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QueerCab
March - May, 2021

community + education partner 

Have the last 10 months made you feel like you’re in a time warp? Has the ‘new normal’ shifted your sense of self and time entirely? A response to the ongoing strange time of the pandemic, this year’s QueerCab series brings together artists across mediums to explore queer pasts, presents, and futures. Between March and May, these three events will animate Buddies’ spaces, both physical and virtual.

QueerCab is a curated space for emerging artists and creators at any stage of their practice, to develop skills, take risks, have fun, and experiment with the possibilities of their work. 

Click below to learn more about each of the events.

Curated by Heather Caplap + Adjani Poirier

Design by En Tze

Imagined Futures

May 22, 7:30PM

How do we build the world we want to exist in? Imagined Futures showcases a rich patchwork of possibilities, spanning a breadth of genres and perceptions. This work speaks to the beauty, complexity, fun and wisdom that goes into creating the multiplicitous visions of what queer futures can be. Do not fear, the future is queer!

This zoom event is hosted live by Nora Vision. Read on to find out more about the artists involved.

ASL-interpretation provided by Denica Brown and Latasha Lennox, with captioning on the performances.

Please RSVP by clicking below – you’ll receive a day of reminder as well as the zoom information. The zoom login will also be posted here on the day of the event.

RSVP

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Yolanda Bonnell

Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe & South Asian Dora nominated performer, writer and facilitator/educator. Originally from Fort William First Nation, her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. Recently, she was the Indigenous artist recipient of the Jayu Arts for Human Rights Award for her work. Yolanda proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors.

Sita Moon
Zaka’an; light, ignite it, set it on fire.

Looking back at the fires of revolution, burning the old ways to make way for the new, lighting the 8th fire of togetherness…

What happens once we’ve taken it all back and our ancestors feel like they can finally rest?

Will we still feel them in the embers as we rebuild?

Website // Twitter

photo by Graham Isador

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Lennon Bradford

Lennon smiles at the camera. They have very short brown hair and a septum piercing. They are wearing a dark green shirt and a denim jacket.

Lennon Bradford (they/he) is a trans multi-disciplinary artist from Brampton, Ontario. Their passion for uplifting and amplifying trans narratives, devising, and writing, has fueled the development of their play Tornado for the past year. Lennon is grateful to be presenting excerpts from this work as part of QueerCab Imagined Futures.

Taking place both pre and mid pandemic, TORNADO is about the ebbs and flows of relationships, how we view ourselves within them, and how we cope with major shifts in these dynamics. The following selected scenes were chosen to be presented because they represent chosen family, hope, endings, and beautiful new beginnings.

Instagram

Additional credits:
Lennon Bradford (they/he) // playwright + director
Raylene Turner (she/her) // co-director
Bianca Licitra (they/them) // Lex
Valerie Chong Nigg (they/them) // Rowan
Benjamin Coda Elizabeth (they/them) // Seth
Kathleen Mills (she/they) // Noel
Shireen Khan (they/them) // stage directions

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Brian Cope

Miss Juwanna Dewitt wears a black dress, and a brown fur stole, with a white pearl necklace and a black lace veil over the top half of her face.

Facing challenges are at the core of Brian Cope’s creative energy. Themes which arise in his work include the dangers of labels, ageism, privilege, race, entitlement, capital inequality and privilege. He is committed to intergenerational connections and storytelling. He sees himself as a gender performer and does not identify as a drag queen in the classic sense.  He wraps himself in a female character sometimes to communicate themes and messages and to challenge stereotypes.

Victory is a statement on transformations and challenges the viewer’s presumptions about who and what they see.  Through a personal narrative, the performance tempts viewers to be vulnerable and transparent.  It invites the viewer to dare to be all they are and want to be – to honour themselves wherever they are on their personal life journey.

Instagram // Twitter

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Jordana Greenblatt

Jordana is seen hanging from a trapeze by their right arm. Their left leg wraps around their right arm, while their left hand holds their right leg below their torso. They are wearing a teal top and shorts, and the background is purple.

Marion Aether (Jordana Greenblatt) is a queer, genderqueer/nonbinary/trans emerging aerialist, specializing in aerial rope and static trapeze. In mobilizing, subverting, combining, and evading the gendered movement and costuming norms of conventional aerial arts, their work positions gender nonconformity as a deliberate performance aesthetic centering the body as communication device.

The static trapeze performance How the Light Gets In uses motifs of regression, stalling, repetition and tight spaces to evoke our current “cracked” moment. Mitigating these motifs with ones of expansion, it summons the tentative resilience of letting the light back in through our communal and individual “cracks.”

Instagram

photo by Kaylens Photography

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Huck King Filarious

Shaharah smiles at the camera. They have short black hair and are wearing a high-neck black top.

Huck King Filarious is a Non-Binary Drag artist with Tourette Syndrome who LOVES to make others smile with Puppets! When they are not singing, drinking tea, or practicing ventriloquism, they are mulling over life’s true meaning, and teaching their Puppets Drag Race Choreography!

Introducing Huck & Rose: Thank You for the Music
Quarantine has been hard for all of us, and it’s been all too easy to forget the little things that help give our life meaning. The things that make each of us special. Together, Rose and Huck rediscover their love and passion for music to help them out of their Quarantine blues.

Instagram // Twitter

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Daniel Sarah Karasik

Daniel Sarah is sitting on the grass holding a guitar. They have a clip in their brown hair, and are wearing a blue shirt. Behind them is a wire fence, and trees and shrubs.

Daniel Sarah Karasik (they/them) is a writer, performer, musician, and social movement worker in Toronto.

Poems and Songs for the Trans-Socialist Horizon!
Making music during the pandemic has helped me believe there might be a future. In that spirit: here’s an original song.

Instagram // Twitter

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Simon Mazziotti

Simon is seen twice in the image. Near the centre they are leaning back between a set of light curtains. On the right they have their fists up in front of them.

Simon Mazziotti is a queer movement artist and choreographer from Toronto/Tkaronto. As a recent graduate of Ryerson University’s Performance Dance Program, he is emerging into his pre-professional career focusing recently on movement research as it relates to dance on film. Recently Simon has been collaborating with other emerging artists as well as the acclaimed Justine Chambers.

Pseudo is an extension of my perception and experience of the dance community at its base. With its roots in authenticity this piece has since grown various branches of meaning during this process. How does one stay authentic when being conditioned and trained by our tumultuous industry we love so much?

Website // Instagram

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Anna Jane McIntyre

Anna is squatting on a hardwood floor with their arms on the ground in front of them. They are wearing a black hat, a zebra hoodie, an orange scarf, and patterned pantyhouse and long white socks. In the background is a wall or large sheet with drawings of flowers and foliage. On the ground are a variety of items - a large letter "A", a spinning top, a beach ball, and party hats.

Anna Jane McIntyre is a transdisciplinary artist-microactivist-another-mother of Trinidadian-British  heritage. Her work investigates what it is. How do we remain sensitive, vulnerable and engaged in the  world yet resilient? What are the questions that we need to ask? Her work embraces the complex  contradictions of negotiating being.

Natasha “Courage” Bacchus is a Tkaronto-Guyanese, Deaf Black Female Queer, 3 timer Deaflympian  Sprinter, 2020 Black Lives Matters monologues winner and advocate for IBPOC/QIBPOC Deaf artists. Natasha has worked with companies across Canada including Red Dress Productions, Obsidian  Theatre, Kingston Circus Arts, Tangled Arts, and Inside Out Theatre.

Anna Jane McIntyre presents The Player expressed in an Afropresentism aesthetic. Inspired by both the everything-energy-spirit-and-generosity of Natasha “Courage” Bacchus and Albert Einstein’s quote “Play is the highest form of research” McIntyre imagines Bacchus as a time-travelling  inclusion visionary and citizen rooted in a present void of oppression.

Instagram (Anna) // Instagram (Courage)

photo by Kinga Michalska

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The Noise Witch

The Noise Witch has long black hair that is partly tied back. They have pink flower petals framing their eyes and wear pink lipstick. We see them from the chest up, and no clothes are visible.

the Noise Witch is a gender-fluid Godex that has taken over a human form. They weave sounds to soothe the soul and enchant the senses. Through their art they revolt against colonial restraints and reimagine realities beyond the present.

It is the age of Reclamation. Child of the Divine/ Far out is tomorrow’s offering for the Ancestors of yesterday. It is a vision of the Trans-fantastic Divinity that lies within all of us and the inner fire that drives us to create and code a new reality.

Instagram // TikTok // Twitch

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Eish Van Wieren

Eish leans their head to the right, against a light purple baackground. They are wearing a ball cap, and a white, short-sleeved button down shirt with orange overalls.

Eish Van Wieren is a queer genderfluid trans-nonbinary transdisciplinary theatre practitioner, visual artist, mask maker, musician, designer and educator who also works in film and TV. They strive to create work that “splats” onto the stage, page or screen while seeking to unsettle their practice as a settler.

THE VOID
 While travelling the universe to escape their dooming melancholy, LOE – a three headed lesbian space creature – stumbles upon the earth and decide to turn it into a void to store secrets. However, shortly after beginning voidification, they find themself falling in love with the moon who begs them to leave the earth alone. LOE must decide: to void or not to void?

Instagram

Thank you to Kayla Craig for filming support.

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Justin Mourant // Nora Vision

Jonathan Mourant is a playwright, producer, and drag robot Nora Vision. Taking influence from pop culture, queer history, and post-modern memes, Jonathan’s work confronts identity, belief, and propaganda, and questions how all three contribute to one’s sense of reality. Jonathan is currently studying playwriting at National Theatre School of Canada.

Instagram // Twitter // Tiktok

Transitory Present

April 30 – May 7
Gallery opening April 30

The present exists and is gone in the same instant. This iteration of QueerCab features micro-works and digital snapshots that engage with transition, fleeting moments, and ephemeral connections.

“We invite you to immerse yourself in 10 pieces of beautiful work that explore the ever expanding and contracting multiplicities of the present moment. Each artist offers a unique and vital interpretation of the complexity inherent to the compounding realities that can exist within us. Join us for our virtual interactive gallery opening in the fun 2D world of GatherTown or swing by the Buddies space for a self-led gallery tour using your phone and QR Codes. We’re so excited to share QueerCab Transitory Present with you!”
– curators Heather Caplap + Adjani Poirier

Join Heather and Adjani for an 8-bit, interactive gallery opening event on GatherTown on April 30 from 7-9PM. Fix yourself a drink, meet some new people, take in the artwork, and hear from the curators and artists about their works.
ASL interpretation of the presentations at the event will be provided by Latasha Lennox and Denica Brown.

Works will be accessible from April 30-May 7 in-person via QR codes in the windows of the Buddies cabaret, and online. Accessibility note: All works will feature captioning or transcriptions and extended video/image description.

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Erica Barta + Jen Bieber

Erica Barta is a visual artist whose focus is on jewelry and metalsmithing, drawing and sculpture. Jen Bieber is a poet and a performance artist. Together, they have begun to experiment with collaborative story-telling through video. Their most recent collaboration, With & Without, was featured in the 2020 Dawson City Riverside Arts Festival.

Set to the sound of two beating hearts, Gone documents the journey between 2 communities existing thousands of kilometers apart. In this piece we wonder: when we move, do we ever really leave a place behind? Can we coexist in two worlds, forever connected to our community? Are we ever really Gone?

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Kim Farris-Manning

A fun-loving queer arbor-artist, Kim Farris-Manning creates works across disciplines that engage with the performer and audience in unique ways. Allowing ideas to grow and change is a central facet of Kim’s work; pieces are often made in versions, through a process of experimentation and collaboration with others.

These images are excerpted from “King of Chlorophyll: a drag arborist graphic audio chapbook”. While I reconciled with an abrupt move and new realities brought on by the pandemic, I fell into and in love with arboriculture and the art of climbing trees – and the rest grew from there.

Instagram // Youtube

photo by Peter Farris-Manning 

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Christina Hajjar

Christina Hajjar is a queer femme first-generation Lebanese-Canadian artist, writer, and cultural worker. Her practice considers domesticity, labour, and place through diaspora, body archives, and cultural iconography. She is a 2020 PLATFORM Photography Award winner, co-founder of Carnation Zine, and creator of Diaspora Daughter, Diaspora Dyke zine.

Pisces Season is a romantic vignette depicting gay sensuality and attentive touch.

Website // Instagram

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Imran Faizyab Jatoi

I am a multidisciplinary artist who examines issues of gender, identity, masculinity and orientation in queer subjectivity through surfaces, installation and performance. In my newest work, I am returning as a performer, as I understand it, is a tool for movement of queer expression and activism.

Pink Water reveals the intersections of heteronormative masculinity and sensitive representation of queer identities. It’s a beautiful reflection on how queer societies see their joyful presence in the forceful surroundings. They are holders of common liberties and they need to identify as such inside the social orders we live in.

Website // Instagram

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Em Lubbers

Em is a Toronto-based storyteller working primarily in film, audio, and writing. Em is passionate about creating media that is engaging and insightful, and on occasion, fun. Their hope with this piece is that trans and GNC folks will hear something they can relate to and feel seen by.

The Body & The Binary is an audio exploration of how an array of young queer folks understand their bodies, and how their relationship to their bodies shapes their understanding of themselves.

Instagram // Twitter

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Reece McCrone

Reece McCrone, They/Them, is a Tkaronto based creator. Reece takes a multi-medium based approach to their work while showcasing their performative nature. Film and documentary media is the current home to much of Reece’s recent work. Their work has been featured on screen, in print and on stages all around Tkoronto. You can find Reece performing as their burlesque alter ego JJ Jiggleheimer-Schmidt, busting moves as “Toronto’s Naughty Knave of Hearts”.

What does is feel like to be unstuck in time? TIME SLIPS tries to capture the moment where you’re ass over tea kettle and you are just waiting in anticipation to hit the ground. Like many, the impact of COVID-19 and self-quarantining has made me feel outside of time. Outside of life and sometimes outside of existence. TIME SLIPS is a conscious reckoning of reality. The work captures time itself, as a creature, a being, a presence. In many ways this presence is merely a reflection, evidence of time is easier found than time itself. Sometimes time slips away, sometimes time stops, sometimes time gets the most of us and sometimes time get the best of us. Hold on to time, before there’s none left.

Instagram

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Jasmine Noseworthy Persaud

Jasmine Noseworthy Persaud is a chronically ill, nonbinary digital media artist of Guyanese and English descent living in Tkaronto. Their work seeks to create breathing space for survivors and queer, disabled, racialized populations. They are interested in drawing connections between micro and macro levels of intimacy, interdependence, and care.

The Time Being merges poetry with moving image to portray the inherent expansive nature of love. Specifically, how a practice of love can spread throughout systems of relation and take on a life of its own – something simultaneously ephemeral and everlasting.

Website // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook

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Rye

Rye is a grass that grows to 1.8m or taller. It is well-suited to establish roots in cosmopolitan environments and is cherished for its high-energy dancing. When in human form, Rye is an intersex genderqueer drag performer using contemporary moves to tell sentimental stories.

Self-love can take many forms. In this case, it means breaking in and taking back one’s own image. Carmen Sandiego might have been the globe-trotting anti-hero of many a millennial’s childhood, hence it is time that she gets queer and sensual.

Instagram // Facebook

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Alessia Signorino

Alessia Signorino is an Italo-Argentinian that currently calls Tio’tia:ke/Montreal home. She graduated in Design with a Minor in Computation Arts from Concordia University. Through her art practice, she strives to create new platforms for human connection and empathy. By creating opportunities for sharing moments together, her artworks investigate curiosity, heritage and the human psyche.

Inspired by Ellen Samuel’s essay ‘Six Ways of Looking at Crip Time’, Crip Time Travel is a 3D digital animation that portrays the transitory movement of spoons floating across an aqueous surface, a disruption to the constructed linear visualization of time. The theory of spoons drifting away is an expression of the precarious nature of being gentle with oneself all while constantly calculating just how much leniency can be afforded, a daily struggle for many neurodiverse individuals. Energy, and therefore time, is ephemeral.

Website // Instagram

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Maneesa Veeravel

Maneesa (they/he/she) is a creative residing on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Wendat, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. As a Tamil, genderfluid, queer survivor with chronic pain, their work reflects ancestral history, trauma and healing as it pertains to “home” and belonging. They’ve published and performed poetry, screened short films, displayed soundscapes, exhibited their art, and facilitated workshops. Maneesa values resourcing, creative expression and mindful experiences like bird watching, finger painting, kneading and lying on flat surfaces.

As a keeper of unwept water,
I stand still among these shores.
Withholding slippery tongues,
I bear the life that seeps into their souls,
disguising itself in grace and fury.
This hollow well is abundance

Shadows of the Past

March 31 – April 7, 8-10PM

How do memories, recollections and interpretations of the past shape our present and future? What personal and collective histories linger on?  Our first edition of QueerCab spotlights shadow and video works that ruminate on the past.

“Come by the Buddies window-scape and be transported to an enchanted world of queer fairytales and friendships. Feel the magic and mythology of queer love and reminisce on all you’ve done in the shadows.”
— Heather Caplap, curator

Kristine White will be animating her installation, Tales We Have Told on March 2nd at 8PM.

When viewing the exhibit, please be mindful of other people around you, keep space and wear a mask.

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Christina Hajjar

Christina Hajjar is a queer femme first-generation Lebanese-Canadian artist, writer, and cultural worker. Her practice considers domesticity, labour, and place through diaspora, body archives, and cultural iconography. She is a 2020 PLATFORM Photography Award winner, co-founder of Carnation Zine, and creator of Diaspora Daughter, Diaspora Dyke zine.

you have what you need to survive is a reminder of the need for intimacy, pleasure, intergenerational knowledge, and joint struggle through difficulty. It is about the things we do to fuel emotional endurance in the disorientations of queer diaspora and multiple pandemics. The habeebi hearts in the pattern are by Muna Shami.

Website

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LANDON KRENTZ

I have lived and worked in the Deaf and hearing worlds all my life and recognize the gaps that exist between the visual and the auditory worlds. I hope to further establish professional sign language theatre by engaging from an intersectional standpoint: one that allows both sign and spoken languages to coexist in an artistic space. My work has allowed me to advocate for artists within the larger community so that Deafness and Deaf culture are acknowledged as vital parts of our cultural fabric.

Circling Around You is a video installation.

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EZRA LI

Ezra Li (Citizen Li) is a video artist. As a genderqueer Chinese artist and Canadian immigrant, his work discusses identity politics, value dynamics, digital chauvinism and globalization. Studied in filmmaking, he works digital and analogue traditions, and explores the effects of pastiche to critique capitalism. He has a committed passion for dissemination of diasporic narratives, and marginalized perspectives.

The Flags is a 1 minute video, depicting the transformation of pride flags throughout history. It begins with the original 1978 design created by Gilbert Baker, the 8-striped flag including pink. Like a fractured .gif, through a visual effect called datamoshing , this design fades into the next iteration. The video marries ‘glitch’ and archive of many existing American pride flags and their sisters throughout history.

photo by Tayfra Poyser

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Abdullah Qureshi

Abdullah Qureshi is an artist, educator, and cultural producer. Within his practice, he is interested in using painting, filmmaking, and methodologies of collaboration and organization to address personal histories, traumatic pasts, and sexuality. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Aalto University, Finland, where his project, Mythological Migrations: Imagining Queer Muslim Utopias, examines formations of queer identity and resistance in Muslim migratory contexts.

Cruising: Other Ways of Love employs a fictional and experimental narrative, thinking about cruising from a mythological and queer perspective. Visually, the film draws on personal memories, encounters, and select characters from the paintings of the Pakistani artist, Anwar Saeed (b. 1955). Music is composed by Zan and includes interviews conducted by Abdullah Qureshi in Marseille, France with queer Muslim friends.

Written and Directed by Abdullah Qureshi
Produced in collaboration with Khadeeja Arham, Zainab Zulfiqar, Umair Sajid, Hadi Rehman
Post-Production Producer: Danai Anagnostou

Website // Instagram

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Brescia Nember Reid

Brescia Nember Reid is a queer multifaceted artist and birthworker, living in toronto/tkaronto. Brescia has been working in paper-cut-outs and shadow-projection since 2008, solo and in collaboration as “Drawing With Knives Shadows”. Brescia’s shadow-based performance work received the Summerworks Performance Festival’s Emerging Artist award, and has been featured in the Rhubarb Festival, the Allied Media Conference, and more.

MISSING TOUCH: A shadow-projection portrait installation based in queer/LGBTQI2S longing for community/connection/touch, often associated with pre-pandemic days. Missing a spectrum of closeness, from hugging pals to swapping spit. Isolation & disconnection during covid-times can sometimes lead to an idealized vision of the past. What are you missing most?

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Kristine White

Kristine White is a visual and performance artist whose work focuses on immersive, textural and often site-specific performances. She works with puppetry, shadow projection, and object theatre as means of expressive storytelling. Kristine often collaborates with musicians to create multidisciplinary performances that tell stories and invite audiences to step into new worlds.

Tales We Have Told is a series of folk tales deconstructed and reinterpreted from a curious, unsanitized, queer and anti-dogmatic lens. The imagery captures the timelessness of these tales and the shifting, re-imagined and re-contextualized elements. The focus when exploring these stories was around the trustworthiness and/or abstraction of metaphor in folk tales.

Kristine will be animating her installation, Tales We Have Told on March 2nd at 8PM.

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Heather Caplap

curator

Heather Caplap is a queer and disabled general purpose human. Her life goal is to foster community connectedness by creating spaces where artists and audiences can come together in a spirit of exchange, experimentation, and joy. As a curator she loves work that is irreverent, funny and eccentric. She is a puppet nerd and has co-founded two experimental puppetry events; Concrete Cabaret and OBJECTO: Toronto’s Festival of Puppetry and Performing Objects. She is currently finishing up a postgraduate degree in Arts Administration and Cultural Management at Humber College, and is a devoted member of the Cafe Concret collective.

Keep it weird, my queers!

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ADJANI POIRIER

curator

Adjani Poirier is a theatre artist who sometimes likes to experiment with sound art and radio. Her work is centred around principles of queerness, feminism and destroying white supremacy. Previous curatorial work includes Slut Island Festival and Experimental Radio Hour at the Yukon Riverside Arts Festival. Recent plays include On Life and Living: A History of AIDS Community Care Montreal and Still Gay When I’m Not In Love. Adjani is a recent alum of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program. She currently writes and creates in Tiohtiá:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal where she studies playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada.

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SARAH TRACY

Gathertown gallery designer

Sarah Tracy is a performance artist and designer. Current artistic practices explore medium-based story-telling experiences and theatre for the subconscious. She is the historical costume designer for Black Creek Pioneer Village; co-founder of music label, Outlier Communications; and co-curator/technical director of Café Concret and Concrete Cabaret.

photo by Jer Clarke

Dates

Shadows of the Past
March 31 – April 7

Transitory Present
April 30 – May 7

Imagined Futures
May 22, 7:30PM
RSVP

Tickets

All QueerCab events are free to attend or view.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Buddies has continued to support queer artists and queer stories through programs like QueerCab, our residency program, queer emerging artists awards, and community conversations.

If you’d like to support this work, in lieu of a PWYC ticket (or a drink at the bar), please click the link below to donate.

SUPPORT