The new three-week long fundraising project denounces white queer racism and black queer antagonism through photography, literature and film.
Jamaican-born creative Jordan Anderson has long felt concern for the worryingly stagnant direction of the fashion and arts industries and the lack of black LGBTQ+ representation within them, hence deciding to take matters into his own hands. “My Queer Blackness, My Black Queerness” is Anderson’s recently inaugurated digital initiative in celebration of black queer identity and marginalized communities. “It is a protest, a celebration that frames blackness as a polyphony, a genre or melody with a vast variety of notes & textures, denouncing both white queer racism and black queer antagonism by way of art, film and literature” states its manifesto.
As both a black, queer individual having witnessed the way in which Trans Black Women were treated during his childhood in Jamaica, and a young creative with an ever-growing platform, Anderson’s admirable endeavors strive to raise awareness on the lack of representation of black trans and non-binary people across the spectrum. “Thankfully I believe the conversation around the topic is growing as I believe the LGBTQ+ part of the Black Community is demanding to be seen and demanding for Trans Black Women to be at the centre of the BLM movement as they’re the ones who are being targeted the most from the Black LGBTQ+ community”, he told us.
The project’s threefold initiatives will run for three weeks and encompass a primary component in the form of a print fundraiser featuring the works of 12 photographers, capturing the beauty of black queerness: Tim Walker, Campbell Addy, Michael Bailey Gates, Sackitey Tesa, Hao Zeng, Daniel Obasi, Florian Joahn, Kennedi Carter, David Uzochukwu, Emmanuel Sanchez-Monsalve, Justin French and Myles Loftin. All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to two charities fighting for black trans communities, MQBMBQ’s primary purpose. To quote the founders, “this project is in dedication and celebration of the lives of trans brothers and sisters of colour — the ones who have survived violence and continue to exist unapologetically and the ones we have lost throughout the past few months & years”.
The second part of the protest sees an online weekly journal, providing a space for members of the black trans and non-binary community to share their stories, photographed and interviewed by Damien Frost. Lastly, each week MQBMBQ will screen a film by Marlon Riggs, in memory of the American director and gay rights activist whose experimental masterpieces provide an accurate understanding of the history of the Black Queer Experience.
“I think of art as a vessel or medium through which to spark the conversation in a different way than the norm. We are visual beings and I look at art as a sort of coded language that delivers messages through imagery. It’s about making the viewer compelled to feel something and in doing so having them start a conversation around what they feel, why they feel it and what connections that has to the wider context of society”, Jordan Anderson.