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Queering Femininity: Thinking Walks and Visual Activisms in Gentrified Soho

Sat 22 Jun 2024, 10am-1pm

The "Queering Femininity’ workshop invites participants of all genders to creatively explore and critically visualize how femininity is experienced and/or represented in Soho, a neighbourhood grappling with inclusivity amidst rapid gentrification at the centre of London.

The workshop will begin at the Building Centre of the Building Environment Trust with a short introduction to the key notions of gentrification and visual activism, from a feminist and a queer perspective. Participants will then explore Soho following a designated itinerary that helps them engage with the neighbourhood’s history of LGBTQ+ and art communities During these short walks, we will discuss how locals and visitors who identify as female experience Soho but also how they are represented in this rapidly changing neighbourhood. Upon our return to the Building Centre participants will be guided in creating A2 posters using the media of selfie and urban photography and collage, while studying examples of visual activism.

The workshop welcomes adults of all genders with an interest in visual arts, urban and selfie photography, and particularly those who identify as female.

10.00 am – Introductions (60 minutes) at the BET
11.00 am – Thinking Walks (45 minutes) following Soho itinerary
11.45 am: Visual Activism Workshop at the BET
12.30 pm: Closing Discussion Workshop at the BET

Participation is free but requires booking.

The "Queering Femininity’ workshop is sponsored by the Building Environment Trust, and led by Archi for Kids CIC (Antonio Capelao), Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University (Dimitra Ntzani), and School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University (Stella Mygdali). It is part of the London Festival of Architecture.


Blood Group, DIRT, London. © Jill Posener, London, 1982. All Rights Reserved

History of the photo:

Blood Group was a performance company whose history in dance captured a particular type of physical and visual theatre. When they invited Jill Posener to photograph their early productions, the photos became a part of their creative process, during which they would take the imagery and build on what they had documented. Doing a photo shoot in Soho, utilizing the fruit and vegetable market and the history of the area as a red light district, allowed them to explore the themes of women's relationships to this area. Families buying food in a vibrant working class neighbourhood during the day, gave way to the sex trade at night as the wooden market barrows moved inside storage sheds revealing the entrances to porn shops and alleyways which seemed to reek of urine and the detrius of the casual exchanges of the night. That contradiction fascinated Jill and the DIRT members and so this photo reflected that tension. Added to that was the fact that the Falklands War was ongoing at that time, and the newspaper headline with it's jingoistic tone represented a particular kind of male muscularity, as if it were celebrating a sports event.


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