Desperate Living C–19: Ma Bra: Feel Well? organised by Fredde Lanka

well-being

/wɛlˈbiːɪŋ/ noun noun: well-being; noun: wellbeing

  1. the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

Må bra? (Feel Well?) was a series of free online sessions focusing on sharing and creating tools to help us maintain a sense of wellbeing in the face of the Covid–19 pandemic. Each session was led by a different LGBTQIA+ artist who shared their own take on the subject. It featured Fredde Lanka, Soofiya, Amy Pennington, Dex Grodner, Lateisha Davine Lovelace–Hanson and G(end)er Swap. 

Må bra? was in collaboration with The Outside Project and formed part of Desperate Living C-19


Week One

Illustrating with Soof

Monday 22 June 2020

A relaxing introduction to illustrating with Soof. 


Empowering Portraits with Fredde Lanka

Monday 22 June 2020, 6.30–7.30pm

A reflective drawing exercise that helped us reconnect with ourselves through drawing, writing and a little bit of positive reinforcement. This was also a place for sharing our different experiences of being a part of the queer community today. 


G(end)er Swap Patch Making: What’s Your Story?

Friday 26 June 2020, 6–7pm

We joined G(end)er Swap on a journey of queer self–exploration through a customised patch making workshop. They explored queer storytelling using recycled textiles and household items. The workshop combined an art practice and writing exercise to connect us to ourselves and our style.


Domestic Drag with Amy Pennington

Saturday 27 June 2020, 2–4pm

Dressing up, queering up, improvising, making scripts, being daft, supporting one another…playing together. 

Together we did domestic drag, bad drag…smart price drag…creating characters with whatever was lying around your humble abode. We were talking spaghetti wigs, plant feather boas, dog lead jewellery. An opportunity to create a new persona…with bravado.

There was domestic scripts for your characters to work with…think soap opera but a little bit more domestic…even a chance to create your own. The afternoon was a chance to break free and play! No experience in anything was needed.


Rituals of the in-between with Dex Grodner

Sunday 28 June 2020, 4–5pm

When your room is an all-purpose place, time to work, play and rest can feel muddled and disorientated. The workshop made rituals for beginnings, endings, and transitions, how to pick up work and how to put it down.


Week two

Digital Group Collage with Fredde Lanka

Monday 29 June 2020, 6.30–7.30pm

In this workshop we explored collective making in the form of digital drawing and collage using an online platform. We reflected on our queer identities while focusing on three subjects through the session (Anger, The Mind & The World).


To The Ritual Knowledge Of Remembering // breath, movement, writing with Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson

Thursday 2 July 2020, 6–8pm

In this workshop, Lateisha led us through a ritual of finding ways to reconnect to your physical- spiritual body. Moving and writing to inspire a deep sense of grounding, expansion and pleasure. Envisioning the body as a portal – using visualisations, embodied tools and writing prompts to explore what healing, self-connection and interdependent liberation looks like in times of complex uncertainty. This was a space to nurture support from within, each other and the Earth. 


G(end)er Moods: Collaging with G(end)er Swap

Friday 3 July 2020, 6–7pm

What does your gender look like and feel like to you? We joined G(end)er Swap to explore gender identity + expression by creating a G(end)er Mood board. This workshop inspired you to get creative with your gender and to map out all your gender feels through a one of a kind collage making adventure. 


Just Within Reach Map Making with Dex Grodner

Sunday 5th July 2020, 4–5pm

Many of us have been prevented from physically reaching the people and places that are important to us for recharging and retreat. The options to fight or flight have been taken away. Through map-making we remembered and rejoiced in our special un-reachable homelands and oases in an effort to bring a touch of the without within. This workshop included quiet time for making. 


About the Artists

  • Soofiya

    Soofiya’s art practice and writings aim to articulate a commentary on gender, race, politics and bodies through a DIY and therapeutically informed approach. Soofiya speaks, teaches and facilitates workshops across the UK in museums, galleries, schools and universities.

    Soofiya @soofiya

  • Fredde Lanka

    Fred(rik) Andersson is an Illustrator and ceramicist. Originally from Sweden, for the last five years he has been based in London, working as an independent artist and educator. He works in a bold, colourful style across illustration, comic books and ceramics. His work is humorous and strongly narrative and addresses topics ranging from queer culture, family dynamics and sex.

    He is the artistic director for The Outside Project (UK’s first LGBTQIA+ Shelter and community centre) where he raises money, runs workshops and facilitates the Project’s physical and digital spaces alongside the diverse group of stakeholders who use them. Queer community is important to him. He believes that it is critical to recognise our own privilege and give back to the communities that inspire and educate his practice.

    Fredde Lanka @freddelanka

  • G(end)er Swap

    G(end)er Swap is a UK based LGBTIQ+ clothing outreach initiative and community interest company that supports gender non-conforming individuals to access clothes and community. They are a charitable organization that creates safe(r) spaces for the queer community to access clothes through community pop-ups, bespoke workshops and exhibitions.

    G(end)er Swap @genderswap_

  • Amy Pennington

    Amy makes work that connects human relationships & socio-political issues using everyday materials & accessible processes to transgress the boundaries of high and low art, often using drawing, DIY film & improvised performance. In their work, familiarity & accessibility are political strategies to spark a conversation, which soon reaches more complex terrain.

    The foundation of their practice is people: working collaboratively, as participants or co-creators, often in everyday spaces including hairdressers, care homes, parks, a factory. Working with institutions as well as self-organised groups and in the public realm. They have worked with Open Barbers, The Outside Project, LGSMigrants, LADA, PEER, Battersea Art Centre, Heart Of Glass and Left Coast.

    @amy_pennington_

  • Dex Grodner

    Dex Grodner is a London based live artist and the host of the queer, Jewish cabaret Homos and Houmous which they perform as the Yiddish music hall grand dame Chanukah Lewinsky. They are particularly engaged with women’s and queer stories in Yiddish Theatre and have run workshops and retreats on gender and Judaism at Sadeh Farm, Limmud Festival and University of Cambridge, and given talks on gender and theatre practice at Ovalhouse, Hackney Showrooms and RADA. As a drag artist, and poet, Dex has performed at Tate Britain, Theatre Royal Wakefield, and LGBT venues across London, Oxford, Leeds, and Bristol. They are a mentor and consultant for Gendered Intelligence with a particular focus on trans inclusion in the Arts.

    Dex Chait Grodner @Dexpresents

  • Lateisha Davine Lovelace–Hanson

    Lateisha Davine Lovelace–Hanson (they/she) an Artist working predominantly in the mediums of Theatre, Poetry and Workshop/Gathering spaces. Born in 1989 in North-East London to Jamaican parents (Maxine and Linton J), they spent much of their childhood in West Yorkshire before moving back to London and settling in their cosmic spiritual and ancestral channelling home; South East London.

    Using performance, writing, facilitation to create/enable activism, advocacy and authorship, their work is Always visual, playful and cosmic. Delving head first into questions, stories and myths that illuminate the beauty of life itself – of what connects us all as living, breathing Human beings on Earth. Their work focuses on empowering the space of ‘Otherness’, the space of the radical, the space of the ‘ones who do not, and will not fit/assimilate’, thus destroying the walls of structural racial, class and gender violence both in the classroom and on the stage. They do this with Love, Energy and Protest.

    Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson @lateisha_davine