WHAT IS Raze?
We're a new charity established to support, develop and nurture queer performance in the UK. We have defined queer performance as "performing arts undertaken by people who identify as Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex (LGBTQI) or that contains LGBTQI themes, content or context."
We're called Raze as the organisation was established in response to queer spaces being razed, through the threats and closures of many queer performance spaces in London and elsewhere around the UK, such as The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (Vauxhall), The Black Cap (Camden) and Madame JoJo's (Soho). We're a collective as we bring together people working in different aspects of the queer performance community, including performers, producers, promoters, directors, venue owners, academics and audience members in order to protect and promote queer performance for everyone.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We host a regular Queer Performers Network (QPN), which is an informal gathering of performers to discuss issues and offer advice and support across the scene.
We've been involved in establishing and developing the Queer Spaces Network (QSN), which brings together promoters, producers, programmers, directors, venue owners and others with an interest in supporting and maintaining spaces for LGBTQI performance to take place. This has included collaborating on some important research being undertaken by the UCL Urban Lab.
In the future we will be working with other organisations to develop and promote performance events and an educational programme for the general public. We also plan to begin a professional development programme for young and emerging queer performers.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
The work of Raze is determined and directed by our Board:
Liv Morris: one half of acclaimed queer performance duo Bourgeois & Maurice.
R. Justin Hunt: Adjunct Professor of Performance and Sexuality Studies, Syracuse University, London and Executive Producer at Chisenhale Dance Space
Ben Walters: writer on cabaret and queer space, author of successful application to make the Royal Vauxhall Tavern the UK's first LGBTQ+ listed building.
Joe Parslow: PhD candidate and director of Her Upstairs, a new queer-led performance space and bad in Camden, London, producer of The Meth Lab (formerly at The Black Cap).
Dr J: photographer, producer and promoter at The Queer Embassy.
Stav B: queer bar impresario and performance artist.
Beck Tadman: producer with an academic interest in queer performance, www.becktadman.com
Tim C-B: lover of queer performance
We are always looking for new members to join the board, so if you are interested please send an email to:
tim at razecollective dot com
7pm: LGBTQI+ Performers Network - Queer Social. Ovalhouse, London
There are a number of ways to get involved with Raze's work. We run two networks to bring people together and discuss issues relating to LGBTQI+ performers and performance:
LGBTQI+ Spaces Network
Raze hosts a network of people interested in LGBTQI+ spaces, particularly in London. This includes those that host performances, but also other cultural and social spaces important to the community. The group currently includes venue owners, managers, performers, programmers, promoters, audience members, writers and many others.
Currently we manage a discussion group to keep people updated on issues - if you would like to join please email tim [at] razecollective [dot] com.
We also host regular meetings to bring the community together, and are currently working on a vision of LGBTQI+ culture for London in collaboration with the GLA. Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved with this. The date of the next meeting is on the events page.
LGBTQI+ performers network
This is an informal group that meets socially once a quarter to bring performers together to discuss issues across the scenes. Often performers will share their experience of working in the industry and it is a forum to offer advice and support.
The date of the next meeting is on the events page.