Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Preview of GFEST 2013: Art Riots

GFEST 2013: Art Riots
Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tottenham
7 – 9 November 2013

After a year’s break, Britain’s biggest community-led, not-for-profit arts event, showcasing LGBT peoples’ artistic talents, GFEST – Gaywise FESTival is back!

Now in its sixth year, the leading platform for multi-media arts and entertainment, organised and hosted by North London based arts charity Wise Thoughts, has teamed up with UK Black Pride to once again offer its eclectic range of film screenings, music performances, creative workshops and a visual arts exhibition, along with this year’s additional attraction of a Bollywood party.

The theme for GFEST 2013, taking place at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, a spectacular construction designed by David Adjaye, is ‘Art Riots – positive contributions by diverse artists in the community.’ This focus on ‘Pride in Diversity’ is an especially fitting tribute to the late MP Bernie Grant (1944-2000), in whose memory the arts centre was built, because he was a strong supporter of equality across the board, including for LGBT communities.

The festival opens on Thursday 7 November with ‘Riot of Colours’, a visual arts exhibition featuring graphic illustrations celebrating the achievements of the Stonewall riots in New York by Beldan Sezen; documentary portrait photography of LGBT families by Marta Kochanek; some dark images exploring sexual identity by Jason C Woodson; comics reinterpreting the signs of the zodiac by Sina Shamsavari aka Sina Sparrow; and a curious series of work exploring the nature of our expectations by Simon Croft. The exhibition runs for the duration of the festival.

On Friday 8 November, there will be an evening of film premieres. Following a number of shorts – Bumming Cigarettes, Miss Nizhoni, Hide and Seek and My Genderation (Alice) – viewers can enjoy the feature-length documentary, ‘The New Black’, by Fulbright Award winner Yoruba Richen, which tells the story of how the African-American community of Maryland is dealing with the issue of gay rights.

Saturday 9 November will bring performances by ‘homo hop’ rapper QBoy, hip-hop stars Naechane Valentino and EvOn Musicbully and performance poet Dean Atta.

Four creative workshops will run across the festival under the theme of ‘Learning from Riots.’ These include a social media workshop, a filmmaking workshop, a creative writing session and a drama workshop.

Finally, things will end with a bang on Saturday night, with the GFEST 2013 closing party ‘Bollywood Blast’. Offering a mix of Bollywood, Bhangra and House music, dancing will go until the early hours.

The central ethos of GFEST is ‘equality in all walks of life,’ and by teaming up with UK Black Pride, and hosting the events in a venue built in honour of such a worthy man, this year’s festival looks set be the most successful yet. As Kochanek reminds us: London needs this kind of event to bring together many LGBT artists in one place. Get your tickets now!

Twitter: @GFEST 


GFEST 2013 logo

Simon Croft

Still from Bumming Cigarettes
film by Tiona McClodden aka Tiona M

Still from My Genderation (Alice)
film by Raphael Fox and Lewis Hancox

EvOn MusicBully 

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