1-4th May – SARAH SCHULMAN in London Town! Four days of coalition politics and queer liberty.

Queer Tours of London in association with London Artists Projects welcomes SARAH SCHULMAN ‘A witness to her times’ – Edmund White, New York TimesFour days of coalition politics and queer liberty

Where – 1st May @ RICH MIX / 2nd May @ SOAS / 3rd and 4th May @ ICA
1
Sarah Schulman is joined by Dan Glass and Travis Alabanza in a 4-day London event reflecting on the challenges and opportunities for coalition politics and queer liberty. Over four days the event will explore how to harness the power of coalition politics and queer liberty, what makes them work, and what can be learned from their history to propel change in the present.

In this global cataclysm of white supremacy, patriarchy and occupation we need active political movements and coalitions that are effective and that allow us to energize each other in support and difference. ACT UP London, London Artists Projects and Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time has invited Sarah Schulman for a week of debate, investigation, and envisioning at Rich Mix, SOAS and ICA.

ABOUT SARAH SCHULMAN

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter and AIDS historian.  For more than three decades, her work as a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter and AIDS historian is devoted to social change and to the making of more liveable-socially, economically, politically-lives. Her most famous works include The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination and Israel/Palestine and the Queer International, both of which foreground the relevance of gender/sexual politics in understanding, and challenging, violent socio-political systems; the former through a history of AIDS and gentrification in New York; the latter through an exploration of the role of ‘pinkwashing’ and ‘homonationalism’ in the continued occupation of Palestinian Territories.

Sarah is and has always been a passionate activist and campaigner and is a member of the international direct action group ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power); founder of The ACT UP Oral History Project (www.actuporalhistory,org); co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers; and co-founder of MIX: NYC Experimental Film Festival, now in its 31st year. She is on the Advisory Board of Jewish Voice for Peace and is active in Palestine Solidarity.

Sarah has published 20 books and her current project: Let The Record Show: A Political History of Act Up will be published in 2020.  Sarah’s novels range from literary to experimental, futuristic, historical and the recent return to lesbian detective pulp Maggie Terry.  Her current stage project is a collaboration with Marianne Faithfull, The Snow Queen, which will premiere at the Manchester Factory in 2022.

PROGRAMME OUTLINE

1st May – Rich Mix Queer Liberty – Opening night party – United in Anger: A History of ACT-UP facebook event page here

Screening and post-film discussion/Q&A with Sarah Schulman, Dan Glass and more, party and DJ’s.

Tickets from £7 – Event details – ticket link here

Sarah screens her seminal film United in Anger: A History of ACT-UP followed by Q&A with Sarah, Dan Glass of Queer Tours of London, and special guests.   The film combines startling archival footage that puts you on the ground with the activists and remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective and how a small group of men and women of all races, sexualities and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives.

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP delivers a living tribute to a movement spawned by death and despair” New York Times

Doors 6:30pm / Film 730pm-9pm / Q&A 915-10pm / Party until 11pm

LeaSuwanna is a board member of CAFPH (Centre for All Positive Health), UKCAB Steering Group Member, PrEPster & Treating Me Right Ambassador. She is also a patient representative at Royal College of Physicians, Newham CCG, Sir Ludwig Guttmann Centre Patient Forum and GP Patient rep & HIV CRG sub group. She volunteers as Peer 100 Mentor at Positively UK, Testing & Prevention at Positive East and Maternity Mentor at Maternity Mates, and is part of ACT UP London Women, HIV Voices, Her Story, Changing Perceptions and Women for Social Change programme.Alongside these feats, LeaSuwanna is studying to be a Midwife. She has been living openly with HIV for 16 years, and will be for many more to come! She is the mother of two wonderful children and has a HIV negative partner. She is #gatecrashing to get our voices heard and her heels through the door!


Miqx has been a queer activist since Gay Liberation Front in 70’s East London, was on London Pride committee in 1980 and that same year also became involved with Radical Faeries in the USA. More recently, Miqx co-founded the Queer Spirit Festival (
queerspirit.net) and works in the EuroFaerie Communities networks (eurofaeries.eu).‘I am most keen on building a valid living sense of community. Having helped to set up housing and worker co-operatives, it is clear to me that individual fulfilment arises strongly from collective empowerment. Learning how to create workable solutions together can best sustain us in the ongoing struggle to overcome the ill effects of austerity and the greed and selfish behaviour of the moneyed classes.’

Jonathan Blake trained as Actor Rose Bruford 1967-1970 and worked as Actor 1970 -1981. Jonathan was diagnosed HTLV3 (now HIV) in October 1982 at Middlesex Hospital. L1 was his hospital number and was the first diagnosis @ Middlexsex Hospital. Jonathan attempted Suicide December 1982 but couldn’t go through with it. He decided to attempt to rejoin society despite feeling as a modern day leper with this killer virus coursing through my veins: Went to join “Gays for a Nuclear free Future” on their Stand together round Greenham Common, Aldermarston & Burghfield with coach leaving from ‘Gay the Word’ on Marchmont St All Fools Day 1st April 1983. Jonathan met his Future Partner that day Nigel Young and has been together now 35 years. With him we Joined Lesbians & Gaymen Support the Miners June 1984
Retrained as Tailor London College of Fashion 1984-87 Worked as Tailor & Costume Maker ENO making wardrobe 1988-1996 when my health gave out & I was medically retired . Started ART (Anti Retro-Viral Therapy ) 1997 & continue to this day. After being medically retired volunteered @ various HIV drop-In centres The Landmark in Brixton/Tulse Hill, Lighthouse South London , Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), The Food Chain. Was the Face of “THT’s First Safer Sex Poster aimed at GayMen” Globally outed as HIV+ at the end of the Film“PRIDE” in September2014 Perform Barney in Patrick Cash’s “HIV Monologues” 2016-18. Latest @ Bristol Pride 10-7-2018 Turned 69 on 21-7-2018
Amelia Abraham (b. 1991) is a journalist from London. Her main interest is LGBTQ identity politics, and she has written on or around this topic for the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent, the Sunday Times, the New Statesman, ES Magazine, VICE, i-D magazine and Dazed & Confused. She also writes about feminist issues, human-rights issues, health policy, arts and culture, and sex. Queer Intentions is her first book.
“Andria began AID Activism in 1988, when she helped set up Mainliners, the UK’s first Support Group for HIV-affected drugs users. She then worked as THT’s Drugs Counselling Officer for 3 years. It was during those years, that she was most involved with ACT.UP 1: when the onslaught of dying co-workers and friends was non-stop & relentless. Harm Reduction, i.e. access to clean needles, condoms and heroin substitutes is the best way to prevent HIV in injectors/slammers and she has literally gone all over the world promoting it, with her focus being the self-organisation of x/current Injection Drugs Users, including in her MSc dissertation (2004). When her life partner died from AIDS in 1995, she founded The John Mordaunt Trust, a peer support and advocacy project for daily drugs users, to honour John’s memory. This became political rapidly leading her to Drug Policy reform internationally. Still in ACT.UP she has been most active in highlighting HCV which numerically is more of a threat to IDUs. Andria also has a 10 yr old daughter Milly, who keeps her on her toes more than even ACT.UP can!”
Mica Coca, resident DJ at ResisDance – A woman & non binary dj collective challenging gender norms in the music scene and creating safe spaces on the dance floor.
Expect old school bangers and new heaters!
 

Dan Glass is a sex-positive, queer, healthcare and human rights award-winning activist, performer and writer. Reforming ‘Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) London chapter in 2012 has catalysed healthcare and sex-positive programmes including campaigning for PREP, HIV Blind Date, protecting the National Health Service as well as enabling ‘HIV anti-stigma classes as part of the Beyond UKIP Cabaret in Nigel Farage’s boozer. Dan has won Attitude Magazine’s campaigning role models for LGBTQI youth + a Guardian ‘UK youth climate leader’ and 2017 ‘Activist of the Year’ with the ‘Sexual Freedom Awards’. An agitator from the Training for Transformation educational programme born out of the Anti-Apartheid movement, the core of dan’s work is the development of critical consciousness and creativity to spur people ‘to read their reality and write their own history’. His recent programmes involve MC’ing ‘Shafted?!’ a speakeasy led by people with HIV and the ‘Never Again Ever! Beyond UKIP Cabaret in Nigel Farage’s boozer.  Dan recently co-founded ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ see below. Contact dan at www.theglassishalffull.co.uk and at alright@theglassishalffull.co.uk – Twitter #danglassisfull

2nd May – SOAS – 19:00 – 21:30 ‘Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP, New York. hosted by ‘Free Speech Society’ ticket link here – Facebook event page here

SOAS ‘Speech Act’s programme, Queer Tours of London in association with London Artists Projects welcomes ‘SARAH SCHULMAN – ‘A witness to her times’ – Edmund White, New York Times – Four days of coalition politics and queer liberty

Panel and Q+A with keynote speaker ‘Sarah Schulman’
Sarah Schulman reviews the roots of AIDS activism in Feminism, Civil Rights, and Black Power, presenting ideas from her current work-in-progress Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP, New York (out in 2020) which is the result of 188 interviews conducted over 18 years. Rejecting the whitening of AIDS history, and examining the movements’ mistakes as well as victories, Schulman will share ideas and information with the hope of stimulating new approaches and attitudes to working together effectively for change.

Sarah says: ‘Given how many different kinds of people are under attack, the idea of one strategy, interpretation or approach is absurd. Lets aim to elevate each other in our different circumstances and resistances, while retaining basic common values of justice’.

Room – Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG
The venue is fully accessible.

Josh Hepple – Ph.D student, writer, activist, disability equality trainer
https://www.joshhepple.com/
Josh Hepple is a Ph.D student who has severe cerebral palsy. His impairment affects his speech and mobility and he relies on personal assistants 24/7. This website is about his journalism and equality training. The prejudice that Josh has faced has given him great empathy for marginalised groups; especially disabled and LGBT people. Josh has been a theatre reviewer and an equality trainer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for many years. His Equality Training sessions are based on the social model of disability. Find out more about his Training here.

Josh has contributed to various online news sources as a freelance commentator. His unique account in the Guardian of his experiences using Grindr has recently received substantial media attention. Whilst coming to terms with his impairment as a gay teenager in Edinburgh, Josh received excellent support from LGBT Youth Scotland and Gay Men’s Health. However, sensing the need for wider support in the area, Josh helped to establish the charity TalkTime Edinburgh, which provides free counselling for any disabled teenagers, regardless of sexual orientation.

When not campaigning he can often be found having fun riding ponies.


Ray is a single-mother, photographer, theatre-maker and activist. She is the co-founder of the NHS Anti-Swindle Team, the founder of The Fallout Club, a Beautiful Trouble trainer and an ACT UP activist. Ray is a firm believer in the power of creativity as a tool for social engagement and political change, and is always on the look-out for new ways to combine social justice with joyous, create dissent.
Tresca is a mum of four, a grandma of two and a WLWHIV who received a late AIDS diagnosis. She is Outreach, Testing and Prevention Volunteer and Receptionist at Positive East, a Peer Mentor for WLWHIV, PrEP Champion, HIV Forum Member at Sir Ludwig Guttman Health Centre, a member of the Patient Participation Group at her GP Practice and a former mentor at drug and alcohol services. Alongside all of this, Tresca is Maternity Mate at Women’s Health and Family Service – supporting vulnerable pregnant mums to be empowered to have a positive pregnancy and birth experience. Tresca is an ex-drug user, but is 16 years clean. She has been living with HIV for almost four years as is now living ‘her best life’, educating local communities about HIV, PrEP and PEP. ‘My life experiences do not define who I am but they nevertheless have contributed to the confidant and bubbly woman that I am today.’
Maz is a tour guide of Queer Tours of London and also an active member of ACT UP London. In November 2016, he moved to London with the support of his present employer ACCA; The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (an amazing LGBT supportive organisation), where he is working as a Business Development Manager. Maz is one of the winners of Attitude Pride Award 2018, having been nominated for this award after organising a protest in London in front of the Bangladesh High Commissioner. The protest asked for justice for Maz’s two LGBT activist friends who were brutally murdered in Bangladesh on April 25th, 2018. He is now an LGBT activist, dedicated to bringing positive change in the Bangladesh LGBT community and to London based Bangladeshi LGBT people.
Patrick is an aspiring barrister, activist and act up campaigner with a special interest in mental health and addiction within marginalised communities. Patrick helped organise the first queer spirit festival and subsequently became a member of the Radical Faeries. Patrick is a founding member of FaeNA, a sub group within the faeries dedicated to addiction.

Ticket link here – All profits go to ‘ACT UP LONDON’ – ACT UP London is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the HIV pandemic, along with the broader inequalities and injustices that perpetuate it.

3rd May at 6.30pm – ICA – Which Way Forward? Sarah Schulman in Conversation with London’s Queer Communities – Panel Discussion + Q&A.

Curated by: Erkan Affan.  

Venue: Institute of Contemporary Art – Cinema 1

What is the future direction of coalition politics?  How can marginalized queer communities utilize coalition politics to challenge authoritarianism?

Building on the explorations of Sarah Schulman’s ‘Gentrification of the Mind’, this evening’s discussion will be spearheaded with a contextualization of how both individuals and organisations here in London can utilise coalition politics to :

  1. Tackle the increase of cultural gentrification in historically diverse, cosmopolitan cities such as London,
  2. Fight against the rampant commercialization of the LGBTQIA+ community and its cultures, evident through the big-money sponsorships of Pride in London and the closure of over 50% of queer venues in the city since 2007
  3. Produce international networks of solidarity and activism that are broader than a border, transcending state-centric politics and establishing a coalition of resistance with oppressed communities worldwide.

Joining Sarah Schulman for this evening, we have four extra special guests that play an integral role in provoking and maintaining London’s coalitional queer socio-political architecture.

Travis Alabanza: A London based artist, writer and thinker. In the last four years Alabanza has carved and created much public conversation around the intersections of Blackness, Gender, transness and class, and been noted by numerous publications (MOBO, Dazed, Artsy) as one of the most prominent current trans artistic voices that have emerged. Their work has crossed mediums, venues and form, appearing at Tate Galleries, V&A, performing internationally at venues such as Harvard, Royal Exchange, ICA, Hamburg International and Lyric Hammersmith, and their writing published in The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Independent and more. Their recent show Burgerz, documenting and analysing being trans in public space, sold out to rave reviews and was voted among Guardian’s 2018 readers best choice for theatre and was published by Oberon play text. Recent work includes Ridiculous of Darkness (Gate Theatre) and ‘I wanted to fuck up the system but none of my friends texted back’ (Wellcome Collection). Photo credit Eivind Hansen

Lewis G Burton: a non-binary London-based performance artist and DJ. They co-founded the performance art platform-come-queer techno rave INFERNO. As an extension of INFERNO, Burton curated a two-day seminar exploring the intersections between performance art, nightlife, music and queerness entitled SUMMIT in February 2018. Lewis plans to continue this summit annually. Additionally, they are currently a member of the collective Pxssy Palace, a queer collective/club night that centres queer womxn, trans, non-binary and intersex people of colour.

Aviah Sarah Day: a member of the East End branch of Sisters Uncut – a national, feminist direct action group fighting cuts to domestic violence services. She has recently completed her PhD titled “Partnership and Power: Domestic Violence, the Women’s Sector and the Criminal Justice System”. Aviah also has several years of experience in a range of front line domestic violence services. Currently, she is researching and campaigning against the increased criminalization of survivors of domestic violence in the UK.

Erkan Affan is a queer writer and independent activist of colour based between the UK and Germany. With a background in Middle Eastern politics, gender and migration, their research has focused notably on the experiences of advocacy and transnational solidarity for queer migrants in Berlin. An avid believer of decolonising the contemporary structures of knowledge, they are currently conducting a residency in Berlin – funded by the European Commission – to challenge the inaccessible nature of academia and encourage more opportunity for self-representation through dialogue and discussion. Photo by Leviticus Hinds

4th May ICA at 6.30pm – Venue: Institute of Contemporary Art – Cinema 1

A reading and discussion on her most recent fiction: The Cosmopolitans and Maggie Terry, and the second edition of her collected journalism: My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Teagan/Bush Year’s.

Curated by: Erkan Affan.  

PRESS AND GENERAL CONTACTS

Dan glass – queertoursoflondon@gmail.com

Erkan Gursel – erkansgursel@gmail.com

Jeremy Goldstein – jeremy@londonartistsprojects.co.uk

THANK YOU TO OUR ORGANISING CREW!

Leviticus Hinds, Erkan Gursel (see above), Jo Alloway, Anna Campbell and last but not least …

Jeremy Goldstein is a producer, writer, performer and HIV+ activist with ACT UP London. In 2000, he founded London Artists Projects, which the Guardian has described as ‘an evocative theatrical wonderland’. He has commissioned and produced shows with many celebrated artists winning awards including Evening Standard, Fringe First, h.Club, London Cabaret and BBC Audio Drama. In 2012 he was named in Time Out as among the 100 most influential people in UK culture for ‘proving political theatre can be fun and outrageous’.  Jeremy is also creator of ‘Truth to Power Cafe’ which is touring the UK in 2019/20 opening at Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester on 26th and 27th April.

Olimpia is a doctoral researcher and activist based in London. With a background in anthropology and politics, her research focuses on queering LGBT diversity & inclusion and imagining alternative ways of living and organizing. She is also involved with the Friends of the Joiners Arms campaign working to open London’s first queer, late-license, community-owned and community-run, pub.

Erkan Affan is a queer writer and independent activist of colour based between the UK and Germany. With a background in Middle Eastern politics, gender and migration, their research has focused notably on the experiences of advocacy and transnational solidarity for queer migrants in Berlin. An avid believer of decolonising the contemporary structures of knowledge, they are currently conducting a residency in Berlin – funded by the European Commission – to challenge the inaccessible nature of academia and encourage more opportunity for self-representation through dialogue and discussion. Photo by Leviticus Hinds

Anna Campbell studied the History of Art at Bristol University, focusing specifically on socially and politically motivated art. Whilst exploring the link between art and activism in the 1980s, she discovered the worok of ACT UP New York and has since become an active member of the London division.

 

Dan Glass is a sex-positive, queer, healthcare and human rights award-winning activist, performer, writer and raver. Reforming ‘Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) London chapter in 2012 has catalysed healthcare and sex-positive programmes including campaigning for PREP, HIV Blind Date, protecting the National Health Service as well as enabling ‘HIV anti-stigma classes as part of the Beyond UKIP Cabaret in Nigel Farage’s boozer. Dan has won Attitude Magazine’s campaigning role models for LGBTQI youth + a Guardian ‘UK youth climate leader’ and 2017 ‘Activist of the Year’ with the ‘Sexual Freedom Awards’. An agitator from the Training for Transformation educational programme born out of the Anti-Apartheid movement, the core of dan’s work is the development of critical consciousness and creativity to spur people ‘to read their reality and write their own history’. His recent programmes involve MC’ing ‘Shafted?!’ a speakeasy led by people with HIV and the ‘Never Again Ever! Beyond UKIP Cabaret in Nigel Farage’s boozer. Dan recently co-founded ‘Queer Tours of London – A Mince Through Time’ see below. Contact dan at http://www.theglassishalffull.co.uk and at alright@theglassishalffull.co.uk – Twitter #danglassisfull

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