As part of this project we’ve loved hosting zine making workshops this July with lots of different people and sharing in some queer joy. We’ve also got some creative writing workshops coming up this September, to help you get inspired. Read on to find out what we’re looking for for JOYFUL NOISE!
JOYFUL NOISE is a zine that celebrates Queer Joy in all its glory. From folk in the North of England.
The past 18 months has been hard on many of us, especially in the LGBTQ+ community, and it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s vital to rest and seek pleasure, to add joy to our narrative, to take up space and be joyful whilst we’re doing it.
We’re making a zine full of JOY. We want your joy. What makes you feel good? What do you do to feel joy? How do you rest and reset? How do you use joy as a form of resistance?
We want submissions for the JOYFUL NOISE zine. Words, artwork, feelings, lists, illustrations, recipes, collages, comics, letters and more.
If you want to share a picture of something you’ve created in one of Seleena’s workshops this July, you are very welcome to submit that.
Submissions: Black and white, 1-2 sides of A5, word count no more than 1000 words. As part of your submission we will ask for the first part of your postcode.
For our Reclaiming the Rainbow Photo Challenge we have assembled a brilliant bunch of South Yorkshire Creatives to judge entries. Read on to find out more about them and how they feel about the rainbow flag!
Reclaiming the Rainbow Photo Challenge is a way to raise awareness of the Pride flag as a symbol of safety, build connections, and celebrate the strength of the South Yorkshire LGBTQ+ community through this difficult time. You can find out more about it and on how to enter here.
First up is Zoyander Street (Pictured above). “I am a neurodivergent, genderqueer trans man living in Rotherham, and an artist-researcher and critic working at the fringes of indie videogames for over a decade. After becoming increasingly sensitive to the limitations of linear text, I began exploring interactive and tactile mediums of communication, because I want to surface ambiguity and allow mess to stay messy. Led by ethnographic and historical research, I create lo-fi glitchy games and custom hardware for festivals, galleries, and museums”.
Gilbert Baker said that he chose the rainbow for the flag because it is a “natural flag” that “comes from the sky” – it comes from the same place as the light that shines equally on everyone and sustains the myriad forms of life on earth. Just as you can never find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, you can never perfectly locate queerness or pin down the boundaries of our community; we exist as an expression of the beautiful variety of forms that exist in this world.
Next up is Nelly Naylor. “My names Nelly, I’m a proper Yorkshire lass, I live in Sheffield with my girlfriend and our cats Slim and Shady! I studied photography at Sheffield Hallam and in my final year I launched my business. I noticed that couples in the LGBT+ community were not represented at all! I knew I was the girl to fly the flag for our community so I become a LGBT+ specialist wedding photographer. 5 years on, a few awards in the bag and 150 5-star reviews online, I’m still championing equal marriage and documenting it in my unique colourful fun style!”
The rainbow flag to me was something I could identify with- for me the symbol if I saw it in a cafe, bar, or on someone’s website, I knew it was a safe space for me to be myself. I know it sounds cliche but I do wear the flag with pride, on clothing, shoes, umbrellas whatever it may be the symbol says to people this is me, I’m comfortable with who I am and this is my journey. I’m also really glad we now have a progress flag now, I feel every year we do progress in everyway.
And finally, our third judge is Yuen Fong Ling. Yuen Fong LING is an artist and curator based at Bloc Studio, Sheffield, and Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. Ling has a socially-engaged and performance-based art practice that explores his biographical connections with omitted histories, people, places and objects.
Recent projects include: “Towards Memorial” (2019-ongoing) explores the remaking, gifting and wearing of sandals once designed and handmade by gay socialist activist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), and “The Human Memorial” (2020-ongoing) explores the empty plinth to consider what monuments and statues we want in public space? What we stand for, and importantly when and where?
My relationship with the rainbow flag has been different throughout my life. There were times when I shied away from it, embraced it, was protected by it, exposed, made vulnerable by it, and even rejected it. What this has meant, is that it’s constantly evolving and changing symbol for me. Now, more than ever, do we need to reclaim, rework, make our own, these colours for our community
Yuen Fong Ling
We hope our judges words inspire you to think about your relationship with the rainbow flag and take your own photo for Reclaiming the Rainbow.
We’re reyt chuffed to share that we have a theme for our new zine! Drumroll please…. Its JOY!
This was chosen by votes collected throughout June from the Andro and Eve community. Using the theme as inspiration artist Seleena Laverne Daye has designed a special session to bring a bit of queer joy to our community this July.
We’re delighted to share that on the 22 July, we’ll be hosting another online workshop, this time focused on textiles. Seleena will be sharing some simple techniques to make your own textile artwork creating a portrait of yourself or someone else that brings you joy in felt form. It’ll be sewing fun for beginners and those more advanced. Time to get crafty with your selfies and hang out online with fellow LGBTQ+ folk!
We had hoped to bring this session to a physical venue, but after liaison with our partner venue, Theatre Deli Sheffield, and consideration of current COVID infection rates we’ve decided to offer this session online.
Places are limited, but all materials will be provided, you just need to book your FREE ticket in advance if you want to take part.
Find out more about this textiles workshop and book here.
If you can’t make this workshop, after the session we’ll also be sharing a special PDF worksheet for you to create your own artwork at home. Just sign up to our newsletter via the link below to get your hands on this resource!
The last 18 months have been hard to say the least. Especially for marginalised groups of people including the LGBTQ+ community.
So this Pride Month we want to continue the work we’ve been doing to bring our community together, even if that is remotely for now.
You may have noticed during the pandemic here in the UK, the rainbow has been used as a symbol for the NHS. We are, like most people, eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by all staff working for the NHS during this time of ongoing crisis. It shouldn’t have been this way. However, we also know that the rainbow through the Pride flag has a wonderful history as a symbol of safety for the LGBTQ+ community*
Increasingly, Pride Month has been used for various corporations to show how ‘inclusive’ they are, while glossing over the inequality in their supply chains, unethical affiliations, or lack of support for the LGBTQ+ community. Does that modified rainbow logo show sustained engagement with and active support for the rights of all LGBTQ+ people year round?
Reclaiming the Rainbow Photo Challenge is a way to raise awareness of the Pride flag as a symbol of safety, build connections, and celebrate the strength of the South Yorkshire LGBTQ+ community through this difficult time.
Are you LGBTQ+ and living in South Yorkshire? Then get involved with our photo challenge!
To enter our photo challenge all you need to do is to take a photo on your phone or camera.
The photo should be
– Inspired by the phrase ‘Reclaiming the Rainbow’ and
– Show either yourself or another LGBTQ+ community member in a location in South Yorkshire.
You do not need to show your face / the model’s face in the picture, but it is important that some sort of human presence is shown, as we want to use this as a way to represent the folk that make up the LGBTQ+ community in South Yorkshire.
Please make sure when taking the photo that you have permission of anyone shown. We will use these photos on Andro and Eve’s social media and website, and may share them with the press.
We may, one day exhibit the entries in a real space, but we don’t know that for now.
Email the photo to [email protected] with the subject ‘Entry for Reclaiming the Rainbow’. Please also state where in South Yorkshire you are based.
So get entering! We’ll announce the winners in early August.
Have fun and good luck!
*We are aware that not all ‘LGBTQ friendly’ places are welcoming to our Black, Asian and Global Majority siblings, and those who are D/Deaf and disabled or transgender / gender diverse, and we are thankful to the individuals and organisations who have raised awareness of this issue and continue to campaign to make change.
We have recently been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to produce another zine. Working with zine and textile artist Seleena Laverne Daye and poet Ella Otomewo, we will collect the stories and creative work of LGBTQ+ people from across the North of England for inclusion in a zine to be published in Autumn 2021.
We are looking to recruit a freelance Assistant Producer to work with us on this project and other projects in development.
We use the term ‘producer’ to mean someone who makes things happen. This role will assist with the work of programme production and marketing. It is intended that this role is offered as a way for those relatively new to the arts or events industry to gain valuable experience in producing. We are happy to discuss with candidates how and where we can best help you gain the experience needed for next the steps in your chosen career.
As part of this contract we will also be offering the successful candidate three x 1 hour coaching sessions with an independent life coach to be used in whatever way feels useful for you at this point in your career.
If you are interested in supporting processes to make creative projects happen, have a good set of organisational skills, and experience in using social media to reach customers, audiences or communities, then this role could be for you!
Here’s a word from our current Assistant Producer, Emma Bentley Fox . . .
I found Andro & Eve at a point where securing a job in the arts (let alone a rewarding and challenging one) felt like a huge mountain that I’d never climb. I’m beyond grateful to Andro & Eve and Finn for giving me the opportunity to develop my skills as a producer and connect with amazing Queer artists, in a supportive and nurturing environment. I can’t recommend this role enough and I’m gutted to be leaving it, but also glad that someone else gets to share the experiences I’ve had and develop new queer talent in The North of England!”
As well as supporting a wide range of artists, our team have lived experiences that enable them to support inclusive practices. We particularly encourage applications from those currently under-represented within the UK arts sector, including those of Black, Asian or other global majority ethnicity, those who have faced socio – economic barriers, those who identify as LGBTQI+ and those who are disabled or neurodiverse.
FEE: £120 per day. 10 days work offered Jul – Nov 2021. Total fee £1200.
BENEFITS: Three x 1 hour life coaching sessions with an independent life coach
APPLICATION DEADLINE – MIDDAY MONDAY 28 JUNE
For Full Details on the role and how to apply, please download the job pack.
After the success of our first zine, Centre, (launched in 2020), we wanted to continue to find creative ways to connect our community in these challenging times. This project has been made possible through funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
The project will take submissions from LGBTQ+ people throughout the North of England and Midlands, with Seleena curating and designing a brand new zine, to be published in Autumn this year.
And even more excitingly, we’re pleased that we will be offering creative workshops in zine making and creative writing, both online and IN PERSON as part of this project!
Workshops are planned for members of the public to take part in this July. Special workshops for groups including Lesbian Asylum Support Sheffield, students in Further and Higher Education, and Older LGBTQ+ people are also planned. More details to be announced, but if you know of anyone that fits those categories, please do spread the word.
Its important to us that this zine reflects an even wider spectrum of LGBTQ+ voices, and that our community helps shape it at different stages.
The aim of this project is to connect all ages of LGBTQ+ people during this challenging time. We are very aware of the isolation younger and older people may have faced owing to the pandemic, and hope this project will provide social connection and positive experiences for our LGBTQ+ community.
Sign up to our newsletter through the link below to be the first to hear more about our upcoming workshops!
We’re sharing this update as we want to be as transparent as possible with our LGBTQIA+ community, artists and allies who have supported our work through this most challenging of years.
We had hoped by this time in the year, to have been able to announce more online drag king workshops. These were a great success last year so we applied for funding to support another online course. But we didn’t get the funding! We have applied for Arts Council funding to support our work, three times since December 2020 and each time been unsuccessful. Competition right now is unbelievably high. So many artists and companies need support.
Accessibility and inclusivity are part of our core values. We need funding to make these workshops financially viable. We pay all our artists and staff fairly, and there are costs to making work accessible that we cannot cover through ticket sales alone.
We feel it’s important to be honest about the costs of working in the way we do, with care for our team and community centered. We want to be transparent about the work that goes on behind the scenes, and the challenges we face as a tiny arts organisation with one part time employee. It’s also important to us to be honest that failure is a huge part of any endeavor, and we’re proud we haven’t given up. We’re also proud of how we’ve adapted during the pandemic, that our Gender Awareness training is having an impact, and that we’re still here and growing our reach.
But its going to be a tough 6 months while we wait to see how the ‘reopening’ of UK society goes, and the vaccine takes effect. Unlike bigger companies or venues, we do not have the luxury of regular funding to take risks, or to return to live events with reduced capacities. We are funded only a project – by – project basis. We’re waiting on other funding decisions and will keep pursuing funding; we’re not giving up.
So we have something to ask. If you’ve got any funds to spare, please consider donating to Andro and Eve. Or buy something on our online shop. Your donation or sale really does make a difference and ensures that we will be able to return in a safe and inclusive way when the time is right, and in the meantime help us offer alternative spaces for connection for LGBTQ+ people during this challenging time. Trust us, we are making plans!
You can donate via the ‘SUPPORT US’ button above. You can also set up a regular donation there too. Or why not tell a friend or colleague about our Gender Awareness training to encourage their organisation to train their team? Links to some lovely merchandise, including tote bags, postcard packs, tees and pins via the online shop here! We greatly appreciate any support you can give.
Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us throughout the last year. Your support has been vital and deeply appreciated. Lets keep Yorkshire Reytqueer!
We’re delighted to share that this May, as part of Sheffield’s Festival of Debate, we are producing two online events.
The first is DRAG BEYOND THE BINARY, a panel discussion, chaired by Andro and Eve’s artistic director, Finn Warman, that aims to shine a light on the UK’s exciting drag scene, exploring how drag has helped expand many people’s understanding of gender. This will take place on Monday 10 May at 5.30 – 7pm.
The panel of UK drag artists including Wesley Dykes, Venus Dimilo and Sigi Moonlight (pictured above) will be reflecting on the ways drag has helped them explore their own sense of identity. With the rise and rise of drag queens in UK culture, this discussion and Q&A will also discuss this visibility, and provide space to reflect on drag beyond the binary and its importance for LGBTQ+ communities.
The second event, on 17 May at 7.30pm, is a Gender Exploration workshop. This workshop will provide a space for those questioning or wanting to explore their own gender. Andro and Eve’s Artistic Director Finn Warman will be joined by drag artist Christian Adore, to facilitate this creative and playful session.
Using conversations and creative exercises, this workshop will help participants reflect upon and be inspired by different ways to express gender in their own lives, rather than on stage. We’ll be getting participants to think beyond the binary and enjoy some gender fluidity! It is intended as a space for self reflection and connection for people of marginalised and diverse genders.*
We’re really pleased to be part of this renowned Sheffield festival that explores politics, economics and society. When you identify as LGBTQIA+, the personal is political, so its great to be platforming and making space for a diverse range of LGBTQ+ identities. Check out the full programme, happening throughout May, on their website here.
Further info and ticket links can be found on our events page. We hope to see you at one or both events!
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
Need Support? Links below.Remember you are not alone.
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!