4 queer and trans happenings to wind you up or down beginning Feb. 18

What to watch, read, listen to or look at this week

What to watch

Hogan’s Alley 

Hogan’s Alley by Cornelia Wyngaarden and Andrea Fatona.

The Toronto-based Black Artists’ Network In Dialogue (BAND) gallery and cultural centre is screening the 1994 film Hogan’s Alley by Cornelia Wyngaarden and Andrea Fatona on Feb. 20. The film documents the unrepresented history of Vancouver’s Black community from the 1930s to the late 1960s; Hogan’s Alley is the local and unofficial name for a T-shaped intersection at the southwestern edge of Strathcona that became the centre of Vancouver’s first concentrated Black neighbourhood. 

The directors examine the narratives of three Black women: Thelma Gibson-Towns, an African-Caribbean dance teacher; Pearl Brown, a well-known local jazz singer; and Leah Curtis, a lesbian and recovering addict. The trio discuss the complexities of class, gender and sexuality. The proceeds from sales of this screening will go to the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention. 

The 1994 film Hogan’s Alley by Cornelia Wyngaarden and Andrea Fatona screens online Feb. 20 and 21. You can register for the screening here

What to read

The Rhubarb Festival by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Toronto-based queer and trans theatre company Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is bringing their annual Rhubarb new works festival to the pages of a book this year. The limited edition run of “performative publications” showcase contributions from over 20 artists, ranging from colouring pages to a fever-dream drag performance. The artists involved include Natasha “Courage” Bacchus, a deaf BIPOC activist and performer; Brazilian LGBTQ+ activist Renato Baldin; and actor and visual artist Ishan Davé. The Rhubarb Festival hopes to capture the usual in-person exploration of theatre, dance, music and performance art. 

The Rhubarb Festival book by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is available here, with a limit of 888 copies available. 

What to listen to

Charismatic Megafauna by Psymon Spine

Psymon Spine. Credit: Rachel Cabitt

Brooklyn-based electronic pop group Psymon Spine is releasing their sophomore album, Charismatic Megafauna, on Feb. 19. Nearly four years after the release of the band’s debut You Are Coming to My Birthday, their new album is a reintroduction; after all members of the band experienced a major breakup at once, an accidental breakup album was conceived. 

 

Although there are heavier themes on the album, the band’s lyrics and colourful sound highlight the importance of healing and positivity during difficult times. The previously released single and first song on the album, “Confusion,” is a compelling track that explores the complexities of connection and dissolution accompanied by the band’s classic psychedelic feel.

Psymon Spine’s new album Charismatic Megafauna will be available on Apple Music and Spotify on Feb. 19. 

What to look at

Indigenous Knowledge and Curriculum workshops

Nichole Leveck and Nazarene Pope. Credit: Jonathan Elliott

The Canadian Roots Exchange is hosting a string of family-friendly virtual workshops for its Indigenous Knowledge and Curriculum Department. The first video, uploaded on Feb. 11, was a mask-making tutorial by Indigenous mother-daughter duo Nichole Leveck and Nazarene Pope. Going forward, workshops will be uploaded weekly and will highlight lessons on digital art, quill earrings, beadwork, birch bark medallions, spoken word poetry, music beats and more. The Canadian organization is hoping to foster cultural and social connections for Indigenous youth with virtual workshops like its Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous youth event that teaches participants the basics of regalia making, beginning Feb. 22 (applications closed). 

The Canadian Roots Exchange will be uploading virtual workshops every week for its Indigenous Knowledge and Curriculum workshop series. The latest workshop can be found here

Sarah Taher

Sarah Taher is a Toronto-based multimedia journalist. She is an associate producer at CBC News: The National. Her freelance work can be seen in Xtra and The Pigeon, where she typically covers LGBTQ2S+ arts and culture, intersectional identities, and religion. Sarah has a BA in Journalism from Humber College. You can follow her on Twitter @sarahftaher

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