLITA, which was exhibited at the Konstfacks Spring exhibition 2014. In the movie I change the settings from Tokyo to Stockholm and back by using slow motion clips connected by transitions. The original soundtrack is made by Linus Hansson.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
Lolita, femininity, performance, the female masquerade, subculture
Keyword [sv]
Lolita, femininitet, performance, den kvinnliga maskeraden, subkultur
National Category
Humanities Social Sciences Pedagogy Arts
URN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-4767OAI: diva2:736862
Educational program
Lärarutbildning med konstnärlig inriktning, bild och visuell kultur - Konst
Available from: 2014-11-13 Created: 2014-08-10 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved

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PERFORMING LOLITA(66025 kB)114 downloads
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