Creative Dundee was delighted to host this extra special PechaKucha on 23 February 2022 in partnership with OutFest, a festival of activity, exploration and celebration during LGBTQ+ history month.
We were joined by speakers from the LGBTQ+ community, who spoke about a topic that mattered to them. PechaKucha is a simple quick-fire talking format – presenters show 20 images, each for 20 seconds – and this means that each talk is different, entertaining and inspiring!
Our speakers included:
Lauren Bassam (they/them or she/her) is Assistant Curator at V&A Dundee, where they have worked on a number of projects including ‘Videogames: Design, Play, Disrupt’, ‘Night Fever: Designing Club Culture’ and ‘Now Accepting Contactless: Design in a Global Pandemic’. Prior roles include Assistant Producer for SPACE Art + Technology Programme and Events Coordinator at Codebase – Scotland’s largest community focused Technology Incubator. A founding member of the V&A Dundee’s LGBTQIA+ working group, they are a huge advocate for all things queer in addition to their other curatorial passions of digital culture and photography. Aside from their museum work they are currently writing a PHD on the National Trust’s photography collection and improving public access through digital means. Twitter: @LswBassam
Caspar Starton (they/them) is a halloween-themed game developer and artist based in Dundee. Using a variety of mainly digital mediums, Caspar explores the bright, fun and haunted and is constantly making excuses to put queer ghosts in everything they do. You can find their personal work at www.ghosttyrant.co.uk and their occasional tweets over at @GhostTyrant
Alex McCrossan (they/them). At the ripe old age of 14, unbeknownst to them, the siren call of the dancefloor already started to draw Alex in. Dance was a way for them to work through the difficulties of academics, adolescence and coming to terms with everything that was swirling around their brain. Their dance training, in hindsight, was a bit of a blur and they only really started to find their feet in themselves and their dance profession once they were already knee deep in their career – talk about learning on the job! Using a strange blend of comedy, cabaret, camp and caffeine, they’ve spent the last few years as an emerging dance artist trying to find out where they fit in the world of dance and the world in general. Through laughter, tears and many many pulled muscles, they’ve started to explore where their trans nonbinary identity falls between the often heavily-gendered world of dance and performance and bring that conversation to others – whilst of course blurring all the lines possible along the way.
Farrukh (he/him) is my whole name like Madonna and I am from Pakistan. I started building one of its own kind of fashion upcycling house at age of 28 in Dundee but from very early age I can see myself dreaming to be an artist a problem solver and an innovator. Due to my interest and to fulfil my teachers/parents and my own expectations I chose to study dentistry as a full-time profession by keeping fashion design my safe place, my hobby, and a passion for life. After gaining master’s in forensic Dentistry degree from UoD in 2018 I came out to my family, and it led to me taking asylum in the UK. Whilst on asylum leaving everything behind even my lifelong earned dentistry profession, I leaned working towards my life dream of being unapologetically gay being myself being loud being brown Pakistani being a designer and a true artist I launched my all-gender inclusive sustainable fashion house Aristocrats in 2019. My aesthetics comes from a very natural place within me. It has grown through the years and is inspired from many cultures and events. I always knew that I am the sensitive and caring one but never knew how to reflect that back to the society and direct my energy to do something good. By making sustainable fashion I can show that care should start from loving your surroundings, your body, your planet, and yourself and being your own favourite and less toxic to your own self and to others no matter what. At House of Aristocrats, we believe clothing is the skin we pick everyday sometimes few times a day just to look, feel and radiate the energy about who we are as a person, position, pronouns and now that a designer/creator even can use any trash and fashion industry and consumers waste could look like treasure on ones accepting, caring and glowing personality. At Aristocrats a bespoke dress is forever. Aristocrats is for the people who care. The people who are trying to fit in the Society by being different than many. Just being original. Just being Aristocrats.
Stephanie Crowe (she/her) is a Design Researcher based in Dundee. She is a psychologist, co-founder of Muckle Studios, and a Product Design PhD student looking at Virtual Reality design for people with brain injuries. She is a proud Dundonian, who came out as bisexual in her mid-20’s and has spent the last few years attempting to fit into two boxes: “designer” and “queer”. Stephanie is passionate about continued learning, inclusive design, collaboration and co-designing – finding enjoyment in anything that means she is collecting information and sharing knowledge with others. Twitter: @UXRbyStephanie
Alex Muir (he/they) works as the Trans Policy Officer at LEAP Sport Scotland, where he is focused on creating pathways, practices, and policies to improve trans participation in sport across Scotland. Originally from Aberdeen, Alex has a degree in Politics and is currently studying a Research Masters in Fitness and Health at the University of Abertay. In his spare time, he runs Trans awareness workshops for healthcare professionals and works as a bar tender.
“Getting in touch with my queerness whilst living in Dundee has been all about providing myself and those around me a space to express, grow and explore our identities. We do this mostly through the mundane details of our day to day living – we share our belongings, we make each other food, we encourage each other to embolden our styles, we read each other feminist poetry and we analyse the hidden queer tropes in our favourite childhood film and tv characters.
This has been at the heart of our way of living, even more so since all of these long months of living in a pandemic. Our attention has turned to making our home a nurturing one and a playground for creativity and exploration of style. It is with tenderness, understanding, and a touch of cheekiness that we share our crafts in the forms of making clothes, cutting hair, doing makeup…even clearing the coffee table and turning it into a dance platform for an evening of tasteless boogying feels like a freeing act of self acceptance.”Lola Knibb, Illustrator.
PechaKucha, or ‘chit chat’ in Japanese, was developed by Klein Dytham Architecture, in Tokyo back in 2003. PKs now run all over the world – our last count was over 1,200 cities and growing. You can watch all previous PechaKucha Night Dundee talks here.
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