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Which Way Forward?
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Design by Luca Modesti

Author and activist Sarah Schulman leads a panel addressing the future direction of coalition politics and how marginalised queer communities can use such politics to challenge authoritarianism.

Faced with the rampant commercialisation of the LGBTQIA+ community and its various cultures in London, there is a critical need to tackle the increase of cultural gentrification in this historically diverse city. Building on concepts explored in her book The Gentrification of the Mind, Schulman leads discussions on how London-based individuals and organisations can use coalition politics to tackle increasing gentrification and commercialisation. The panellists consider how international networks of solidarity and activism can be broader than a border, transcending state-centric politics and establishing a coalition of resistance within oppressed communities worldwide.

Schulman is joined by artist and writer Travis Alabanza, performance artist and party promoter Lewis G. Burton, East End Sisters Uncut member Aviah Sarah Day, and co-founders of the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC), Dr Nour Abu-Assab and Dr Nof Nasser Eddin, all of whom play an integral role in maintaining London’s queer social and political architecture.

Which Way Forward? is curated by queer writer and independent activist Erkan Affan and introduced by activist and writer Dan Glass. This is presented in partnership with London Artists Projects and Queer Tours of London as part of the four-day London event Sarah Schulman: Four Days of Coalition Politics and Queer Liberty (1 – 4 May).

Should you feel unable to attend this event for financial reasons or if there is anything we can do to make it easier for you to attend, please get in touch by emailing or calling 020 7930 3647.
Dr Nour Abu-Assab and Dr Nof Nasser Eddin are co-founders of the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC), an intersectional multidisciplinary feminist consultancy with a goal to build communities and movements through an approach that is both academic and grassroots-centred. Both identify as queer Palestinian feminist sociologists, having been awarded a PhD in Sociology (Nof 2011, Nour 2012) from the University of Warwick. Nour has a number of publications around identities, sexualities, migration, post-colonialism and methods of decolonising, and has a forthcoming book in the making under the title Queering Ethnicities and Nationalisms. Nof has a number of publications in different academic journals focusing on refugee issues, intersectionality, class, gender, masculinities, sexualities and agency. Nof’s research interests also include queer feminist methodologies, femininities, decoloniality, and sexual practices and gender.

Travis Alabanza is a London based artist, writer and thinker. In the last four years, Alabanza has carved and created much public conversation around the intersections of Blackness, Gender, transness and class. Their work has crossed mediums, venues and form, and has appeared at the ICA, Tate, V&A, and internationally at venues such as Harvard, Royal Exchange, Hamburg International and Lyric Hammersmith. Their writing has been published in The Guardian, Buzzfeed and The Independent among others. Their recent show Burgerz documents and analyses being trans in public space and was published by Oberon play text. Recent work includes Ridiculous of Darkness (Gate Theatre) and 'I wanted to fuck up the system but none of my friends texted back' (Wellcome Collection).

Lewis G. Burton is a non-binary London-based performance artist and DJ. They co-founded the performance art platform-come-queer techno rave INFERNO. As an extension of INFERNO, Burton curated a two-day seminar exploring the intersections between performance art, nightlife, music and queerness entitled SUMMIT in February 2018. Lewis plans to continue this summit annually. Additionally, they are currently a member of the collective Pxssy Palace, a queer collective/club night that centres queer womxn, trans, non-binary and intersex people of colour.

Aviah Sarah Day is a member of the East End branch of Sisters Uncut – a national, feminist direct action group fighting cuts to domestic violence services. She has recently completed her PhD, entitled Partnership and Power: Domestic Violence, the Women’s Sector and the Criminal Justice System. Aviah also has several years of experience in a range of frontline domestic violence services. She is currently researching and campaigning against the increased criminalisation of survivors of domestic violence in the UK.

Dan Glass is a sex-positive, queer healthcare and human rights activist, performer, writer and raver. Reforming Aids Coalition to Unleash Power’s (ACT UP) London chapter in 2012, Dan has catalysed healthcare and sex-positive programmes including campaigning for PREP, HIV Blind Date, protecting the National Health Service as well as enabling HIV anti-stigma classes as part of the Beyond UKIP Cabaret in Nigel Farage’s boozer. Dan has been recognised by Attitude magazine as a campaigning role model for LGBTQI youth, by The Guardian as a ‘UK youth climate leader’, and as ‘Activist of the Year’ by the 2017 Sexual Freedom Awards. Dan also recently co-founded Queer Tours of London - A Mince Through Time.

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter and AIDS historian. For more than three decades, her work has been devoted to social change and the making of more livable – socially, economically, politically – lives. Her works include The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination (2013) and Israel/Palestine and the Queer International (2012), both of which foreground the relevance of gender/sexual politics in understanding and challenging violent socio-political systems. Sarah is and has always been a passionate activist and campaigner and is a member of the international direct action group ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), founder of The ACT UP Oral History Project, co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers, and co-founder of MIX: NYC Experimental Film Festival, now in its 31st year. She is on the Advisory Board of Jewish Voice for Peace and is active in Palestine Solidarity.

Erkan Affan is a queer writer and independent activist of colour based between the UK and Germany. With a background in Middle Eastern politics, gender and migration, their research has focused notably on the experiences of advocacy and transnational solidarity for queer migrants in Berlin. An avid believer of decolonising the contemporary structures of knowledge, they are currently conducting a residency in Berlin – funded by the European Commission – to challenge the inaccessible nature of academia and encourage more opportunity for self-representation through dialogue and discussion.

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