Stop the scandal

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.

Black painted text says 'Hands off our prints' with a stylised fingerprint placed behind some prison bars to the left

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:

  1. The dismantling of the Hostile Environment: the UK must be a safe place for all people to seek and live a decent life.
  2. The severance of all links between the Police and Immigration, including a firewall between the police and all Home Office databases.
  3. 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].

Sources:

  1. https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn03878/

2.https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmpubacc/1518/151806.htm#_idTextAnchor025

Launching centre, our new zine!

A white person's hand holds Centre zine. It has a bright yellow cover with bold black letters overlaid with a purple triangle. The text says 'Centre Zine'.

We’re thrilled to officially launch our very first zine! CENTRE is a collaboration with artist Okocha Obasi, founder of Racezine Collective.

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.

4 copies of Centre zine sit on top of a pink surface. The zine has a bright yellow cover with the words Centre Zine in bold capitalised typeface covering the whole page. A big, purple triangle sits on top of the text.
Centre, a new zine, designed and curated by Okocha Obasi and produced by Andro & Eve.

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.

A look inside Centre Zine. With bold black and white typeface. The title says 'you could be happy.
A sneak peek at one of the pieces to be found in CENTRE.

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.

#CentreZine

This zine has been made possible through Arts Council England’s emergency funding in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Introducing Mama Ghetto and DJ Xzan

Next month we launch our new zine CENTRE, with a special online event, REYT QUEER NIGHT IN, to bring our community together. And of course queer culture will be served up front and centre!

A Black dancer strikes a classic old school Vogue pose on a runway. His hands are around his face and he wears a light suit jacket, jeans and T Shirt. He is lit dramatically by pink and purple lighting.
Darren Pritchard

Part of our offer is a Vogue dance workshop with Mama Ghetto aka Darren Pritchard. Darren is a performer, choreographer, producer and director. He is also a celebrated Vogue performer and Mother of the House of Ghetto Manchester. We’re thrilled he can join us to teach some Vogue moves and flair via Zoom!

Darren says ‘Vogue is important to me, because it embraces my love of dance, my love of QTIPOC culture and allows me to be me and who ever else I want to be. Through the ballroom culture as a Mother I have seen people grow and develop and do things they thought they could never do’.

Manchester’s House of Ghetto have made their name in the Manchester Vogue ball scene with tight choreography performed solely by Black female dancers. House of Ghetto also feature in documentary ‘Deep in Vogue‘, which examines the North West’s Vogue ball scene, and which premiered at BFI Flare in 2019. Darren has produced Vogue Balls throughout the UK including Manchester’s first Black Pride Vogue Ball as part of 2019’s Manchester Pride. Read more about the House of Ghetto and Darren here.

Christian Adore looks sultry, directly at the camera. Christian is 5”5’, dashing young man with a glint in his eye stands before you - Imagine, if you will, that Johnny Depp and Oscar Wilde had a glittery love child, and raised him in the wings of London’s West End. That’s this guy. Thick eyebrows, olive skin, and a finely groomed pencil moustache, with a dark stubbly beard along a sharp jawline. Oh, and a thick mane of wavy black hair which reaches his buttocks
Christian Adore will be leading a PARTY EYES makeup workshop! Photo. Ndrika Anyika.

Our REYT QUEER NIGHT IN is about having fun with your community, so before getting your vogue on with Mama Ghetto, we’re encouraging you to join drag star Christian Adore with his ‘Party Eye’s’ makeup workshop, for all genders. Because remember, makeup has *no* gender! Its bound to be an irreverent and joyful way to get ready for your queer party at home!

A Black non binary person DJ's on some decks. They are lit by purplelighting and wearing a green, geometric patterned shirt and glasses.
DJ Xzan will be performing a live DJ set!

Finally, we’re super excited that DJ Xzan, will be performing a live DJ set 9 – 11pm bringing the party direct to your front room. They’ll be playing a high energy set with plenty queer pop party anthems to help you share in the queer joy. DJ Xzan aka Xandice Armah is an open format DJ from London  and co founder of Gal Pals, the LGBTQ+ dance party centring womxn and excellent pop music. Xzan has supported the likes of Big Freedia, JD Samson, Anna Clavi, MNEK and Mabel, as well as playing at Glastonbury on the Sisterhood Stage.

All those who pre order a copy of CENTRE will get sent a link to the DJ set for free, but if you want to join us from 7pm, you’ll need to get your ticket via Tickets For Good. Sliding scale prices to suit all budgets are available! We hope you can join us on the 10th October, serving your best party looks, and bask in the queer joy!

CENTRE will be available on our online shop for pre sale on the 1st October and posted out around REYT QUEER NIGHT IN on 10th October. The zine is a collaboration with artist Okocha Obasi and created using Arts Council England’s COVID-19 Emergency Funding.

On Live Events

Sister Mary Berry, of drag act, Shesus and the Sisters, wears a hard hat and high vis vest and is squirting an audience member with mist from a bottle looking cheeky.

We are sorry to say we will not be returning to host live, in – person events until Spring 2021 at the earliest. We have taken this decision in light of the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the need to plan ahead as best we can.

As a queer – led social enterprise, which means we put people before profit, and care of the most vulnerable and marginalised at our heart, we cannot see a scenario in which we can bring properly safe and inclusive events to our community until next year. We know many of you, like us, are struggling with anxiety about returning to any sort of normal, and we recognise that we need to adapt.

We have spoken at length with our partner venues about the measures in place to maintain social distancing, and keep audiences and workers safe. Sadly, the capacities allowed in venues would in no way enable us to cover the costs of producing the events we have become known for. We also have the health and wellbeing of our artists, staff team and volunteers to consider. A Reyt Queer Do and The Kingdom Come are meant to be joyous and cosy events. We would rather wait and bring these events back when it feels much safer to do so. Right now, we couldn’t in good faith, host live events indoors when so many people are still shielding, or taking extra precautions to protect those around them.

A crowd, underneath lots of umbrellas hanging from the ceiling at Theatre Deli Sheffield, some seated and a lot standing click their fingers at the live drag artist on stage.
The crowd at A Reyt Queer Do 3, no social distancing needed back in 2019.

Under lockdown we are proud to have continued to support queer artists, delivering a range of creative activity and developing talent in the North of England. It’s been been wonderful to see new and familiar faces at our online workshops. We will be applying for more funding to continue to adapt our offer during these challenging times.

We know this has been a tough time for so many. We plan both to continue to offer online and remote activity, and take time to develop the organisation. We may start hosting in person workshops in Spring 2021, but we also realise there are many unknowns.

We’ve got plenty plans in the pipeline and will share those with you as soon as we can. If you’d like to support our work you can do so by donating via our website. Your support ensures we can continue to support LGBTQ+ artists in these difficult times.

Our new zine, CENTRE, will be launching in October, so make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter  to be the first to get your hands on a copy and hear about a special online event to mark the occasion.

We can’t wait to return with a bang when it is safe to do so. Till then, we hope you can join us online soon.

With love and solidarity

Andro and Eve x

Lets meet LoUis CYfer!

With just over a month until our our Cabaret College, we caught up with award winning drag king and actor Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis CYfer who we’re collaborating with for this set of online workshops..

LoUis CYfer was the first Drag King to win the crown at Drag Idol UK and has gone on to become a well known performer in the UK cabaret scene. A regular collaborator with theatre company Milk Presents, they have performed in theatre shows across the UK, balancing their acting and writing alongside appearances as LoUis CYfer. Having led some drag king workshops for us back in November 2019 we’re thrilled they are back to work with us on the Cabaret College. 

An androgynous person dressed in plastic gold armour poses with a hobby horse while a glitter canon goes off behind them
Lucy Jane Parkinson in JOAN. Milk Presents.

Q. Can you tell us about your past work?

As well some stints working in a Chinese takeaway and Morrisons, I have worked in in some of the best cabaret bars in the UK. I’ve travelled all over the world from Texas to Australia, performing both cabaret and theatre. I’ve run workshops which raise awareness around gender, masculinity and drag, alongside some of my favourite people in the whole world (Milk Presents). Together we cleaned up at the Edinburgh fringe a few years ago winning a Fringe First, a Stage Award and Spirit of the Fringe for our hit cabaret theatre show: JOAN. I’ve done lots of work with Milk Presents with shows such as BULLISH and video poetry projects like MY ENGLAND. Before lockdown I had just finished a restoration comedy at the Young Vic Theatre and a drama for the BBC.

Q. What is the character of LoUis CYfer like?

LoUis is like nobody I’ve ever met, he’s charming yet cheeky, he’s strong and masculine but delicate like a soggy dandelion. He’s a dickhead that you can’t help but have fun with.

Q. What got you into drag / cabaret and what do you like best about it?

I was an artist studying my masters and at the same time was having a complete identity crisis; LoUis was my way of processing my confusion. The best thing about cabaret is that the show isn’t someone else’s script, it’s all your own, and having a stage for your voice, (albeit to pissheads), feels like a great opportunity to create discourse in an entertaining manner.

Q. Is there anything about drag and cabaret you’d like to see change? 

Drag and cabaret is always changing and is constantly in flux, if you want me to say I’d like to see more kings I’m not going to do that … What I would like is to be able to see more arts funding for this genre as lots of cabaret artists are living hand to mouth. It would be good if we could apply for funds to make our travelling performances more like conventional touring theatre in terms of having a team and budgets for lighting and sound. Being on your own and doing everything can be a real stress and sometimes you forget to enjoy it.

Q. What do you hope to achieve through the Cabaret College? 

I want to improve the quality of the work on the scene. I’m sick of seeing people have to enter all these competitions to get recognition. It’s not a good start and doesn’t facilitate self – sufficiency and critical reflection for the artist. It is crucial to equip creative people with the tools to make good quality work.

Q. As someone working in the performing arts how have you adapted under COVID? What are you excited about working on in future? 

I’ve gone digital baby!!! This includes working with my own avatar as a way to explore character and technology. I’ve started my own podcast called FANNY KLUB and have been working with my partner in crime Rebecca Banatvala on our queer theatre company Korupt Kabuki. We have been writing monologues for actors to perform to camera, writing our own comedy show BOXTICKERS and thanks to Daisy May Cooper we have been writing our first treatment for a TV show about how we met. It’s been all go here at HQ.. Before lockdown I was due to start 6 months at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in Twelfth Night so once things open up again I’m hopeful they will begin rehearsals and I’ll get my big break back!

Lucy leans over a table to help share drag king makeup skills to two participants who have painted on some thick eyebrows
LoUis facilitating a drag king workshop for Andro and Eve. Nov 2019

Can you tell us about someone that inspires you? 

Without trying to sound like a dickhead, no particular person inspires me. I find moments and memories inspiring but to be inspired I feel like you have to see something in someone else that you aspire to be or have.. I don’t feel like I’ve had the opportunity to see myself in anyone yet. Having said that I wouldn’t mind waking up one morning to find I am Jodie Comer, Victoria Wood, Robin Williams, Cathy Burke or Daisy May Cooper.

To find out more and apply for a place on the Cabaret College course head here and complete the short application form. Deadline 30 July. You can find out more about LoUis CYfer by following him on Instagram. 

Drag King Workshops Online

Next week we’re producing our first online version of our drag king workshops, and collaborating with Christian Adore to do so.

This 3 week course is designed to give participants tools needed to make an original drag character, and have some fun exploring what can be done with them! This short video gives you a good idea of what the workshops will involve and a sense of what Christian Adore is all about!

 

Workshops take place at 7.30pm GMT on the 8th, 15th and 22nd July. We might not be physically gathering in Sheffield, but there’ll be plenty Yorkshire charm!

Booking for each workshop closes at 10am the day before in order that participants have time to prepare the materials they need and get the Zoom link from us.

Sliding scale tickets available and free bursaries for those with restrictive incomes. Contact us if you’d like a free place. Or book now to get in on all the fun!

 

Updated Sliding Scale Tickets

If you’ve booked for one of our events before, you’ll know we offer tickets on a sliding scale to ensure our events stay as accessible as possible. This is made possible through generous donations from the public when buying tickets, and support we receive from grant funding.

In recognition of the fact that many people’s income levels are changeable at the moment and the fact our events for the next 6 months will be online, we’ve adapted our prices for our upcoming events.

A range of ticket options are available for Andro and Eve events. Inlcuding, Free, Unwaged, Low Income, General Entry and Solidarity tickets.

We will have three ticket bands on sale for our upcoming workshops. General, Low Income, and Solidarity. Buying a Solidarity ticket helps contribute to our Pay it Forward ticket fund, ensuring we can continue to provide cheaper and free tickets to those who need them in future. We’re very grateful to those who buy these tickets. You can also add a contribution to this fund when buying tickets.

In recognition of the fact that many who will identify with the ‘Unwaged‘ descriptors *may* be able to afford the ‘Low Income‘ ticket, and to keep things simple, we have just one ‘Low Income‘ option. However, if this price prevents you from being able to attend our workshops, we are offering free bursaries to those in restrictive financial circumstances. Visit the ticket website to find out more.

We are very excited to be back to offering creative opportunities to access queer culture and we look forward to welcoming you to an online event soon!

Staying Queer during COVID-19

We’re happy to announce that we have received Emergency Funding* from Arts Council England to help keep us going and provide a programme of online and remote activity over the next 6 months.

Since cancelling our last event in March owing to COVID-19, we’ve been working hard to adapt to the new climate. We’ve also been trying not to panic at the possibility that the sort of live events we create *may* not be safe to organise until 2021. Our future looked, at best, risky. For that reason we’ve reached out to queer artists in order to generate a programme of activity that will support and uplift our community through these challenging times.

This funding enables us to continue our talent development strand for emerging artists. This will compromise both online workshops for complete beginners led by drag king and musical improv expert, Christian Adore, and a more in depth ‘Cabaret College’ for acts wanting to push their skills and learn how to devise their own material. The latter will be led by actor, writer and drag star Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka Louis CyFer.

A suited drag king with long hair and moustache looks directly into the camera
Christian Adore will lead ‘Drag king workshops’ for beginners

Alongside the talent development, we realise there is a need to connect with and hear the voices of the wider LGBTQ+ community and queer artists. To do this we will be creating a special zine both as a documentation of this strange time and a way to connect that does not rely on digital technology. This project will be led on by Leeds -based artist Okocha Obasi in collaboration with emerging producer Emma Bentley – Fox.

The zine will feature the voices of queer writers and artists alongside work submitted by members of the community who want to share their thoughts / dreams / ideas. We’ll print and distribute and launch with a special online launch party featuring queer performers and DJ set for indoor dancing. Along with this programme the funding will help us redevelop our website, and support staff time to ready the organisation for next steps.

We’re very thankful that we can continue to provide unique opportunities to ‘come together’ through queer culture and look forward to connecting with you all again. We’re also aware, however, that there are many great people and organisations that did not get this funding. It is one of the reasons why we will continue to make our work as accessible as possible and centre those otherwise marginalised.

In the meantime, we have set up a donation form on our website. All donations directly support our work in supporting queer artists and our community. We don’t know when we’ll be able to physically be in the same space again, (though currently we have no plans for physical events until beyond October). Your support ensures that when we can return to physical events, we’ll be back better than ever before.

Want to be the first to find out more about the above projects and opportunities? Sign up to our newsletter now!

Team Andro & Eve x

** Funding received – £10,900.

Vegan Elderflower and Berry Cake

To continue our Birthday celebrations, vegan blogger and baker, Kat of Kelham Island Kitchen has created this special celebration cake recipe exclusively for us.

Its just the sort of treat you’d expect to find at one of our events. For now, while we’re all staying home to keep ourselves and our community safe, we thought we’d share this gorgeous recipe with you in the hope you might want to get baking and create something truly scrumptious!

A vegan cake with pink icing sits sliced and ready to eat.

Kat says,.. ‘Enjoy a slice of this wonderfully summery Vegan Elderflower and Berry Cake. Making the most of seasonal ingredients,this cake is perfect for enjoying outside with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine). The elderflower gives a subtle floral flavour while the berries add freshness and cut through the sweetness of the cake’

If you do bake your own, tag us in any pics, we’d love to see! Enjoy! (If this recipe is a bit ambititous for you, check out Kat’s Vegan Banana Bread recipe instead; its pretty simple and also totally delicious!)

Ingredients 
  • 400g Self raising flour
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 400ml Plant Milk
  • 160ml Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 tbsp Elderflower Cordial, plus extra for brushing the cake
  • 100g Vegan Butter softened
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 150g berries, I used frozen raspberries
Method 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160’C (fan)
  2. Grease and line two cake tins
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl
  4. Add the milk, oil, vanilla and elderflower cordial to the dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter
  5. Fold in half the berries then split the batter evenly between the two tins
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins before moving to a cooling rack
  8. Brush the top of the cakes with some elderflower syrup
  9. To make the icing. Put the rest of the berries in a small saucepan with a splash of water
  10. Cook on a low heat until the berries are really soft and you have a compote consistency
  11. Strain the berries through a sieve. Keeping the liquid to add to the buttercream
  12. For the buttercream beat together the butter and icing sugar until you have a smooth, fluffy icing
  13. Once the berry sauce has cooled, add to the buttercream
  14. To assemble the cake put half the icing in the middle of the sponges, then the rest on top.
  15. Smooth the buttercream on top of the cake then use a pallet knife to create a simple flower pattern on top of the cake.

 

Welcome to our new Board Members

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of two new board members. Lola White and Ellie Wyer join Andro and Eve founder and CEO, Katherine Warman, as Directors of the board and have been in post as Directors for nearly 3 months.

Lola White

They bring to the organisation a robust set of skills and knowledge in HR, finance, partnerships and organisational development in both the private and public sectors.

Ellie Wyer

Katherine Warman CEO of Andro and Eve says ‘I’m delighted that Ellie and Lola are now part of Andro & Eve as they bring a wealth of expertise that will help develop the organisation. At such a challenging time for the culture sector, we are working hard to respond to the situation we find ourselves in, and are planning ways to adapt our delivery model’.

Andro and Eve celebrates 4 years producing events to celebrate queer culture this week, so we’re very pleased to be able to share this news with you. To find out more about our board and team, head here. 

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