Step back and understand. Trans people of color have always been on the forefront of the battle for queer rights. Watch the documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson on Netflix if you haven’t. Rewatch if you have. The Audre Lorde Project is sponsoring an event at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the West Village to come together as a community out of respect, mourning, and reflection; we honor the fallen members of the trans community, we buttress the power behind the living, and we demand change and recognition of the gross violations of human rights trans people face. Trans women of color are victims of hate crimes by disproportionate means in relation to other queer people. There is absolutely no excuse to stay silent. Let trans voices direct the conversation, and do what you can to make these voices heard. Donate your money. Say their names. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2016 marked record for the highest number of trans people murdered in America with 23 lives taken as a result of senseless violence. This year has already seen the murders of at least 25 members of the trans and gender nonconforming community. We remember Mesha Caldwell, Sean Hake, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, Jojo Striker, Tiara Richmond, Chyna Gibson, Ciara McElveen, Jaquarrius Holland, Alphonza Watson, Chay Reed, Kenneth Bostick, Sherrell Faulkner, Kenne McFadden, Kendra Marie Adams, Ava Le’Ray Barrin, Ebony Morgan, TeeTee Dangerfield, Gwynevere River Song, Kiwi Herring, Kashmire Nazier Redd, Derricka Banner, Scout Schultz, Ally Steinfeld, Stephanie Montez, Candace Towns, and all other unnamed trans people who have been murdered.
Masihambisane - On Visual Activism as part of Performa 17
After the evening's performance at Carnegie Hall, guests headed to the Weill Terrace Room & Weill Music Room
Drinks, music and dancing with the South African photographer
Much to our surprise, Zanele Muholi has stayed largely off America’s fine art radar. A solo show at the Brooklyn Museum reinstated the institutions mission “to create inspiring encounters with art that expand the ways we see ourselves, the world and its possibilities.” The South African photographer’s show “Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence” illustrated the violence LGBTQI people face throughout South Africa, where LGBTQI people have continued to battled murder, rape and many other atrocities directed at the community.
Reporting for GAYLETTER Issue 3, Patrick Sweeney wrote: “Taken using only natural light, her spectacular photos are human records that, while referencing official documents, speak to the need to see one’s self represented. ‘I don’t want to be covered,’ Zanele told me. ‘I don’t want to be hidden — I need to be seen.’” With her works now included in the Berlin Biennale, Zanele’s documentarian style portraits are beginning to take root in the larger art circuit, bringing her tender and important work to the larger art audience.
To celebrate her 10 day trip to the States, Performa has partnered with PublicArts at the Public Hotel for Performa AFTERHOURS. “Performa AFTERHOURS is a post-show get-together featuring a range of exciting emerging artists. During the biennial, audiences can join the artists, curators, and organizers of Performa 17 for drinks, conversation, performance, and dancing at New York’s newest quintessential late night space: Public Arts. Evenings draw loosely on Performa 17’s historical anchor, Dada, with artists who are invested in art’s revolutionary possibilities. …
The Performa 17 Biennial is upon us once again; this year’s event is taking place November 1-19 in various pockets throughout New York City. Best known for her series of black and white photographs Faces and Phases, commissioned artist Zanele Muholi (pictured) explores the intersection of intrapersonal and interpersonal politics for LGBTI people across the globe. As an extension of this ongoing project, Muholi has created a body of work to display in public in conjunction with her #VisualActivism campaign reaching across social media platforms. She aims to unite various groups of queer people of color throughout the city with her work, and it all starts with the opening reception of Muholi’s contribution for Performa 17 set to take place at Yancey Richardson Gallery. Her solo exhibition will display two series, Brave Beauties and Somnyama Ngonyama (“Hail the Dark Lioness”) from November 2-9. According to the gallery, Muholi “uses portraiture as a form of exposure to disrupt the dominant images of black women in the media today and to bear witness to both the brutality and the joy of black, queer, lesbian, and transgendered individuals in South Africa.” Muholi’s focus on long-term activism and community building are central pillars of queer history, and this work is more important now than ever before.
Of all the museums that I’ve been to in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art has always been a favorite. The building has great energy. The views from the top floors are fantastic. Even the crowds seem more intelligent and less obnoxious than they do at, say, the Met. If you haven’t ever been to the Whitney, this might be a great opportunity to see it for yourself. No One Exists Alone: Queer Belonging is a tour that explores “gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ perspectives in ‘Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960.’” This is the first of five such tours; there’s one on the last Friday of each month from October to March. This month’s tour will be led by Josh Lubin-Levy, one of the museum’s teaching fellows. Even better, the tour (which is free with museum admission) is during pay-what-you-wish hours at the museum. Who ever said art has to be expensive?
A benefit for New York's LGBT Community Center
On 2 disposable cameras, I documented some of the people and places of this year's Afropunk Atlanta.
The purpose of this panel is to focus on how to create a safer and more inclusive world for all LGBTQ + youth, one that’s “free of hate.” I can’t think of better reason to do a panel than this. A world free from hate would be glorious. In some ways it’s such a lofty goal it feels almost unattainable. How about we aim for a world with just a little less hate and work from there? A good place to start is by joining this conversation featuring Carmen Carrera (pictured), Jiggly Caliente, Wes Moore, and a Hetrick-Martin Institute Youth Advocate. Hetrick-Martin is the “host agency for the groundbreaking Harvey Milk High School, devoted to serving at-risk youth and founded in 1985 in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education." It’s an amazing school, and safe space for LGBTQ+ teens. The talk starts at 5pm today at VFILES, 12 Mercer St. in SOHO. I’m going to be there, I hope you can make it.