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10th October 2017

A World full of Stories of “protests” revealed for London's LGBTQI

“Arts Protest”! Not just dissent...

An annual November event for LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) artists and organisations, the 10th anniversary celebrations of GFEST - Gaywise FESTival will run from Monday 13 to Saturday 25 November 2017 at venues across London.
 
“Arts Protest”: 10th anniversary GFEST showcases new art and films by new and previous GFEST artists. Films line-up includes London/ UK premieres and a revisit to some films from the previous years.
 
“When we started GFEST in 2007, it was a different time, stories were told in a slightly different way. Today we are telling stories with advantage of social media and technologies. We have stepped forward in winning legal battles and recognition. But the battle continues for gaining full and equal social acceptance. It is about who we are and who we love. We are still telling these diverse LGBTQI ‘protest’ stories in many new ways. The narratives have moved on but what has been constant is people are excited by these stories which stretch imaginations and help shape the creative lives of future generations. Despite many changes on the political and social scene and huge fundraising challenges, we are still determined to excel once again, telling stories of protests that are part of LGBTQI equality struggle. This year’s GFEST is there to celebrate the heart-warming, moving, quirky and unique tales by LGBTQI artists and audiences. And we are so looking forward to GFEST 2017 launch event on Tuesday 14 November at Menier Gallery.” 
GFEST artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar
 

Films: ‘Fighting for LGBTQI rights’ on various fronts!
An extraordinary film line-up includes recently completed LGBTQI works and numerous UK and London premieres: feature films include Fire Song, an award winning, coming-of-age story of a Canadian First Nation gay Anishinaabe teenager, If You Dare Desire, a drama about two Bengali lesbians and I'm Not Sick! I'm Gay telling a story of LGBTQI struggles in Kazakhstan. Short films line-up include a number of UK films: Ballroom Boys, Lily, Mai, Dusk, Shadow Plant, Lightrapping, Segun Mateo and a north London based filmmaker’s Finding Home. The film events will take place at Rich Mix cinema in Shoreditch and Arthouse Crouch End cinema from 20 to 24 November and will include filmmakers Q&As. 
 
Performances: ‘Singing Loud & Proud’
 A delightful evening filled with music and fun. Performers include award-winning divas: Rosie Wilby waxing lyrical about relationship challenges, Short & Girly Show present all-female troupe performing improvised comedy sketches and songs. Be there to be enthralled by The Symphonic Winds’ awesome music and The Gay Men's Dance Company's latest energetic numbers. GFEST 2017 performances evening will be at St Pancras (new) Parish Church in Euston on Saturday 25 November. This is a fundraiser event for GFEST 2018 to ensure that GFEST becomes an even stronger platform for LGBTQI artists.
 
Visual Arts: ‘Arts Protest’ - LGBTQI identities and articulation
 A series of challenging and insightful works will be exhibited at Menier Gallery, (Upper Gallery), from 13 November to 18 November. This year’s line-up of artists include: Alice Boland-Rhodes, Gökhan Tanriöver, Heather Carol, Mike Bliss, Jason Carr, Marta Kochanek, Peter A Leigh, Reggie Blennerhassett, Sarah Jane Moon and Simon Croft. Past GFEST artists, performers and filmmakers over the last 10 years will present a “Wall of Protest” - selfies or portraits of some participants from the year 2007 onwards, curated by GFEST artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar. Free entry.

Reggie Blennerhassett will lead the discussion when LGBT activists joined the miners’ 1984-5 strike: the real story behind the film “Pride” and the impact of “Arts Protest” to deliver social change. This debate on Saturday 18 November at the Menier Gallery will also explore how the work presented at the exhibition challenges preconceived notions. 

Gaywise Festival is presented by arts charity Wise Thoughts, GFEST - Gaywise Festival will run from Monday 13 to Saturday 25 November 2017 at venues across London.


 
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