London, 23rd July 2022, 5-9pm: Celebrating gender diversity and the creativity of trans and non-binary artists in a day of workshops, film screenings and live performances curated by Cas Bradbeer, in a collaboration between the FGEN Visual Culture Stream (Feminist Gender Equality Network) and Ugly Duck.
Tickets are free, but a donation is encouraged (we will be using them to pay artists)—you can donate either through the optional payment section of the Eventbrite here:
or via our GoFundMe page:
The event brings together artworks that examine issues around representing gender diversity, trans and gender non-conforming experiences, and networks of support. Stories of mythical transformation and queer ecological intimacies call into question binarized thinking about gender and ecology, suggesting instead models of interdependency and fluidity in practices of care for our communities and the other organisms we share the planet with.
In a time when the UK Government refuses to ban conversion therapy for trans people and FINA, the World Swimming organization, has introduced new rules that effectively ban trans athletes from competing, it is important to hear and celebrate trans voices. FGEN is a cross-sector, interdisciplinary international organisation dedicated to countering anti-trans propaganda at home and abroad, and positively influencing social, cultural, legal, and policy frameworks to protect and improve the rights of people of all (or no) genders. The visual culture stream aims to provide platforms and create opportunities for trans and non-binary artists, and present in public artworks that explore gender inclusivity and trans experiences. Trans Tales for Toxic Times was initially conceived as a protest against the government’s Safe to Be Me LGBT conference, which has now been cancelled thanks to boycotts by LGBTQIA+ organisations.
Ugly Duck is a fully accessible venue.
Films will be played in UglyDuck’s Hub, featuring a variety of trans artists including Romeo Roxman Gatt (he/him) and Zhuanxu Xu (they/them). Meanwhile there will be a bar serving drinks, and Cas will be running a placard-making in UglyDuck’s Garage. Then—at around 8pm—we’ll be hosting live performances by the likes of Joseph Morgan Schofield (they/them). [MORE TRANS FILMAKERS, PERFORMERS AND WORKSHOP LEADERS TBA]
More information about two of the films we will be featuring
- Xu’s short film The Lunar Month (2022) is an exploration of trans lesbian caring and love.
- Gatt’s short film Smoke Machine, Lion and Jeep (2021) is a reflection on trans childhood and healing. Throughout the performance, Roxman evolves, becoming more comfortable in himself, eventually growing wings, taking flight, and dancing with no holds barred. Roxman describes how “the caterpillar and the butterfly are still co-existing and transforming, the ‘broken wings’ are always mending”. Production, costuming, and filming assisted by Florinda Camilleri, Adrien Camilleri, Niels Plotard, and Holly Knowles.
Romeo Roxman Gatt (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist who explores sexuality, identity, gender, love, and consumption within his practice. For a while now, he has been working with themes of humanising and interacting with consumer objects, making the inanimate iconic and fetishised. He is also interested in documenting and archiving trans and queer experiences. For example, he recently launched his Rosa Kwir project, which revolves around alternative notions of masculinity, bringing together stories of Maltese trans masculine and non-binary people. He also co-founded the first queer-focused project space and contemporary art gallery in Malta. Roxman has an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art. He was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2016.
Zhuanxu Xu (they/them) is a visual artist and researcher based in London. Their primary research areas are trans and queer studies, feminist philosophy, as well as social and political philosophy, with a particular emphasis on the intersection between them and their entanglement and imbrication with language, visual culture, and socio-cultural transformation. Their artistic practices are rooted in the investigation and reflection on a heterogeneous class of phenomena apropos of deviant sex/gender/sexuality, through the prism of trans scholarship, utilising various media such as writing, photography, film, and performance to manifest the antagonistic position towards hegemonic societal discourse and knowledge production. Zhuanxu has an MFA from Goldsmiths and was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2021.
Joseph Morgan Schofield (they/them) uses performance, moving image, writing and curation to create future ritual. Joseph’s queer ritual actions foreground desire, grief, and wildness in the context of Trans* and ecological futurity; their acts of gathering and communion articulating a deep yearning – for both that which is lost, and that which is yet to arrive. Joseph has engaged with the South Pennine Moors as muse and collaborator for a number of years, and they also work responsively to other sites and contexts on different time scales. Joseph has an MA in Theatre and Performance from Queen Mary University, and now they perform at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts, work with organisations like the Live Action Development Agency, as well as leading an array of projects such as VSSL Studio, FUTURERITUAL and ]performance s p a c e[.
Cas Bradbeer (they/them) is a recent BA History of Art graduate from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where they led the LGBTQIA+ Society for two years, producing talks, workshops, and an exhibition. They have also established free arts events for non-profit organisations like the Paddington Development Trust, with a particular emphasis on providing for marginalised people such as trans youth. Cas also researches LGBTQIA+ art histories and has presented a few research papers at institutions like the National Maritime Museum and the National Gallery of Ireland. As well as curating Trans Tales for Toxic Times, they have recently been working on an LGBTQIA+ ecologies exhibition entitled They/Them/Their: Naturally Not Binary, which will open in August 2022 at the David Kovats Gallery. They are now looking forward to starting in September 2022 on a History of Design MA course with the Royal Collect of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
About Ugly Duck:
Ugly Duck is a London based arts organization that supports under-represented voices and emerging artists. Established in August 2012, their programme enables makers, community groups, professionals and the public to come together around unique cultural experiences and curated events. They have converted a beautiful empty Victorian warehouse in SE1 into a busy creative space which became, and still is, the home to countless rising artists. Recent events include PSX: Performance Space, Franko B (With A/Political), @Disturbance, Shocked Quartz.
About Feminist Gender Equality Network:
The Feminist Gender Equality Network (FGEN), a cross-sector, interdisciplinary international organisation dedicated to countering anti-trans propaganda at home and abroad, was launched in 2021 by Professor Sally Hines, Chair of Sociology at the University of Sheffield and Dr. Natacha Kennedy, Lecturer in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London. FGEN aims to: protect the rights and needs of people of all (or no) gender; counter transphobia, transmisogyny, sexism and gender-based violence and discrimination; stress the relationship between gender marginalisation and other social inequalities; forward self and bodily autonomy and reproductive choice and rights and develop social, cultural, legal, and policy frameworks to forward the above, share knowledge and expertise, and develop best practice.
FGEN Visual culture stream comprises academics, students, and cultural practitioners with interests in the creative arts (including fine art, music, theatre, film), particularly in relation to living and representing gender diversity, and trans and gender non-conforming experiences. They aim to provide platforms and opportunities for trans and non-binary artists by developing exhibitions, events and projects in galleries, community spaces and online. The Visual Culture stream also aims to build a community of artists and organisations to support the development and production of ambitious gender inclusive art projects.