‘Basquiat: Boom for real’ is on at the Barbican in London and is remarkable because to this day there is not a single piece of his work in a public collection in the UK.
When Maria Belshaw took over as director of London’s Tate Modern gallery from Nicholas Serota A Clodhopper had an inkling that there would be a black centric exhibition coming up, after all this is a women with a doctorate in African-American visual culture from Sussex University.
The word seems to be getting out, the artists seem willing and the party seems to have stepped up a level. For A Clodhopper’s second public outing ‘Salon-2’ the audience numbers doubled, the mediums spread further and the response was overwhelming.
A Clodhopper found itself at Kafe 1788 in Poplar for the first time, the UK's first Haitian coffee shop using single origin coffee beans from the former colony. It was for a 'Films for Food' night the cafe was hosting in conjunction with the Rainbow Collective. Started by Richard Macien-Clarke it has fast become a coffee hub featuring yoga classes, open mic nights, Haitian food pop-ups as well as featured artists regularly exhibiting on the walls upstairs and in the basement.
A Clodhopper had its unofficial soft launch in a secret London location and in a reflection of the online magazines ethos, it started with an arts festival featuring: documentaries, animations, performance art, subversive cabaret and a Gong therapist collaborating with a Grime artist. And Cultured though the clodhopper is he/she/they hunger for hedonism so it was promptly followed by an 'after-rave'
“On the gay apps is basically the same signs ‘No blacks, no dogs, no irish’ it just says ‘no fats, no femmes, no blacks, no asians”, Shakona explains. “You’re encountering...a more modernised form of racism; it’s just on a smaller page and it’s on your phone…”
How refreshing, a panel discussion about creating a new queer space and the narrative is outside the usual haunts. On this occasion it was looking past the East London gay scene, beyond Soho and even further South than Vauxhall - this conversation was about “Queering Croydon”.
“The local communities are certain that the number that lost their lives on June 14th is far higher than the official figure released...The local communities have created a list of missing people.”
“Drag is a political act in itself. It's negotiating a boundary of gender expectation that society give leniency and flexibility around for a greater purpose - usually laughter”
“I’m a gay boy from London, about to tear up the grime scene, I spit bars, I murder shit rappers...it’s just what I do really to be honest...” KarnageKills perfectly sums up what he is about, his ethos and his attitude
On Sunday 20 November, The Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest finished its fifth outing, featuring it's usual fare of film screenings, talks, parties and...'Spanking'! Movies and documentaries traversed from Vogueing in New York (‘Kiki’) to ‘Death Becomes Her’, a brilliant double-act with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn...
From house music's homeland Chicago, via the ballroom scene and fronting band Hercules and Love Affair, Shaun J Wright has a few things to say about black culture, dance music and queer identity.
“I feel I am in an extremely fortunate position in the fact that these industries allow me to view the world in the most inspiring way; through the eyes of someone else.”
"The question I was asking was how I could party, have as much fun as dj’s with what I knew how to do. So my aim was to be a dj with real music instruments so I had no choice, I had to find the sound of instruments, an imitation of sounds a dj uses, filters, reverberations."
I created I Am Fya, my one woman band. i made all the beats on my drum machine and played UK festivals and the East London party scene. This also lead to me becoming hype girl and backing singer for my friend Kate Tempest
Joss Carter comes with two caveats: 1. EXPLICIT CONTENT. MATURE AUDIENCE'S ONLY. 2. NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED OR KILLED FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF THIS PRODUCTION. ALL ANIMALS HAVE BEEN ETHICALLY SOURCED.
never before had we been introduced to a black girl from North London that was featured on a best-selling ‘Math Pop’ page...although she says “I don’t do ‘midi math rock’ anymore".
You couldn’t hope for a better setting to meet an unassuming award-winning documentary artist and filmmaker, member of Breach Theatre and co-editor of intersectional feminist film journal Another Gaze.
“I would hope that monetary value and fame does not measure success of your life path, and that you’re driven by passion. This entire time since I’ve found the art of performing I have felt success.”
“being a black woman whose music is influenced by punk and post-rock does not integrate into the colonialist culture of France which accepts more willingly that a black woman from an island is necessarily a singer of zouk or any tropical music kind...I was NOT ready to wear a banana belt to please the French audience.”
The audience was moved to the stage, we all huddled together, neon wool was unfurled and woven between us, connecting us. We were given party horns with cat cutouts and heart shaped cards that read “Congrats on surviving 2016! Welcome to your awakening. Lots of Love the Universe xx”