Women and The Word

On Saturday 27 January we curated and produced a special event in Sheffield focused around the film, The Revival: Women and The Word, directed by Sekiya Dorsett. We originally saw this documentary at SQIFF in 2016 and fell for its warmth, humour, honesty, and unique perspective on an often overlooked part of the LGBTQIA community. The film follows a group of Black lesbian poets on a salon style tour of the US organised by creative force and entrepreneur Yaani Supreme fka Jade Foster.

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Jonquille Rice aka Solsis and Bea Steadwell. Credit: The Revival: Women and the Word

Documentaries like this allow you to imagine a different world, one where black, queer womanhood is centered, celebrated and given space to breathe. We felt it was important to not only show the film, but make sure the Black British community was celebrated, while giving our audience a taste of the talent that exists within the UK, by showcasing poets of colour on this side of the Atlantic.  To do this we worked closely with Manchester’s Rainbow Noir and Sheffield’s Our Mel to programme artists, and make sure Andro and Eve could reach potential new audiences. We cannot praise Rainbow Noir’s organisers enough for their generosity and support of our aims for this event. It was also awesome to work with another grassroots organisation in Sheffield, through Our Mel, and realise we have many of the same ambitions of creating special events where our communities feel free to express themselves.

Annalisa of Our Mel hosting the event

As massive lovers of zines and indie publishing we also curated a stall selling the words of women of colour.

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Classic zine stall

The event sold out a week in advance, and on the night over 70 people from across the UK turned out to our specially chosen, (and secret) Sheffield venue to enjoy the evening. As ever, we were thrilled that so many people had made the journey out on a cold night to attend, and we want to say thank you for those who supported our work in this way.

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Some of our wonderful audience!

Thanks also to all the people who have been contributing to our accessible ticket fund. This was the first event where we were able to offer discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes, and we can say it certainly encouraged some new faces to attend.

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DYLEMA (Do You. Let Every Man Adapt).

The poets, Ella Otomewo, from Manchester and DYLEMA from East London, performed their captivating poems after the film, making quite an impression on our audience and us. It was so rewarding to listen to the comments from those that had gathered together for this event, and realise the hard work had paid off.

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Ella Otomewo performs her poetry

We’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but special thanks should go to Rainbow Noir, Our Mel, LAS Sheffield, QTIPOC Notts, Enjoy Your Homes Press, our fabulous volunteers, and last but no means least, photographer Ndrika Anyika, whose images you see in this post.

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If you missed this event, hopefully we’ll see you at The Kingdom Come #3 on March 10th! Tickets are on sale now. 

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_V3A4831Some of our awesome audience members! _V3A4528_V3A4524_V3A4511_V3A4526_V3A4553_V3A4534

 

 

 

2016: Andro & Eve’s First Year

2016 was a tough one for lots of reasons, and we are grateful for independent media such as Autostraddle, Media Diversified, DIVA, Bitch Media, Black Ballad UK and Girls Like Us Magazine amongst others, for providing alternate viewpoints and a sense of community in these difficult times. However, we can’t help feeling excited and a little bit proud of what we’ve achieved here in Sheffield at a time when it seems that women-focused and queer spaces are needed more than ever.

Since going social media live with Andro & Eve in April this year, we’ve now got a brilliant series of sold out events under our tool belts (#sorrynotsorry). Watching the growth of what started as the seed of an idea at a lesbian night in Berlin back in 2015, has been a very satisfying beginning to what we hope is a long and successful journey.

Our first event in May was a women only screening of Jamie Babbitt’s But I’m a Cheerleader at Café 9. Armed with hand-made pom-pom decorations, free ice cream courtesy of Emily’s Ices and a giant vegan cheerleader-skirt cake (yep), we had a brilliant night. It was nerve racking, but we loved it. Successfully bringing strangers together to enjoy this cult classic in a safe environment was a real win for us.

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The VEGAN Cheerleader Skirt cake with genderqueer Lego pirate friends!

We then took part in Autostraddle’s International Brunch weekend where ten of us met at Depot Bakery and enjoyed the best type of food; Breakfast. We literally put Sheffield on the queer lady map that is Autostraddle.

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Breakast food. As eaten at our Autostraddle Brunch. No way we were not going to post this pic

Our second pop-up cinema screening in October, was Tomboy by Celine Sciamma, which featured a colouring competition, with the winners being totally thrilled with their free tickets to THE KINGDOM COME in November.

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Adam All and Apple Derrieres performing at THE KINGDOM COME #1. Photo by Tash Bright

Our drag king night had been a long time in the making, and was our first larger event, but with a fab lineup, talented hosts (Adam All and Apple Derrieres), plenty cake and so much sparkle, we knew we had something special, and the crowd loved it.

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Lots of the crowd dressed in drag for THE KINGDOM COME #1. Yass! 

We’re so proud of what we, a lesbian, queer couple, have managed to achieve, with zero funding, but a whole load of hard work and enthusiasm. We’re proud of the fact that we’ve paid all our artists, catered specifically to audiences often not the focus of LGBTQ events (women identified and non binary folk) and highlighted queer culture through high quality events. As well as these events, we’ve enjoyed and supported as many other shows, screenings and festivals as we could, and have been totally inspired.

Notable highlights include Kate Bornstein at Queer Contact, SQIFF in Glasgow, The Punk Singer screening by Girl Gang Sheffield, (Which incidentally, Rhiannon recorded a cover for, of Le Tigre’s Les & Ray for Girl Gang’s accompanying CD), Strike a Pose at Sheffield Docfest, Transforming Cinema in Sheffield and Key Change by Open Clasp Theatre, and of course the Formation World Tour. I mean. Seeing BEYONCE was a lifelong dream, and it was everything. Grimes, Christine and the Queens, Lisa Hannigan and Agnes Obel were okay too….jk, they were all sublime. We’re a little bit in love with all of them. Female supergroup maybe?

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Girl Gang Sheffield had RAD illustrations to colour in at their PUNK SINGER screening in April

We have sooo many of plans for 2017, (our first event is a screening of Gender Troubles: The Butches by Lisa Plourde) but making sure to grow in a sustainable way, while continuing to make a space that is diverse in its representation and audience is a key focus. We’re looking forward to more collaboration and always keen to hear from people who might want to work with Andro and Eve.

Special thanks this year to our volunteers who’ve helped make the events happen and the local organisations and individuals who’ve helped promote Andro and Eve. We’d also like to thank publishers, Our Fave Places, Now Then, Exposed, and Vibe Sheffield for helping get the word to a wider audience about what we’re doing. Roll on 2017!

Katherine’s personal goal for 2017 is to bake more vegan cakes, so if anyone has recipes, please share! Rhiannon’s personal goal for 2017 is to eat more cakes in general.

Gender Troubles: The Butches

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We’re really pleased to announce our next event: a one off screening of Gender Troubles: The Butches, a new documentary by Lisa Plourde.

We saw this film at SQIFF in October and wrote about it here for Now Then. Mostly we loved this film for its warmth, humour and honesty. There are plenty stereotypes of butch women out there, and the interviews with butch identified women in this film show us that there’s a lot more to this identity than we’re led to believe. It made us smile plenty too!

Alongside the main feature there’ll be a showing of The Test Shot, a photo documentary project about transmasculine style. We found out about The Test Shot through Transforming Cinema, and loved the style inspiration so much we wanted to share it with our audience.

We’re also very excited to announce that we’ll be screening the short film Switching Teams by local filmmaker and Roller Derby player, Taylor Le Fin. Their film, produced by EDEN film, is a documentation of their journey in finding the gender identity that felt right to them, and the way their community supported this journey.

We design these smaller events with women identified, non – binary and transmasculine people in mind. We do this in order to make space for a group often not specifically catered for in the wider cultural scene. Our larger events are for everyone but with smaller capacities we feel we feel it is important to only invite women, non – binary and trans people to events, to ensure women and marginalised queer identities feel celebrated. This may change in future, but for now, its what we do, and we appreciate the support of the wider community in respecting this ethos.

This event is about celebrating and finding common ground between queer identities, while sharing cake, hot beverages and a cosy space. And of course there’ll be a few typically Andro and Eve activities to keep everyone amused. So we hope to see you there, at Café 9, on January 27th. Tickets are available here!