Queer Creatives: Art and Activism
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In 2021, following a recent number of homophobic and transphobic attacks in Liverpool, a number of works by local LGBTQ+ artists were displayed across the City Centre by Homotopia Festival, the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ arts and culture festival. At 4 am on Wednesday 3 November one artwork, by local artist Ben Youdan, which read ‘Queer with no fear’ was ripped down from where it had been displayed, close to the scene of incidents of local homophobic violence. Ben’s artwork had been funded by Liverpool council’s culture department in response to the attacks,
Following the incident member of Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ communities came together, creating copies of the original artwork and distributing them throughout the city in an extraordinary example of grassroots activism. Liverpool has long been home to many LGBTQ+ artists and creatives, many of whom use their work to campaign for an end to discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, many of whom use their platform to champion LGBTQ+ visibility in the city and beyond.
In this event we will hear from three local creatives who use their work in different ways to make the LGBTQ+ community and their issues more visible, to champion the community, and to campaign for a more equal society, a place where we can be ‘Queer with no fear’.
In this panel conversation we will hear from-
Ben Youdan is a visual artist based, his mixed media work employs a wide variety of techniques and processes, including collage, drawing, painting, print-making and photography. The imagery created takes inspiration from the iconography and ephemera of popular culture, as well as referencing art history. His pieces explore themes such as identity, glamour, and sexuality.
Lo is a Liverpool-based illustrator and activist who specialises in activism-based art and portraiture. Lo has undertaken a number of projects recently celebrating the voices of local LGBTQ+ youth. As a neurodivergent artist diagnosed with ASD, Lo looks to highlight the diversity of people within the spectrum and celebrate them whilst also educating the public.
Dan Chan (they/them) visual and drag artist. Their work takes a playful approach to explore their identity by unpicking racial and queer stereotypes. They create dreamscapes and fantasy beings to bring an idyllic world to life, much of this is inspired by imagery seen in meditation and dreams. A main aspect of their work is to create representation they never saw growing up with the hope for queer British Chinese youth to see themselves.
In this conversation event we will hear the stories of our three panellists, talk through some of their shared experiences as creatives and activists, and discuss the role of art and culture in the campaign for an end to LGBTQ+ discrimination