Alok & Travis & Marik
Join three gender-non-conforming, trans artists of colour for an evening of live performance. Headlined by internationally acclaimed artist ALOK, joined by two prominent London-based artists, Hackney Showroom Associate Artists Travis Alabanza + marikiscrycrycry.
On the 17th August Alok Vaid-Menon, Travis Alabanza and marikiscrycrycry are performing live in Hackney. They are three friends, and are all gender-non-conforming trans artists of colour, whose works focus on gender, race and mental health.
It will be the first time I'm seeing any of them perform live, but their presence online has been an inspiration to myself, and many people I know. Their radical honesty and radical self-acceptance illuminates what it means for people to truly be themselves. They are activists and consistently stand up when they hear of injustice, especially when those injustices target trans/gnc people and people of colour.
The headline ALOK, is a writer and performing artist, with the most beautiful style (just take a quick look at their instagram @alokvmenon or the picture attached to this piece to see what I mean). They reside in New York, but have taken their performances and influence across the world. I first discovered Alok via my favourite Youtube series 'What's Underneath', and they have recently been a guest on the series' Podcast variation. Their honesty, their warmth and their endless compassion has imprinted on me immensely. The main section I recall is Alok telling the hosts about an incident of violent transphobia they suffered on public transport - this violence sadly was/is not out of the ordinary for Alok and the gnc/trans community, but Alok's reaction was, for me, beautifully out of the ordinary. Alok looks back on that incident with anger and sadness for the hate of transphobia, but part of that sadness comes from the compassion they have for the perpetrator. They acknowledge that the reason the perpetrator (a man) was so violent and attacking towards Alok was because he saw in Alok everything the world had told him he can't or shouldn't be. When he looked at Alok, and saw them living their unapologetic, truest self, he reacted with anger to the fact that he was forced to live in the binary-focused world that stifled true self-expression. Anger and violence towards others stems from a root hatred in the violent and angry people who commit such crimes against other humans - they have been told they can only be one certain way, and when they see someone who disproves that, or shows them what they're missing, they are antagonised by self-hate. Although I had vaguely thought of this before, listening to Alok discuss it so authentically made me truly reflect on it, and helped me on the way to trying to be compassionate to those who have hurt me (although, for me, admittedly this is in limited sips).
Travis works across the UK, and also globally, advocating for the rights of the trans and LGBTQ+ community. They are a poet and performance artist, and also have an incredible aesthetic (again, see above). They've performed at the Tate, the ICA, the Barbican and have had pieces in the BBC and the Guardian. I have seen them talk at a few different events before, but have never seen their performance art, which I look forward to seeing in Hackney in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I don't know too much about the vaguely elusive choreographer Marikiscrycrycry, but I have seen a couple of clips of them performing alongside Travis, and their performance is also much anticipated.
Tickets are close to selling out I believe, so if you want to see three wonderful people expressing themselves and living in their art, find the ticket link via this Facebook page and support them!