With the UK and devolved governments’ announcements over the last few weeks, we wanted to offer some information about how Andro and Eve plan to return to live events. We share some folks’ optimism but we also remain cautious. On the anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown, it also seemed like a good moment to provide some clarity for our community.
As a small arts organisation with community at our heart, we have consulted with our volunteers, partner venues and community, so that the board of Andro and Eve could make an informed decision about our offer over the coming months.
We know many of you cannot wait to burst into a venue again and enjoy some queer performance, while for others, the thought of this is anxiety inducing. Having heard from many members of the community, we know that you share our concerns about transmission of COVID-19 and want to ensure we continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. In returning to live events, we do not want to leave anyone behind.
Therefore for the foreseeable future, our offer will continue to be remote and online, and we will provide an online offer until well into the Autumn. We want to ensure those in our community with disabilities and long term health conditions, feel safe enough to attend in person. We have a responsibility to protect our staff, volunteers and artists. In this way we can provide meaningful opportunities for artists to connect safely with our community and share their creativity.
We have applied to several different funders to support online activity, and we do not expect to return to in person events until Autumn 2021 at the earliest. We may be able to do something small in person in the summer, but at this point, we cannot be sure. We thank you for your ongoing understanding, patience and support.
We know this has been an extremely challenging year, and our thoughts are with the many people who have not received financial support, or who are struggling with poor health or grieving countless losses.
As an organisation known primarily for our live events pre – pandemic, we are grateful that we have survived this crisis this far, and cannot wait to see you all in person again. We’re also proud that we’ve been able to provide opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists and share queer culture with our community.
However, we have that bit further to go yet. If you can, we’d ask you to donate to support our work, to ensure we do survive and can continue to support the work of LGBTQ+ artists and our community. You can do this via the ‘Support Us’ button above this post, by buying some of our merchandise, or Centre zine.
To be the first to hear about upcoming events and all our news, sign up to our newsletter via the subscribe button below too. Thank you to everyone who has donated, shared or supported our work this last year. Without you, and the hard work of our small team, we’d not still be here, and that means the world.
Team Andro and Eve x
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This LGBT+ History Month we have been inspired reading about people and groups within the LGBTQ+ movement and wanted to share more about the design of the Andro and Eve logo and its links to LGBTQ+ History. Read on for an exploration of colour, symbology and LGBTQ+ representation in history!
We were inspired by this fascinating Twitter thread by @AlexPetrovnia that delved into the history of trans lives and the colour pink, and its associations. During WW1, propaganda led to boys being dressed in pink, and then 1920’s flappers wore pink to appear more masculine. It was not until the Nazi use of pink triangles to mark out homosexuals during the holocaust, that pink was associated with queerness, and then femininity. History loves a bit of revisionism, but we must not forget.
The image to the left showing two women kissing is from around 1916 -1918, when during WW1, women took over jobs traditionally done by men. Here in Sheffield, women became munitions workers at the local steel factories.
The pink triangle has been reclaimed over the years by many in the LGBTQ+ community as a symbol of resistance, most significantly with ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) formed in 1987, to raise awareness of and fight for the rights and healthcare for those with HIV / AIDS. They inverted the pink triangle and added the slogan Silence = Death.
The pink triangle is also used as a symbol of remembrance as with San Francisco Pride where, since 1996, a 200ft tall triangle is installed upon the Twin Peaks every year.
Latterly, the Rainbow Pride flag has been more commonly associated as symbol for the LGBTQ+ community, but triangles and pink triangles are is still often seen in queer imagery.
It is important to note that during the holocaust, homosexual women, along with sex workers, Romani, and the homeless, were given the ‘asocial’ badge of black triangle. The grouping of lesbians with others under this badge and widespread use of the pink triangle feeds into a common observation about the erasure of lesbian herstory. This collection of pin badges by the former manager of Gays the Word Bookshop in London, (Paud’s Pins) shows a huge range of LGBTQ+ symbols including plenty use of the triangle symbol, labrys and the lambda.
It is this LGBTQ+ History we drew upon when redesigning the Andro and Eve logo in 2017. You’ll notice that our recent run of logo tote bags uses a pink triangle, but most often our triangle is displayed in a lavender or violet colour. No coincidence!
Violets have been associated with lesbians since 600BC, when the ancient Greek poet Sappho would often write about violets and other purple flowers. In 1930’s New York, lesbians would give posies of violets to women they were hoping to woo, a practice inspired by the play The Captive, which was closed down after 5 months on Broadway in 1927. In it, one female character sends bunches of violets to another character. (1) After this censorship, Parisian lesbians wore a violet on their lapel to show solidarity.
Violet was also one of the original colours in the Pride rainbow flag.
Similarlarly, lavender has been associated with queer life since the late 19th century with the art movement Aestheticism promoting beauty and ‘art for arts sake’, with fans of this movement labelled ‘effeminate’. Oscar Wilde frequently spoke about his ‘purple afternoons’ with rent boys. In the 1920’s, a ‘lavender streak’ was used in North American slang to mean ‘male on male’ love,(2) and later a ‘lavender marriage’ helped Hollywood actors hide their sexuality in line with morality clauses in contracts the 1920’s and 30’s. The lavender scare of the 1950’s saw American homosexual government employees fired as part of an anti communist campaign by the US government.
Perhaps even more well known, are the Lavender Menaces in the USA. North American author of ‘The Feminine Mystique’, Betty Frieden asserted that ‘lavender menaces’ would ruin the feminist movement’s second wave. In response Rita Mae Brown led the ‘Lavender Menace Zap’ at the 2nd Congress to Unite Women in 1970, where a group of lesbians infiltrated the conference, wearing lavender hand – dyed T Shirts with ‘Lavender Menace’ printed on them and handed out leaflets stating their cause. This moment would help catalyze lesbians as an important part of the women’s movement and help make it more intersectional. You can read more about these radical lesbians on the brilliant blog, Dressing Dykes.
Lavender and purple have also often been associated with queer communities owing to the fact it is the colour you get when mixing traditional ‘masculine’ blue with ‘feminine’ pink. And so we come full circle with this blog, which was inspired by learning how pink came to be associated with boys, then girls!
We recognise the pain of so many LGBTQ+ people, and the erasure of women, trans and gender expansive people from our past. Andro and Eve, in name and logo, is both about reclaiming a hidden history and finding playfulness, joy and most importantly pride, in our lives and culture. We’re proud to carry on this spirit of making space and sharing marginalised LGBTQ+ stories.
Our Limited edition Logo tees are soon to be part of LGBTQ+ History too! If you fancy getting one, we’ve only got a limited amount left, so head on over to the shop to bag yours now!
Today marks the start of LGBT History Month. We are so thankful to members of LGBTQ+ community who have gone before, paving the way for our rights and increasing the visibility of, and acceptance of our community. We know there is so much still to be done, in the UK and around the world.
Here in the UK, over the last few years, a hostile environment has been created for trans, non binary and gender non conforming people. In 2020 we spent time developing a Gender Awareness Training session, aimed at staff teams in organisations, public services and businesses.
Our Gender Awareness Training is designed to pass on knowledge and best practice, enabling organisations to better serve and meet the needs of clients, customers and service users of all genders, particularly those who fall under the Transgender* umbrella.
Drawing upon our extensive experience in meeting the needs of the LGBTQIA community in creating safe and inclusive events, this 2 hour, online session can be tailored to your organisation’s needs. Interested? We currently have a special introductory offer for organisations able to book a session before 30 April 2021. Please get in touch or share this post if you think your organisation could benefit from our Gender Awareness Training. You can also find out more here.
.*Transgender is an umbrella term for people who do not identify or feel comfortable with what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Lockdown 3 is the sequel we never asked for, so to quell the disappointment and bring the queer joy, we’ve organised our very own lockdown quiz.
Marking the start of LGBT+ History Month, on Friday 5 February, our special online quiz will test your knowledge of queer culture and hopefully bring a giggle!
Whether you’re flying solo, in a bubble, or locked down with your chosen family, join us for a slice of silly, with a side order of LGBT+ theirstory in our interactive Reyt Queer Quiz. Add in plenty gorgeous prizes from local independent traders, and a sprinkle of fabulous queer performance from Christian Adore, and you’ve got a bit of Friday night magic.
Expect questions on LGBT Hers/ His /Theirstory and queer culture. With interactive elements to keep things the right shade of nonsensical.
You can form a team with pals, or play solo. Max 4 in a team to keep things fair! HOUSEHOLD TICKETS are available for 2 – 4 people in the same house *who will be sharing a screen*. Any questions, just get in touch!
2020. Wow. We did not see that coming. The start of the year seems like a hazy fog, where the idea of putting on a huge drag king cabaret for 350+ people is like some mad dream. But that’s what we were preparing for back then.
Despite all the nonsense, heartache and grieving this year has brought, here at Andro and Eve we have things to celebrate. And as relentless purveyors of queer joy, (because joy is resistance, to so many communities), we’re here to review the highs, and some challenges that 2020 has brought.
We started the year with a screening of music documentary, Silvana, at legendary music venue, Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield. Collaborating with Sheffield Doc/Fest, was a first for us, with Melanie Ireldale the deputy director, introducing this celebration of the story of Swedish rapper Silvana Imam, her rise to fame and blossoming romance with Swedish pop star Beatrice Eli. Many in the audience fell hard for this lesbian power couple that evening.
In March, we had the 6th edition of The Kingdom Come planned at Abbeydale Picture House with a stellar line up of talent. Just a few days after we trained our amazing team of volunteers at the venue, the board of Andro and Eve discussed the situation, and made the unanimous decision to cancel our drag king cabaret, scheduled for the 21st.
Facing a significant financial loss, the next week was a blur, but our community came through, with 85% of those who had already booked tickets, donating their ticket, which bought us valuable time to plan for a very different year and apply for funding. Thank you to you if you were one of those kind people.
In May we found out we had been successful in securing Arts Council England Emergency Funding. And with that a bit of breathing space. Launching our drag king workshop course in June, we were bowled over for demand for places on the course, with 50+ people taking part in 3 sessions led by drag king Christian Adore in July. Have a peep at what that involved, and what our participants thought in the video below.
Developing talent is key to our work. Our 2020 programme included an online Cabaret College, which we produced in collaboration with LoUis CYfer. Over 8 weeks, 13 emerging drag and cabaret acts were given the opportunity to develop their own material with regular mentoring from LoUis, and 4 creative sessions. As one of the participants said
The whole experience was so safe and welcoming. I was VERY nervous and always felt supported and like I could ask for help
As well as developing talent we were also aware that digital delivery would limit the audience for our work, and wanted to use print to connect. So we commissioned graduate artist, and founder of Racezine Collective, Okocha Obasi to produce a brand new zine. Okocha was mentored by artist Seleena Laverne Daye, and worked closely with Assistant Producer, Emma Bentley – Fox.
We launched Centre zine with a special online party, A Reyt Queer Night In. With a vogue workshop by Mother of House of Ghetto, Darren Pritchard, and a party makeup workshop by Christian Adore, the night was topped off with a brilliant set from Gal Pal’s DJ Xzan. The night certainly went down well with attendees..
The music was amazing, really good range covered. I liked being greeted on arrival, the friendly, multigenerational space and chance to put in requests
It sure beat our first attempt at an online party – a Netflix screening party of Clueless on March 28th! It was cute, but, not quite up to our usual standard..!
In November we launched a new range of merchandise including postcard sets, badges and tote bags in the Trans Pride Flag colours. Because trans rights matter and we’re here to celebrate trans lives. They look lovely on our newly redeveloped website.
Behind the scenes, we filed our first year accounts to Companies House (what a highlight!), and Artistic Director, Katherine developed a Gender Awareness Training session, aimed at staff in organisations and businesses of all sizes. Both Assistant Producer Emma, and Katherine, undertook anti racism training through Racial Justice Network, with Emma also taking part in Access and Audio Description training with Quiplash. This will inform the way we work in the months to come and is an important part of our mission to make our work accessible and inclusive to all.
On that note, we’ve just launched a new Community Survey. We don‘t know what the future holds, but we want to make plans with our community as the focus. If you’ve been to one of our events or workshops before, or follow us online and have 5 -10 minutes to spare, please complete the survey here. You can win a bundle of Andro and Eve goodies too!
Another highlight for Andro and Eve in 2020 was being invited to join Queer Arts North – a network of queer arts and Northern performance venues, platforming and providing talent development opportunities for LGBTQ+ artists in the North of England. It was great to be part of an artist networking event as part of Homotopia Festival in November.
The events of 2020 made us even more determined to work towards equality for all, and support the Black lives matter movement. The fight for racial equality would be nowhere without Black feminists like Audre Lorde, Angela Davis and Olive Morris, and Black LGBT+ community pioneers including Marsha P Johnson, Storme DeLarverie and Miss Major. We continue to familiarise ourselves with our history, and participate in anti racism work. On that note, this year, we’ve platformed Stop the Scandal, a campaign to prevent the use of mobile fingerprint scanners, linked to the Home Office database, by the police. If you haven’t read it yet, check out the piece by the Stop the Scandal campaign here.
At this point, please excuse some soppiness in expressing a wholehearted thanks to the two new members of the Andro and Eve board, Lola White and Ellie Wyer. Having only joined the board in February, they came through hard for Andro and Eve, and have supported the development of the organisation in this most difficult of years. A special mention must also go to Assistant Producer, Emma, who has gone the extra mile to help us produce and market all our creative projects and events in the last year.
We want to say a massive thank you to all the artists we worked with in 2020, for your dedication, creativity and hard work. Thank you also to the team of freelancers who help make our work look so bold and beautiful. And thanks so much to the volunteers who’ve helped out this year too.
In a year filled with challenges, and so much division sowed between communities, COVID has shown how unequal UK society is. We know in a way, that Andro and Eve and our tiny team are some of the lucky ones, we’ve carried on, while other enterprises have simply not been given the same support, or opportunity. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to make art, and access to culture. So we’ve dug in and got through 2020, and in many ways grown. But we know there is so much work to be done, and it is only in collective effort that we stand to make an impact.
Thank you to everyone who has told a friend about us, bought a ticket, donated, shopped or shared what we do. Your support is the reason we’re still here.
With 2020 drawing to a close (phew), and with pretty much nothing this year turning out how we expected it, we, like many other organisations are looking ahead to 2021.
COVID-19 has affected the way we share queer culture with our community, with the delivery of online workshops and the publication of our first zine, Centre in 2020. We, like everyone, are unsure what 2021 will bring, and are keen to plan ahead using the views of the community which we serve. So we’re launching a Community Survey, to get a sense of what, and when you’d like us to be doing in 2021.
As a community – led organisation your opinions matter to us very much, so if you have 5 – 10 minutes to share your thoughts, and you have either been to one of our events / workshops, bought a copy of Centre zine, or just follow us online, please do complete our survey.
What you say will likely have a direct impact upon when we return to live events, or what other offers we can make in 2021.
As a thank you, if you leave your email address we’ll add you to a prize draw, where you can win a bundle of Andro and Eve goodies, including our new tote bag!
We’re Andro & Eve and we celebrate queer culture! Check out this new film sharing our work. If you’ve been to one of our events or workshops before, you might just spot yourself! You can also find out more about what we do here.
We’re proud to have continued to bring you creative activity during the last 6 months. This has been made possible through public donations and Arts Council funding. We’re continuing to fundraise behind the scenes to support activity in 2021.
You can help us. Want to know how? Here’s some ideas!
Buy a copy of Centre zine – packed full of queer goodness – a brill way to stay connected to queer culture.
Tell your workplace / boss about our new Gender Awareness Training, helping support more inclusive service provision for Transgender and gender diverse people.
We’re thrilled to share our brand new merchandise! Available on our online shop now!
The new merchandise includes Tote Bags, Postcard Sets and Mini Badge packs. After consulting with our community a few weeks back, we chose two colour ways for the new tote bags. They are made from sustainably sourced cotton and are available in Turquoise or Black. Designed and printed in Sheffield, they’re a fab way to show your support for Andro and Eve and send out low key queer vibes!
The Postcard Sets features hand drawn artwork, by Andro and Eve co-founder, Katherine Warman, and showcase three of the artists who have previously performed at our events. The Mini Badge packs feature 4 different designs and are a perfect way to spread some queer joy!
You can win everything pictured for you and a friend. Head on over to our Instagram or Facebook pages to find out more and enter the prize draw. Deadline is midnight on the 25th October!
All profits from sales of our merchandise are used to support the work of Andro and Eve. Find out more about our work here.
As part of Centre zine, we chose to highlight the Stop the Scandal Campaign. This grassroots campaign was created by Yorkshire’s Racial Justice Network and supported by Yorkshire Resists. They wrote the following piece for our new zine, which is on sale now. 50% of profits from sales of Centre zine, will be donated to the Racial Justice Network. Read on to find out more about Stop the Scandal.
The Stop The Scan campaign challenges a move initiated by West Yorkshire Police in 2019 to introduce mobile fingerprint scanning linked to immigration databases, using equipment funded by the Home Office.
These biometric devices are used with officers’ mobile phones, as they detain people in the street. This adds an extra, dangerous dimension to Stop and Search protocol, which according to the government’s own research, disproportionately targets Black and Brown people (with Black people 10 times more likely to be targeted by police¹).
The technology is used once police officers have deemed an offence to have been committed. This could be anything from loitering to dropping litter. If the officer doubts the given identity from the person detained, they may then use a scan of their fingerprints in order to carry out a person search on their identity. It’s crucial to emphasise that an officer uses their own discretion to determine how authentic your given identity is, a subjective judgement, which in the campaign’s view, has the potential to even further discriminate against trans people within Black and Brown communities.
Scans like this have only previously been carried out at police stations following an arrest. But what future lies ahead, where one’s dignity is stripped down and reduced to the opinion of a police officer, and a frequently inconclusive fingerprint machine?
The officer may choose to check identity against records held on IABS (the immigration fingerprint database). Stop and Scan is part of an immigration system that a 2019 inquiry into the Windrush scandal showed, to hold not only “poor quality systems and data”, but a “failure to monitor the impact of compliant environment measures” (now known as hostile environment measures)². A flag on the database – which could exist for any type of activity – may prompt a call to Home Office enforcers, heightening the risk of entering indefinite detention, or being deported.
The question remains: why use a device which could only identify those with fingerprints either on the IABS or criminal database, IDENT1?
The Stop The Scan campaign was created by the Racial Justice Network and supported by Yorkshire Resists. We are a network of individuals and organisations working together to end racial injustice. Our campaign is about alerting you to the racist nature of the intrusive power that biometric technology extends to the police. These technologies are being introduced, but they lack any meaningful scrutiny of their impact on the communities that the police are supposed to protect.
After the pilot by West Yorkshire Police ended, no evaluation of its use and impact was done before the technology was rolled out nationally.
Aside from West Yorkshire Police, no other police force is publicly recording the ethnicity of the people they are stopping and scanning. The lack of transparency makes it difficult to ensure that the use of this technology does not target certain communities unfairly.
In response to what we know, and what we can only speculate, the Stop the Scan campaign is calling for:
The dismantling of the Hostile Environment: the UK must be a safe place for all people to seek and live a decent life.
The severance of all links between the Police and Immigration, including a firewall between the police and all Home Office databases.
An end to Stop and Scan.
We are looking for support from people able to help raise awareness, to advise on the shifting legal rights landscape during the pandemic, for advisors who may help construct a legal challenge to the roll out, and for people who have been scanned and are willing to offer their experience as a case study.
To find out more, visit StopTheScan.co.uk and search the #StopTheScandal and #EndStopAndScan hashtags. To get involved in supporting the work, email [email protected].
We believe in artists. They have the power to make change. We also believe that everyone has the ability to be creative, and therefore creative opportunities should be available for everyone. Creativity helps us explore. Helps us dream. Helps us find a way back to ourselves. Or discover who we are. Something people LGBTQ+ identified need. In a world that often taught us we didn’t fit, discovering ourselves can take that much more.
Our mission at Andro and Eve is to bring the community together to celebrate queer culture. The COVID-19 crisis has given us an opportunity to adapt our offer and find new ways to reach our community.
CENTRE is one such way to connect our community with one another, in a year in which everyone has been in some way affected by the global pandemic. Okocha has curated and designed this unique collection of stories, poems and creative works, bringing voice to a range of LGBTQ+ people living in the North of England.
We also believe Black Lives Matter, and stand in solidarity with those who fight against the structural racism here in the UK and across the world. CENTRE contains a piece by Stop the Scandal, a grassroots campaign to stop the use of mobile fingerprint scanning linked to immigration databases by police. We’ve also connected with our friends at LASS (Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield) to bring you an interview with one of their members. 50% of all profits made from sales of CENTRE will be donated to Yorkshire’s Racial Justice Network, who bring together over thirty organisations in the West Yorkshire region to proactively promote racial justice.
The stories, poems and creative works in CENTRE are about things chosen by LGBTQ+ people living in the North of England that matter most to them. Andro and Eve, as a queer arts organisation based in South Yorkshire, is proud to serve and represent ‘Northern’ voices and we hope you will enjoy reading CENTRE.
Our thanks in producing this zine go to organisers from LASS, Stop the Scandal and Racial Justice Network. A huge thank you to Okocha Obasi for his creative vision and hard work, and to the artists and members of the Andro and Eve community who have contributed their work to CENTRE.
Ready to get a copy? Order from our shop here. And celebrate its launch with our special online party, A REYT QUEER NIGHT IN, on 10th October. We’re bringing the party direct to your front room! We hope that we’ll connect with you online soon.
Katherine Warman. Creative Producer / CEO Andro and Eve. September 2020.
This zine has been made possible through Arts Council England’s emergency funding in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
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