This panel will explore how art, spirituality, love and politics intersect in the existence and experiences of Black and of Color queer people. How can we link spirituality and politics of liberation in mutually feeding ways? What role can art play in social justice and liberation movements? How can we promote love and acceptance in our communities while at the same time struggling with feelings of anger, frustration and (self-)rejection? We will discuss with three brilliant artists, activists, and playwrights: 

Alok Vaid-Menon is a gender non-conforming writer and performance artist from New York City. Their eclectic style and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. Alok was recently the youngest recipient of the prestigious Live Works Performance Act Award granted to ten performance artists across the world. In 2017 they released their inaugural poetry chapbook FEMME IN PUBLIC.

SJ Rahatoka is a Black Queer Non-Binary director, playwright, actor and interdisciplinary performance creator based in Berlin. Their work combines a reflection about personal and spiritual empowerment with movement, theatre, dance, music and video. SJ was born in France and they are from Madagascar and Mauritius. SJ wrote and directed the play ‘The Beginning of Our Endless Love’ as an opening of what they like to call an holistic trilogy. The production is collaborative and SJ is very happy to work with their dearest friends and people that they see as their Soul Family. They are all currently working on the second part of the trilogy which will be shown in October 2018.

Keith King is a Black gender non-conforming political activist, visual and performance artist based in Munich, Germany. Through poetry, live performance, and mixed-media, they seek to amplify the visibility of the African/migrant/refugee queer and trans communities. They have been invited to share their work at venues across Europe, such as the Bayerischen Landtag in Munich, Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin, and the Norwegian Council for Africa in Oslo. They are currently in production of “I Am Other,” a research documentary and archival project on queerness in Sub Saharan Africa.

Moderation: Emilia Roig