Desperate Living: Collectivising Queer Care, Screening and Discussion

Join artists, organisers and researchers Andre Reeder, Cannach MacBride, Conal McStravick and Ferdiansyah Thajib for an intimate screening and discussion event unpacking the histories and on-going struggles of collective organising in HIV/AIDS activism, to help us to think into present day experiences of healthcare. 

Collectivising Queer Care first took place at Tender Centre in Rotterdam in 2019 and sought to learn from people’s experiences and histories; share from activist material held by HIV/AIDS and LGBTQIA+ archives and to reflect how streets, galleries, nightclubs, support groups, clinics, and other public spaces made space for positive people, positive forebears, and their allies.

Since 2019, experiences of discussions about care have radically opened out and altered. Discussions around current LGBTQIA+ healthcare concerns like PrEP availability and trans healthcare; mental health; disability justice; and thinking around how politics and activisms of migrations, borders and de-colonial struggles help re-define a global pandemic of HIV/AIDS treatment and other pandemics including COVID-19. We want to come together now to ask ‘How can we reimagine an collective queer care?’

During this event, our contributors will present their research and practices, as well as inviting responses from the audience through a facilitated discussion. We will screen artist, organiser and filmmaker Andre Reeder’s 1996 TV documentary: Aan niets overladen / Cause of death: nothing (1996, 27 mins). A Q&A with Andre will follow, and we will end the day together with a shared meal and refreshments.

This event builds upon Conal McStravick’s recent commission Queer Care Camp: which took place at Studio Voltaire in October 2021 and forms part of Desperate Living: our ongoing programme that brings artists, public organisations and informal groups together to test out new and experimental forms of collaborative programming, knowledge sharing and production explored through the lens of LGBTQIA+ healthcare.

All are welcome for this free and informal event, especially artists, activists, academics, caregivers, writers and cultural workers as well as those living with HIV or impacted by the ongoing crisis and/or do AIDS-related or do other health work. Please join us!
This event is free but please note spaces are limited. If you are able to join us, please be committed to the entire afternoon where possible. Email Natalie Mitchell natalie@studiovoltaire.org if you have any questions about the event or would like to discuss access or dietary requirements.

Draft Schedule
2.00 – 2.15 Refreshments in the courtyard
2.15 – 2.45 Welcome, Introductions, Presentations & Prompts
2.45 – 3.15 Screening Andre Reeder: Aan niets overleden / Cause of death: nothing (1996) 27 minutes
3.15 – 3.25 Comfort break
3.25 – 4.45 Q&A with Andre Reeder and Discussion & Sharing
4.45 – 5.30 Shared Meal and Refreshments

About the film

All are welcome for this free and informal event, especially artists, activists, academics, caregivers, writers and cultural workers as well as those living with HIV or impacted by the ongoing crisis and/or do AIDS-related or do other health work. Please join us!
This event is free but please note spaces are limited. If you are able to join us, please be committed to the entire afternoon where possible. Email Natalie Mitchell natalie@studiovoltaire.org if you have any questions about the event or would like to discuss access or dietary requirements.

About Cannach MacBride

Cannach MacBride is an artist and editor. They work with performance, installation, writing, video, sound, and event making, with and without institutions. Much of their practice focuses on relational entanglements, listening across and being attentive to difference, and working creatively towards an ethics of inseparability and interdependency. Collaboration and supportive practices are important to them; some of these look like art, some don’t. During times when they didn’t identify as an artist (and during times when they did), they worked in the care industry. From 2018–2020, they were part of a collective that ran a queer community center in Rotterdam called Tender Center. They are currently undertaking doctoral research at University of the Arts London with a research project titled “Listening as creative practice, listening and decolonial practices: plural methods, plural experiences.”

About Conal McStravick

Conal McStravick is a queer, non-binary artist, independent researcher, programmer and writer who makes solo and collaborative artworks, workshops and events with artists and non-artists. These engage LGBTQ+ and queer feminist activisms, cultures, histories and practices through moving image, performance, and text. This foregrounds past and future communities and activisms of care through LGBTQ+ and AIDS activist archives. McStravick has exhibited and curated events in the UK and overseas including Queer Care Camp for Desperate Living at Studio Voltaire, London and presentations for Vtape, Toronto and Videographe Montreal in 2021-22.

Recent curatorial projects include the collaborative research projects, Learning in a Public Medium and Picturing a Pandemic, in partnership with LUX. They have appeared on panels and given presentations on Stuart Marshall, AIDS activism, and broader cultural activisms at AMIF 2015, BFI Flare, Birkbeck, Concordia University, Glasgow International, ICA and Chelsea College of Art. They have contributed to Art Monthly and Art Monthly on Resonance FM. In 2022 McStravick will begin the collaborative doctoral research project titled: ‘Art, Activism and the Archive: The Histories & Legacies of Stuart Marshall.’ 

About Andre Reeder

Andre Reeder is a freelance filmmaker and social worker. He was born in 1954 in Moengo in Suriname, a former colony of The Netherlands in South America. From 1972 till 1992 he was involved as a volunteer and activist for the organisation LOSON, later Sawo, who fought against racism and for equal rights in the Surinamese community in The Netherlands.

He graduated from the Dutch Film and Television Academy in 1982 and has since made reportage and documentary films about the Surinamese and migrant community in Holland, for national public television and Multicultural Television Netherlands (MTNL). These include Onderneming Onderdak/Operation Shelter (1982), Aan niets overladen/ Cause of death: nothing (1996), Glad to be gay, right? (1992), the series Tori fu Oso/ Stories from home in Suriname (2001), Untold, the story (2006), and the series Experiences (2005). In 2009 he made the video document Black Men, Black Fathers for the conference of the Surinamese community of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

In 2019, together with Roy Wijks and Jules Rijsen, he published the acclaimed book Op zoek naar Papa Koenders/In Search of Papa Koenders. Since 2017, Reeder, Roy Wijks and Ernestine Comvalius have given public presentations on the unknown history of LOSON’s struggle with digitized material from their archives. He is currently working at Venzo as a supporter and advisor to residents’ social initiatives in Amsterdam-Zuidoost.

About Ferdiansyah Thajib

Ferdiansyah Thajib is a researcher whose lifework is situated at the intersections of theory and praxis, with specific interests in queer modes of endurance and forms of affective entanglements in everyday life. Ferdi is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Leipzig Lab, Leipzig University.  Ferdi is also a member of KUNCI Study Forum & Collective, a transdisciplinary research collective in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which since its founding in 1999 has been experimenting with modes of producing and sharing knowledge through studying together.

Access

This is a relaxed and informal event and refreshments and food will be provided throughout the afternoon. It will take place in our Studio which has an adjoining outdoor courtyard space and is on the ground floor. You are welcome to go outside and take breaks at any time using the courtyard, Cafe area and Garden.

Please note that the film is captioned with English subtitles.

Studio Voltaire is a wheelchair accessible venue. There are gender neutral and accessible toilets on the ground floor.

Please see the Access section on Studio Voltaire’s website for more detailed information.

If you would like to discuss any accessibility requirements, please email Natalie Mitchell natalie@studiovoltaire.org or call 0207 622 1294.

Image caption

Film Still. Andre Reeder, Cause of death: nothing, 1996. 

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