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Posts tagged "performance"


Sarah Maple, Snow White the Scientist, 2011. Light box, 33 x 22 in. Courtesy of the artist and Aubin Gallery, London.


Join us next week (2/26) for the first in our new Thursday evening series, Off the Wall. This evening’s programming will explore Afrofuturism through live music, an original performance by musician and performer Daví, an interactive experience with artist Saya Woolfalk, an Octavia Butler-inspired reading with Kiini Ibura Salaam, and a curator talk with Saisha Grayson on the special exhibition Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey

This week we were able to catch up with Daví and talk to him about his influences for the show. We asked him,”How does your work The Beginning of Everything eating relate to Afrofuturism?” Daví responded:

Afrofuturism is work that redefines limits and possibilities; incites imagination while celebrating African lineage - Daví’s The Beginning of Everything eating does just that. Inspired by Wangechi Mutu’s The End of eating Everything, this is a new concept show collaging Daví’s music, an 8-piece band, visual animation, theater, Afrofuturist icons, Go: Organic Choir, Joyce LeeAnn, her typewriter and dance. A show unlike you’ve ever seen to tell a story you should already know.. a story where Everything eats.

Posted by Alicia Boone


The AfroFuturist Affair is having its 3rd Charity & Costume Ball on Saturday November 9 2013 at MythMedia Studios.  Proceeds from the Ball will be used for the Futurist Fund, as small community grant awarded to serve the needs of members of under-served communities.We are calling out for self-identified AfroFuturists to perform, vend, or display their sci-fi, spec-fic, and Afrofuturistic themed work and pieces at the Ball.

We  need:
- Authors
- Poets
- Inventors
- Vocalists
- Rappers
- Visual artists
- Live artists
- Filmmakers
- Dancers
- Designers
- Musicians
- Metaphysicians
- Any other creative type not named above
The theme for the Charity & Costume Ball is “Dark Phase Space" (the layered space in which all possible states of Blackness are represented, with each possible state corresponding to one unique point in the phase space), so we appreciate works that can incorporate this theme, however you interpret it. 
The Ball will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at MythMedia Studios in Philadelphia. Leading up to the Ball will be a number of events, including a time travel gallery with Metropolarity, mask-making workshop with BluDahlia, and another visit to Octavia City with the Black Tribbles (we will be putting out another call for authors soon), and more.
To share your ideas, talents, and proposed performances for inclusion in this year’s Charity & Costume Ball, please email by September 30, 2013 with the below info, and “Charity Ball” in the subject line.
Name or Organization (include title or position):
Contact info (email/phone):
Title of proposed performance/display:
Brief description of proposed performance/display:
If available, attach at least one image or video URL illustrating what you do. It can be a past example or a sketch of the proposed idea.
Website (if available):

If you are interested in sponsoring, vending, or volunteering, please submit an email to We are able to offer promotion and advertisement space to all sponsors. Vendors will be charged a low registration fee of $15 dollars. 

We also have an IndieGoGo campaign to support our grant and to pay artists and performers! You can donate to the campaign and receive a cool perk here at:


The AfroFuturist Affair is throwing our 3rd Annual Charity & Costume Ball: Dark Phase Space on November 9, 2013 at MythMedia Studios in Philadelphia!  At the annual Ball we celebrate and bring awareness to AfroFuturistic culture with feature artists, authors, and performers who will present works and creations that use Afrofuturism and Sci-Fi as vehicles for expression, education, agency, and liberation. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Futurist Fund, a community grant dedicated to serving the needs of an underserved or marginalized member of the community.

We need your support to throw the Ball and fund our community grant! 

Your generous donation goes toward:

  • paying and promoting artists and performers 
  • expenses of throwing the Charity & Costume Ball 
  • The Futurist Fund Community Grant

We have a collection of awesome gifts, including stickers, pins, zines, tees, an afrofuturistic mix cd, and a creative workshop with The AfroFuturist Affair!        

In an effort to change the popular perceptions and get rid of the stigma, the transgender (TG) community came together to organise a three-day festival — Mupperum Vizha —which started at Gandhi Museum on Friday.

Theatre artiste and writer Living Smile Vidya, who is a transgender, said that the popular perceptions are that all TGs involve themselves in sex work or beggary. But things have changed in the last decade with the help of many non-governmental organisations which helped them come out of the closet and fight for their right.

Chinese Opera in Bangkok
The traditional Chinese art form involving music, singing, martial arts and acting has a history of more than 500 years, and is popular in Thailand and in other Asian countries.

Chinese Opera in Bangkok

The traditional Chinese art form involving music, singing, martial arts and acting has a history of more than 500 years, and is popular in Thailand and in other Asian countries.


I’ve got a string of gigs happening in the Bay Area in early May, all exploring different types of art, so come say hi:

Women’s Rock Camp Showcase + Queen Crescent

The New Parish
579 18th Street (at San Pablo), Oakland, CA 94612
Sunday 5 May 2013 : 2pm to 5pm
$5 - $15, under 18 FREE; no one turned away for lack of funds

Women’s Rock Camp is a program of Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (BAGRC). BAGRC is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls through music, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and collaboration. Participants learn instruments, form bands, write an original song, attend workshops, and perform in a live concert…all in three days. Women’s Rock Camp tuition and all showcase proceeds benefit the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp Youth Programs.

I am one of the participants in this year’s WRC and am pretty excited to relive my rockstar dreams ;)


LGBT Center
1800 Market St, San Francisco CA 94102
Thursday 9 May 2013 : 6pm Visual Arts, 7:30pm Videos and Performances


Giving a definition to gender variance is tricky. As is defining chronic illness. People tell themselves “I am not sick enough or queer enough or whatever enough” to identify these ways and this hesitance stops us from forming communities and connections. We isolate because our experiences are not talked about or validated and our unique and varied lives don’t lend themselves easily to group formation. Definitions are inherently constraining which is why many gender variant and chronically ill folks resist identity categories that often hew to normative binaries. With this in mind, SICK will bring folks together to make beautiful complicated art about our intersecting experiences as gender variant and sick people.

I don’t usually class myself as a visual artist, so my piece in SICK is going to be an interesting visual/performance/interactivity hybrid experiment. I’m the pre-show before the performances and videos, so come early enough to check me out and say hi (in a manner of speaking).

Mother Funder! A Mother’s Day Cabaret Benefiting White Lies

Club 21
2111 Franklin St (at 21st), Oakland CA 94612
Sunday 12 May 2013 : 7:30pm
$10; no one turned away for lack of funds - 21+

White Lies is a new production to debut at the 2013 National Queer Arts Festival on June 23rd. A multiracial cast of queer musicians, filmmakers, poets, writers, and actors will explore whiteness to dismantle racism in our queer communities. Our production aims to bring humor and hope to conversations about race and racism by blending together many mediums in a night of performance and conversation. Our cast is composed of many movers and shakers in the San Francisco Bay Area LGBTQ arts scene including nomy lamm, StormMiguel Florez, Jezebel Delilah X, Eli Conley, Susie Smith, Jolie Harris, Mel Chen, Meredith Fenton, Kentucky Fried Woman and Open Mike. This benefit cabaret is to help us fund our world premiere performance and cover the costs of ASL interpretation, venue rentals, and paying our cast and crew.

The Polyester Girl Army is likely to make a comeback amongst some awesome Bay Area QTPOC names!


“For me there was no religious context, no shamanistic yearnings, no yogic conditioning that had to do with these performances. In fact, they occurred in the same kind of stream of consciousness. In mean, I don’t take any anaesthetics, I don’t chant or get into altered states. I think metaphysically, in the past, we’ve considered the skin as surface, as interface. The skin has been a boundary for the soul, for the self, and simultaneously, a beginning to the world. Once technology stretches and pierces the skin, the skin as a barrier is erased.”

(via batwithbutterflywings)

(via Rebecca @ The Thang Blog)

This weekend, I’m participating in a project called Re-Frame: A Gathering at Links Hall. Tickets are available here.  I’ll be one of the featured performers on Friday, 12/16, and a supporting artist on Saturday and Sunday. For those of you who can’t make it, here’s the current draft of what I’ll be performing.


All enter, chanting, Rebecca leading call-and-response. Chants include:

  • Tell me what democracy looks like / This is what democracy looks like
  • The people united will never be defeated
  • The whole world is watching

Everyone but Rebecca fades off to the sides

I’ve been following the Occupy Wall Street movement with some interest. I have friends who live in New York City who are pretty involved. I have friends in Chicago who are regularly across from the Federal Reserve Building at Jackson and LaSalle, as part of Occupy Chicago. And I love the concept of the Occupy movement: of grassroots democracy, of consensus building, of acknowledging the wealth and income disparities which have been growing in the United States for years.

Chanting, alone: We are the ninety nine percent!

Sort of embarrassed at being alone: It’s easy to justify not being an active participant, to justify watching from the sidelines. I’m busy. What does one do at an occupation, hour after hour? And – as the Occupy movement continues into the winter – the ever-dropping temperatures and ever-growing threat of cold rain and snow.

And always in the back of my mind, the question: As a queer, transgender woman, what’s my place in the Occupy movement? Where do I fit in the ninety nine percent?

In some ways, the Occupy Movement makes me think of the uproar surrounding invasive screenings by the TSA at airports:

Brief scene of Rebecca being stopped by an embarrassed worker – “The scanner showed an…um…anomoly…” (gestures to crotch) – while everyone else walks by without incident

Minorities – transgender people, the disabled population, women wearing burkas, anyone who looks too ‘ethnic’ – have been getting singled out by security for years. The TSA specifically put out a notice to be on the lookout for people whose documentation didn’t match their ‘perceived gender.’ Sure, it could pick up those rascally cross-dressing terrorists, but it was more likely to impact people like me.

But when invasive screenings began to impact straight, white, able-bodied men, suddenly there was cause for concern. There were extensive news reports and investigative stories. There were congressional hearings.

Where was my congressional hearing?

Back at the Occupy movement, the mainstream financial and employment sectors have always been targeting minorities for discriminatory treatment. A disproportionate number of transgender women turn to sex work because we aren’t seen as fit to employ.

And yet, I can’t help but feel giddy at the Occupy movement: people taking to the street, making their voices heard to authority, calling out the injustices built into the very foundation of the American economy. How could that not be exciting? And from people my age! And younger! A population seen as apathetic, on FaceBook instead of making face-to-face connections, too lazy to be activists.

Everyone comes back for more OWS chanting. Everyone but Rebecca leaves through the main entrance.

The Occupy movement has reminded me what it means to work within a system, versus protesting it entirely. I’m hoping Occupy figures out how to balance those extremes, and that it finds a way to turn general sentiments of dissatisfaction into lasting political change. At the same time, the tools The System gives us aren’t always that useful.


I’m currently trying to get a new passport. My old one, which I received in 2007, has my old name, a really old photo, and says – in big bold letters – MALE. But under the Obama Administration, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it’s become (relatively) easy to get a new, corrected passport. You need court documentation of the name change (check) and a letter from a doctor saying you’ve met certain criteria (easily acquired). So I put everything together – my old passport, my name change documentation, the letter from my doctor, and the passport application itself – and sent it off to the passport office in New Hampshire.

Things are never that easy.

A week or so after sending my application, I received a letter from the passport office.

Read the letter. Well, part of the letter. Mostly just the ‘physician’s statement must include’ part.

Except I knew all that going in. I’ve seen the letter my doctor wrote – it has all that stuff!

So I called the passport office, assuming (foolishly) that this would be easy to clear up. They need certain things, I sent those things. Simple. Of course not.

The people you can reach by phone don’t have any additional information beyond what’s included in the letter – that I didn’t supply everything I needed to in my application – and the people who have the information I want can’t be reached by phone. So I ask the office to have someone knowledgeable call me. Can do! But if I miss the call, or they call while I’m in rehearsal or at a meeting and my phone is on silent (which they’ve done twice so far) they won’t leave a voicemail. Privacy concerns, presumably, but who knows. So I need to call back and start the whole process over. The fun part being that, for those same privacy concerns, they can’t acknowledge the letter I’ve been sent and jump into the conversation. To have a conversation about it, I have to read it to them. In its entirety.

To give credit where credit is due, everyone I’ve spoken to has been very polite and professional. I don’t think I’m being singled out because I’m transgender, I think bureaucracy is an equal-opportunity spreader of misery. But why do I need a doctor’s note in the first place? I wouldn’t need one simply to change my name. But gender is dangerous and terrifying and society must be protected from those crazy gender-shifting freaks.


A little over a year ago, in October 2010, I was fired for being trans. For being a transgender woman. Transsexual. A she-male. A chick with a dick, as it were. Dangerous, apparently, to children. Bringer of “uncomfortable conversation.”

I had been hired to teach a once-a-week theatre workshop, but after the first class I got word that I was being asked not to return after some of the kids at Neal had asked their teachers about my “big hands” and “deep voice.”

In telling this story, this is the part where everyone tries to sneak a look at my hands to see if they’re freakishly huge or something. They’re not, as far as I can tell. (Show the audience)

But the teachers had gone to the administrators with the students’ questions about me. The administrators had decided my presence might bring up “uncomfortable conversation.” (That’s the actual quote, I’m told.) The school asked the Piven Theatre Workshop, who was my direct employer, to send another teacher. So Piven was tasked with the unpleasant responsibility of telling me I had been fired, because I was transgender. Because I wasn’t “womanly” enough. Because my very presence in a classroom would apparently prompt “uncomfortable conversation.”

Piven, to their credit, said “Well, we actually sent a really great teacher. And if that’s a problem, I guess we have to cancel the workshop.” In that, I’m a rarity among trans folks: my primary employers have stood by me through coming out, transitioning, being an out trans woman. Piven did everything they could to fight for me. But they couldn’t get me un-fired. They couldn’t prevent me from being the target of bigotry and fear.

Which was a particular slap in the face, because Illinois is one of the twelve states where it is illegal to fire someone for being transgender! But I was fired, legal protection or not.

Trans people are easy to discard. We’re so weird! So freaky! So different! Occupy Wall Street had a women’s-only tent at Zuccotti Park, as a way to allow female participants in the Occupy movement to feel safe. But the tent instituted a “womyn-born-womyn’ policy. (That’s “womyn” with a ‘y’.) This type of policy, most widely known for its use at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival every August, says the only ‘real’ women, the only women who are allowed in a particular space must have been born women. Trans women (who, according to this line of thought, weren’t born women) need not apply.

We are the 99%. Unless we’re not, apparently.

Chanting off, alone: The people united, will never be defeated.