Projekt Jord: Jag tänker på Energiskan!

Klipp ur en gurlesk tillblivelse

  • Maria Margareta Österholm
Keywords: essay, Gurlesque


Gurlesque is an aesthetic mixing feminism, femininity, cuteness, and the grotesque, with inspiration from a wide range of feminist theory, literature, art, and popular culture occupied with the notion of femininity. The concept was invented by Arielle Greenberg in 2001 to label a tendency in American contemporary poetry. A similar tendency can be seen in in Swedish literature, art, and comics and the gurlesque has been gaining attention in Sweden during the recent years. Probably because it describes something many has seen, but had no name for. Even though the gurlesque is not new, I think there is still a lot to discover and discuss about the concept and its relation to a plural of femininities. In the article I am not trying to say anything defined about the gurlesque, rather I am trying out thoughts and theories and suggest what the gurlesque might become if more voices join the discussion. The main voice I am in dialogue with is Energiskan from the children’s TV show, Isalena och Energiskan (1986), and I let her speak through feminist and queer theory, literature and comics – all coming together in a figuration I call Project Earth. Isalena is a lonely child, handling her parent’s divorce and a new school with the help of Energiskan – teaching her to speak up for herself and the possibilities of relationships. I also read this story as a suggestion for further thinking about the possibilities of gurlesque and queer femininities.


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How to Cite
Österholm, M. M. (2018). Projekt Jord: Jag tänker på Energiskan! Klipp ur en gurlesk tillblivelse. Lambda Nordica, 21(1-2), 137-166. Retrieved from