I’m really thrilled to be part of artist Tracey Moberly’s live social media performance extravaganza today at the Tate Modern Oil Tanks (http://www.tweet-me-up.com/). The event highlights the ‘International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination and Violence based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle and Code’ and brings together participating artists from across the world, including Trinidad (Kwynn Johnson, Paul Kain) and Haiti (Anderson Ambrose, Edward Craft) to name just a few of the Caribbean connections. Some of my blog images of transvestite and cross-dressing practices taken during my time in Martinique, mostly from carnival time, will also be included in today’s live installation. The carnival period still remains one of the few occasions on the island for individuals identifying with a range of gendered behaviours and sexual orientations to express themselves freely through ostentatiously costumed displays.
The digital exhibition at the Tate marks the anniversary of the death of Sophie Lancaster, who was “kicked to death for looking different” on 24th August 2007 (see the Sophie Lancaster foundation: http://www.sophielancasterfoundation.com/). I’ve always been interested in subcultural groups and the ‘undercurrents’, countering and disrupting dominant cultural flows. From working with Graffiti artists when I lived in Stuttgart to writing about Vodou artists in Haiti during my masters. I even remember doing an ethnography and talk on moshing during my degree, complete with diagrams, mapping moshpit audience divisions!!! Growing up I was very shy and putting on a costume made me a spirit. Having myself been beaten up and verbally attacked when I was younger, because of how I was dressed and the musical affiliations this encoded, the impetus behind Tracey’s event particularly resonated with me.
For the full listing of participating artists see: http://www.tweet-me-up.com/artists/title/
Details of event on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/449941221706258/