Tangle Movement Arts will perform "Timelines" at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.) April 3-5. Credit: Michael Ermilio
Over the course of five weeks in March and April, Philly Queer Media’s second annual Media Activism Series will showcase a wide variety of work by Philadelphia artists with one thing in common: an interest in using art in the service of social change. Filmmakers, authors, performance artists, even a circus and dance troupe – the work itself is wide-ranging and multi-faceted, but the goals of the work are relatively united.
“All of these artists, activists and scholars use the stage in different ways,” says founder and director Cathy Hannabach, “but are all interested in the way that live performance can be used to interrogate gender, sexuality, racial and class politics.”
This year’s series includes a screening of director Che Gossett’s documentary about Asian-American AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya; a circus performance by Tangle Movement Arts; a workshop on drag performance; and a reading by writer and 'zine-maker Sarah Sawyers-Lovett. Each of them, Hannabach says, “is interested in connecting experiences of oppression and violence to broad, large-scale social and political movements that seek a more just and more equitable society.”
Philly Queer Media was founded in 2012 to showcase and exhibit work by artists working in various forms of media who are interested in the intersection of queer media arts and queer activism. The Media Activism Series is the central event in the organization’s calendar, and Hannabach hopes to reach as large and diverse an audience as possible, and strives to make the majority of events free and all ages.
“Philly Queer Media is really committed to accessibility, and we mean that in the broadest way possible,” she explains. “Our events are designed to draw different crowds in different neighborhoods of the city, some of whom might already be interested in media, some of whom might already be participants in queer activism, and some of whom might be brand new to either one of those things. We’re really committed to getting a huge variety audience members into the space and talking to each other — not just as passive recipients of the art in front of them but also as active community members with opinions and ideas who have something to contribute."