Ahead of a screening of Beats, three artists pushing the boundaries of clubbing: Ben Bishop (inner u), Madison Moore (Opulence) and Aisha Mirza (Misery) reflect on the relevance of community, social change and club cultures.
Beats captures the thumping 90s rave scene in Glasgow, a time when the free party movement was being criminalized by government legislation and sensationalized in mainstream media. It documents the fleeting hedonism, friendships and radical temporality of partying. Rave culture is memorialized as a moment in history where music, collectivism and politics collided.
Looking beyond the 90s to today’s Brexit Britain, what kinds of communities can partying foster? Can we mobilise pleasure-seeking for social change? Can raving really be resistance?
Anjali Prashar-Savoie – chairing
Anjali facilitates events that span live art, discussion, parties and workshops at the intersections of art and informal politics. Currently running the late-night events programme at The Yard. Anjali also co-produces events with Sonic Gaze, a project exploring power dynamics and sound and is currently completing an MA in Art and Politics. @fossafossa
Aisha Mirza is a writer, DJ & chronic depressive from London. They play whatever makes them dance or cry. Aisha is also the creator of @miseryparty, a mental health hub & sober club night for QTIBPOC. They have a monthly show of the same name on Balamii Radio. You can see them djing at queer bollywood party, Hungama, where they’re a resident; on the South Bank on 19th July; or making jokes about wanting to die at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in early August. @dontcryaisha
Ben is part of the group behind the party inner u and until recently was also programming and producing The Yard’s late-night and events programme. Establishing inner u and joining the team at The Yard was in the same period 2016-2017 and it was right at the peak when a lot of venues were closing. inner u was dreamed up in part response to this – with very few rules, they wanted to explore and re-imagine capacities for pleasure and desire and it began life in a warehouse space in North London. They were part of a new wave of parties which were seeking out off-grid and private spaces as it was felt that licensed venues and clubs were no longer safe and, due to financial and licensing constraints, weren’t able to facilitate the kinds of experiences they wanted. They moved inner u to the Yard and Ben went about curating a programme of events and parties which wouldn’t (or couldn’t) ‘fit’ at typical venues. Ben recently left to complete a research masters at Goldsmiths – looking at the economic and cultural sustainability of artists practices in London. The next inner u is at The Yard on July 20th.
Born and raised in Ferguson, Missouri, madison moore is a polymath: a professor of gender studies, author of a New York Times celebrated book on fabulousness, and a burgeoning artist on the global queer techno scene. His sassy, energetic sets are known for bringing the flavors of hard techno, house, ghetto tech, vogue beats, disco and dub techno to the dance floor. After moving to London in 2014, madison quickly became a regular on the London scene and co-founded OPULENCE, a queer techno collective that was featured in Last Dance, a short film about London nightlife released by 4:3/Boiler Room. Since 2014, madison has played clubs in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bristol, New York, and has shared the decks with the likes of Boris, Machine Woman, Samuel Kerridge, SPFDJ, Roy Perez and Object Blue.