On Friday 11th November I was invited by the very talented Nyasha Daley to the screening of her project "Black, Queer and Done" exploring the experience of black and queer individuals in the creative space and overall.
Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/brK7yShUiLM
I did not watch the trailer before the screening, so I went in not knowing what to expect or see at all and I was more than blown away. Nyasha was able to give voices to creatives in various formats from a focus group which was real and raw and also had 8 creatives work on individual pieces in response to themes such as feeling inbetween and the quietness of queerness.
The individual pieces varied from song to a monologue, to spoken word and what I would describe as "Spiritual Movement" (hey Sym!).
I want to give a shout out to Ray who I managed to have a chat with right at the end about his contributions to the conversation. What I really liked about Ray was his openness and honesty, often saying "I'm not sure if this is correct" or "This might just be my experience". It encouraged me to speak even when I don't know where a sentence or conversation is going because that's how we learn, grow and most importantly express our thoughts.
I had the privilege of working with Philips the Actor this year who also took part in the project, and he said something very important about removing colour from art, not in the sense that our experiences and stories don't matter, but more that they shouldn't be separated or judged on a different scale because the creator is black... I hope I've translated this as beautifully as it was put.
There was a participant in the focus group who wasn't black which I think was beautiful because it reiterated that you don't have to be, to try and understand. Bobby spoke about white people having more conversations about racism, yes with black people, but also amongst themselves to understand the world around them, educate themselves and decide how to do and be better in that sense.
The project as a whole is a beautiful representation of what it's like to be black and queer in the creative industry. They spoke a lot about stereotypes and there not being enough representation and also touched on cultural appropriation within the community. As silly as this sounds in 2022 it showed that black and queer people aren't identifiable through preconceived notions such as being loud or wearing drag, etc. We have to remember not to put people in a box because of different ways they identify - including ourselves.
I think everyone needs to watch it no matter what they identify as or believe in because it will teach you a very valuable lesson which is to be yourself no matter what and also love yourself in order to love others and be truly happy.
Thanks again to Nyasha and everyone involved in the project. I met some amazing new people, bumped into some I hadn't seen in a while, had some cool conversations and danced like there was no tomorrow! It was indeed a good night.