After what has been a(nother) challenging week for social justice in the UK, it is a pleasure to be able to share with you some exciting, good news.
A get away
Those of you who have been able to resist the lure of foreign travel today, if you are anything like me, will be largely relieved not to have had to run the gauntlet of airports packed to the gunnels with ‘overtired’ school holiday rugrats testing their parents’ patience. You’ll be additionally delighted to have avoided the inevitable delays as a result of airport staff either brand new and learning the ropes, or returning and (COVID Brain) forgetful. Airlines, desperate to recoup massive lockdown losses will blame algorithms (as if they exist independent of human decision making) for astronomical price hikes, and travellers will largely suck it up at the prospect of proper holiday that they have not had to cancel. At ferry ports, P&O will double down and make even more enemies.
The good news is that for up to eight young, Black trans men, we are able to offer them a getaway in July to look forward to. The charms of coastal Cornwall at the height of the British summer are within reach, with great company, (nearly all) expenses paid, plus a chance to learn some new skills, make art, and support necessary changes to mental health services for young people like yourselves.
Space for us
Working with experienced dance artist, Ruth Pethybridge, and animation lecturer, Katherine Nicholls, the ATTUNE x BLKOUT 2022 workshop participants will be supported to find new ways to tell their stories, offering them, we hope, new perspectives and possibilities. Working as part of a newly formed group, they will also create new (or deepen existing) friendships with a strong basis of shared workshop experience.
The workshop leaders and BLKOUT are equally keen to hear what emerges from the dynamics of interaction generated by the participants. As our government has sought, this week, to divide LGBTQ solidarities, by withholding the promised ban on conversion therapy from trans people, it feels like even more appropriate to make visible the ways we are developing together of both listening to, and amplifying the voices of our trans siblings. Our solidarity cannot amount only to a series of insta memes or Tik Tok reels, however galvanising they may be in the moment. The ATTUNE project research offers a well-resourced, and well respected route for July’s workshop deliberations and creative outputs to have real world impact. BLKOUT’s push for continuous responsiveness, means that the group are likely to be influential in shaping what BLKOUT does next as well. Engaging in new forms of artistic expression may be the kind of challenge you and other potential participants are looking for in order to cement the aspirations dreamt, and plans plotted as part of those wistful moments of lockdown longing. If it is, and you match the identity criteria that we are seeking (or can offer support by passing this news on to someone who does), please do take part.
Registration closes at noon on Monday 16 May 2022