Reclaiming the Rites centers queers of color in diaspora reinventing ritual and rites of passage to mark queer life milestones such as Coming Out, Leaving Home, Queer Love, Queer Heartache, Violence, Getting Wisdom, Survival, and Transformation. Featuring artists working in the genres of dance, theater, spoken word, music, and more.
Juba Kalamka is most recognized for his work as a founding member of “homohop” crew Deep Dickollective (D/DC) and his development of the label Sugartruck Recordings. He served as director of PeaceOUT World HomoHop Festival from 2002-2007, which was featured in the documentary Pick Up the Mic. He received a Creating Change Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2005. Some of his recent work appears in Working Sex (Seal Press, 2007) Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop (Basic Civitas Books, 2007) The Anthology of Rap (Yale University Press, 2010). Kalamka’s personal work centers on dialogues on the convergences and conflicts of race, identity, gender, sexuality and class in pop culture. He has written and illustrated several articles for pop culture magazines and journals, Kitchen Sink, ColorLines, and the now-defunct bisexual issues magazine Anything That Moves. He has been a speaker, panelist, and curator for numerous organizations and conferences, among them the San Francisco Black Gay/Lesbian Film Festival, GLAAD, Hip Hop as a Movement at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Burning Closets/Working Our Way Home at Oberlin College. In November 2005, Kalamka was chosen to be one of six plenary speakers at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force‘s 2005 Creating Change Conference and received a Creating Change Award for his activist work in queer music community.
Jai Arun Ravine is a text-based artist working in film/video, movement and performance. Most recently they are the author of a book of experimental poetics, AND THEN ENTWINE (Tinfish Press, 2011), the creator of a film project on Thai and Thai American trans-masculinities, TOM/TRANS/THAI, and the creator of a multi-media performance on identity tourism, THE PACKAGE TOUR, which was staged at Subterranean Arthouse (Berkeley) and the African American Art & Culture Complex (San Francisco). For more information and a full CV, please visit http://jaiarunravine.wordpress.com/.
Dorian Faust, also known as “El Camino Diablo”, “El Corazon”, and “Burlesque’s Basquiat”, is a dynamic creatrix, explosive performance artist, and inspired pop-culture icon. She is a classically trained dancer, actress, and vocalist. She made her Burlesque debut in New Orleans in the winter of 2008, and it was there that she graced the stages of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, The Howlin’ Wolf, and,The Marigny Theatre. In the fall of 2009, she became the first Burlesque performer to ever rock the stage of the Afro-Punk Tour with Saul Williams, CX Kidtronik, and Tchaka Diallo. On her two-year Burlesque anniversary she flew out to San Francisco, California and became a member of Sin Sisters Burlesque, and performs regularly with the Hubba Hubba Revue and Red Hots Burlesque. Most recently she has begun production on her own show, Livid Cult Burlesque Theatre, a professional queer Burlesque and performance art revue featuring the best queer talent to ever grace the stages of the Bay Area and beyond. She is dedicated to creating safe space for talented and professional sex workers, queers, and wayward folk to produce quality works of art.
Brontez Purnell Dance Company is a new and experimental dance company based in Oakland, CA. Utilizing influence from modern, African, contemporary and new wave dance, Brontez Purnell Dance Company favors a DIY dance aesthetic. Purnell explains, “I had been playing around in bands for a while and doing my dance major and collecting my ideas of what my “home theater” would look like, and then BPDC just came together. I used people I had been seeing at punk shows because I wanted this kind of community centered, yet person-to-person based, present and immediate experience with both my dancers and the audience.”
Irina Contreras is an interdisciplinary artist, producer and writer. Her individual and collaborative projects change form and medium but ultimately stem from a personal reflection of collective experiences. Her writing will appear in the upcoming anthology Beyond Walls and Cages with past texts in the anthology, Nobody Passes and other publications such as LOUDmouth Magazine. Her curatorial work looks at queer experimental video and has ranged site from Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, FUSION, Feria del Libro to Artists Television Access. She has held residency at PA 61 in Mexico City and Kala in Berkeley. Recent shows include performances at Chicana Feminisms at Cal State Long Beach and make/shift RecLAmation at University of California, Santa Barbara, You Make Me Laugh at SF 1, Actions, Conversation and Intersections, the Audacity of Desperation and Before We Were Named. You can look at her work at machinegunsteady.tumblr.com
Born into a family of migrant music makers, Ms. Cherry Galette is a Chicana and Moroccan interdisciplinary movement artist fusing dance, burlesque, text, theater and more to create post-colonial fairy tales of modern resistance. Cherry was raised by a family of legendary music makers, performers and innovators who centered song and dance as tools for transmitting hope, history, revolt, and the ability transform and lift heavy hearts. She is proud to continue her family’s work by giving audiences quality dance and burlesque performance based in roots of resistance, tradition, and inherited movement and musical legacy. She has has performed to audiences on stages across the Americas including La UNEAC, Teatro el Sotano (La Habana, Cuba), Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, Tipitina’s, One Eyed Jack’s (New Orleans), Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Brava Theater (SF), Buddies in Bad Times Theater (Toronto), Juste Por Rire, Le Club Cleopatre (Montreal), Columbia City Theater, The Triple Door (Seattle), Bronx Academy of Art and Dance, The Knitting Factory, Bowery Poetry Club, WOW (New York), over 25 universities including Brown, Swarthmore, Oberlin, Amherst, Smith, Reed, Georgetown, Berkeley, Mt. Holyoke, Humboldt State University, and more. Over the past 6 years, she has produced and curated more than 75 uniquely articulated productions for audiences across North America as both solo producer, and as Co-Director of Mangos With Chili, North America’s only traveling queer people of color cabaret. She is proud to have been an Oakland Tribune covergirl, and has also been featured in Oakland Local, Bitch, Make/Shift, San Francisco Bay Guardian, the SF Chronicle, and other independent media across the US.
Lambda Literary award nominee Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide and Love Cake and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (South End, 2011), her work has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World.
She co-founded Mangos With Chili, the national queer and trans people of color performance organization, is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and teaches with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future.” Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured nationally, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. She has taught, performed and lectured across the country, including appearances at Columbia, Oberlin, Texas A&M, Sarah Lawrence, Swarthmore, UC Berkeley, USC, and the University of Toronto. She co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School.
She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color.