QUEER CONNECTIONS

Christa Holka on documenting the lives and processes of her intimate and extended intersectional queer communities.

Christa Holka

Queer Portrait and Performance Photographer

Thursday 22nd of April 2021
7:30pm soft start, 8pm presentation

This poster features a still Image from ‘TREMBLE,’ a collaborative image performed by Liz Rosenfeld, photographed by Christa Holka. ‘TREMBLE’ is the first video work by Liz Rosenfeld in a trilogy about the action and experience of trembling. Shot on location at Ficken3000, Berlin, August 2020.

Zoom event – Free admission – We welcome interest from the public, link on request via our Twitter account on Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL or our email address queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk.

QUEER CONNECTIONS: Christa Holka on documenting the lives and processes of her intimate and extended intersectional queer communities.

Tracing the journey of her early photographic work exploring identity and gender in Chicago to her current practice, nearly 20 years later in London, Christa will discuss the ways in which her practice meets performance, or rather integrates it. Is Christa’s practice, perhaps, a performance itself? Christa will also touch upon her growing interest in examining the role her identity plays in her practice, and consider whether her still growing archive of queer life and performance could be a form of archival activism.

Biography:

Christa Holka is a queer portrait and performance photographer who has been photographing her communities both intimate and extended for over 20 years. Based in London since 2007, Christa has been working in the UK’s publicly funded culture sector establishing a strong network of personal and professional community ties within London, the UK and internationally.

Christa’s work engages with and supports artists and organisations with portraiture and through portraiture, photographic documentation of performance, cultural heritage and arts activity by and for local communities, in galleries, museums, universities, schools and public venues in London and across the UK.

Christa has an MA in Fine Art from Central St. Martins College of Art & Design, a BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Christa can be found on her website and twitter and instagram accounts.

Virtual Spring QUORUM events will be generally held on the third Thursday of every month, via Zoom. Invites will be emailed to members of the School of English and Drama. We welcome interest from the public, link on request via our Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL or our email address queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk.

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Did you miss a Quorum session?

Quorum is happy to make available the recordings of the talks of our Virtual Autumn edition!

Please get in touch via email and tell us which talk you’d like!

QUORUM is a series of theatre and performance research seminars hosted by the Department of Drama, Queen Mary, University of London. Academics, artists, professionals, and practitioners working in performance and related fields are invited to share and discuss their research. Recent papers have demonstrated wide-ranging and interdisciplinary concerns which present and provoke pressing questions at the forefront of performance and related studies.

Any questions? Get in touch through queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk or our Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL

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Imaginative-Revolutionary Potential: how, what, where

Lola Olufemi

Writer and PhD Candidate, University of Westminster

Thursday 18th February 2021
7:30pm soft start, 8pm presentation

Zoom event – Free admission – We welcome interest from the public, link on request via our Twitter account on Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL or our email address queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk.

Imaginative-Revolutionary Potential: how, what, where

In this presentation, I will elaborate on a concept I have tentatively named “Imaginative-revolutionary potential.” Using a speculative/experimental mode, this presentation will explore the production, location and definition of “Imaginative- revolutionary potential” in the cultural production of anti-racist and feminist organising and artistic formations. This presentation proposes that we understand the cultural production of political organising formations, groups and collectives as constantly producing the futures they mean to elucidate. It argues simply, that something is changed in the doing, in the process of creation and political action. This presentation will ask, what happens when we forgo anticipatory language, and as Glissant (2020) writes, “go openly towards that utopia that we need so much.” What are the material repercussions of “Imaginative-revolutionary potential” and how did/does it shape the long and short term demands of the groups in question?

Biography:

Lola Olufemi is a feminist writer and researcher from London. She is co-author of ‘A FLY Girl’s Guide to University’ (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of ‘Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power’ (Pluto Press, 2019) and ‘Experiments in Imagining Otherwise’, forthcoming from Hajar Press in 2021. She is a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective and the recipient of the 2020 techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership between The Stuart Hall Foundation, CREAM and Westminster School of Arts. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination, its relationship to futurity, political demands and imaginative-revolutionary potential. Her latest short story, “Red” was shortlisted for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing prize. She tweets at @lolaolufemi_ and is represented by Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander Associates. Alongside writing, she facilitates reading groups/workshops, occasionally curates and is volunteer co-ordinator at the Feminist Library in South London. She can be found on Twitter @lolaolufemi_ and her website.

Virtual Spring QUORUM events will be generally held on the third Thursday of every month, via Zoom. Invites will be emailed to members of the School of English and Drama. We welcome interest from the public, link on request via our Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL or our email address queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk.



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Trans Shakespeare Now

Robin Craig

Roehampton University and Shakespeare’s Globe

Content warning: This talk includes discussion of transphobia and suicide.

Thursday 17th December 2020
7:30pm soft start, 8pm presentation

Zoom event – Free admission – We welcome interest from the public, link on request via our Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL or our email address queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk.


Trans Shakespeare Now

This talk is about how transgender lives and experiences are represented in contemporary Shakespeare productions. I use Iris Theatre’s 2019 production of Hamlet, which starred transfeminine actor Jenet Le Lacheur, as a jumping-off point for discussing how the current climate of transphobia in the UK is reflected in theatrical representations of transness. At various points misgendered by their Claudius and Gertrude, referred to as ‘my lady’ by Horatio, and accompanied by vogueing club kids, this production of Hamlet attempted to map out the various pressures of contemporary trans life through Shakespeare’s text. However, even while the production strove to represent trans marginalisation, Le Lacheur was also subject to this marginalisation in the post-performance reviews which deadnamed and misgendered them.

I apply Lauren Berlant’s concept of ‘slow death’ – defined ‘as ‘the physical wearing out of a population and the deterioration of people in that population’ – to the conditions of trans life in the UK, which were reflected in both the performance, and the post-performance responses, of Iris Theatre’s production of Hamlet. This talk analyses the difficulties of representing trans trauma through Shakespeare and asks whether authentic representations of trans trauma are possible in the current political climate.

Biography:

Robin Craig is a fourth-year PhD student with Roehampton University and Shakespeare’s Globe. His thesis is titled ‘The Limits of Human: Medicalised Bodies in 21st Century Shakespeare’ and focuses on trans and disabled representation in UK theatre. It is currently at the proposal stage for publication as a monograph with Routledge. He was recently commissioned by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to write a report on the state of trans casting in the UK and was previously the Chair of the Trans Studies Network.

His writing has been published in ShakespeareTheatre ForumVICE UKRefinery29, and Exeunt Magazine. He can be found on Twitter @robin__craig.

Zoom event – Free admission

Virtual Autumn QUORUM events will be generally held on the third Thursday of every month, via Zoom. Invites will be emailed to members of the School of English and Drama. We welcome interest from the public, link on request via our Twitter account on @QuorumQMUL or our email address queenmaryquorum@hotmail.co.uk.

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