With a theme of ‘Myths & Mythology’, GFEST 2014 promises to be a dynamic experience for ALL arts lovers

Organisers are keen to work with LGBTQI networks to attract corporate investment this year.

An eclectic cross-arts event for London’s autumn cultural calendar, GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014 will showcase new visual and performance art works and films, in November 2014.
GFEST2014cover1GFEST 2014 theme is ‘Myths and Mythology’ and the programme will incorporate contemporary as well as classical interpretations by the artists.
The festival will take place in venues across London during 10 – 22 November and there will an exciting array of events, London/ UK premiere of films and showcasing the work from established as well as up and coming talent – offering something for everyone to engage in.
Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of GFEST, said, “I am hugely optimistic about this year’s showcase where, as each year, we will be presenting excellent work from a number of artists and filmmakers. For the first time we will be working with few artists to present new work specially commissioned for GFEST 2014.” Niranjan hopes to further build upon the festival’s international reputation as ‘a major queer arts event in London’, a city that is now seen by many as cultural capital of the world.
Since 2007 GFEST has been widely recognised as a key London platform for LGBTQI arts. It has been presenting arts works that highlight the rich, cultural and artistic heritage that exists within the community. GFEST events have been proven to be a key mechanism for encouraging a dialogue between straight people and LGBTQI communities. The festival aims to challenge homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic attitudes and prejudices through the use of arts.
North London based  arts charity Wise Thoughts, organizer of the festival, is keen to work with various community, media partners and sponsors to present the festival that is known as London’s LGBTQI cross-art event for all.
The festival organisers are in discussions with a few corporate sponsors and some key London venues and arts organisations. Niranjan said the developments are encouraging, and he is confident to present ‘a much larger scale event’ this year provided all potential sponsors and corporate LGBT networks help support emerging artists and the excellence in the arts.

For more information/ interview or image requests please contact: info@wisethoughts.org / 02088899555

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GFEST Organisers Announce More Events at Wise Thoughts Creative Cultural Hub – CCH

Wise Thoughts, organiser charity of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival and  the only LGBT organisation in Haringey (North  London) have added more events to the Creative Cultural Hub – an initiative designed to reduce isolation, motivate people to be creative and promote LGBT issues within Haringey.

WT-CCHlogoThe events are either free or very low cost – so there’s every reason to come along and try something new!

Events include

The Creative Cultural Hub is supported by The Big Lottery and Lloyds TSB Foundation.

More information on the Creative Culture Hub can be found:

Web: http://wisethoughts.org/events

Twitter: @WiseThoughtsCCH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WiseThoughtsArt

Wise Thoughts designs and delivers unique arts initiatives and services that help to profile, and / or address social justice issues and needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. It has delivered arts initiatives since 1999 and operates on a national basis as well as focusing on the Haringey community where it is based. It also runs the annual GFEST.

For more information, contact: 020 888 99 555 / info (at) wisethoughts . org

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London Gay Art Festival GFEST Organisers Niranjan Kamatkar And Subodh Rathod Got Married

First Asian Same-Sex Couple got married in Haringey, London, United Kingdom on 29th March 2014.


Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar after wedding at Haringey Civic Centre – Image Credit : Vanita Bhavnani

The first same-sex marriages took place on 29 March in England and Wales. A North London based same-sex couple, Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar were the first couple to marry at 9.30 am on the same day at the Civic Centre in Wood Green.
Both Niranjan and Subodh are of Indian origin and senior family members and friends attended the wedding ceremony.
International development minister and MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Lynne Featherstone, who successfully presented the same-sex marriage bill in the parliament attended the wedding.


Wedding ‘Selfie’ took by Niranjan Kamatkar on David Lammy’s Phone, with Subodh Rathod, DFID minister Lynne Featherstone MP and Benjamin Cohen, Pinknews.co.uk founder


















Haringey Mayor Cllr. Sheila Peacock along with Tottenham MP Mr David Lammy were present to show their support to the newly wedded couple. A number of Lesbian, Gay and Queer artists, filmmakers and community members also attended the historic event.
Subodh Rathod told BBC Radio 4 World Tonight programme on the eve of the wedding, “I believe we are the first Asian Same-Sex Couple to get married. We haven’t come across any couples where both partners are of Asian origins in the entire world (who are officially married before).”
Niranjan Kamatkar added, “We are delighted and feel privileged to be able to marry. I hope, one day, all same-sex couples around the world will have the right to marry and will be able to express that love is for everyone, irrespective of the sexual orientation.”
Currently no country in Asia officially recognises same-sex marriages.
Subodh and Niranjan met at the first South Asian Gay Conference in India in 1994.
The couple work for arts charity Wise Thoughts, which presents London’s annual LGBT art festival ‘GFEST- Gaywise FESTival’.

For updates and a part of wedding ceremony podcast visit :  http://wisethoughts.org/events/?p=283
Contact :  020 8889 9555 / info @ wisethoughts  . org (remove spaces) for further information and images.

Photo gallery: click on images to see enlarged versions.



Niranjan Kamatkar


Subodh Rathod

Haringey's first Asian same sex marriage ceremony. Picture  Tony Gay  #SnNWeddingRing by Vanita Bhavnani Mayor Sheila Peacock, left, and MPs David Lammy and Lynne Featherstone, at Haringey's first same sex marriage  Picture Tony Gay SnNwedcakecuttingby Vanita Bhavnani SnWedmain3byBaldo SnWedBWmain4byBaldo Subodh, left, and Niranjan sign the register. Picture Tony Gay Haringey's first same sex marriage ceremony. Picture Tony Gay

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Podcast / broadcast video : First Asian same-sex marriage in London, UK

Video : First Asian same-sex marriage in London, UK streamed –  Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar are married on Saturday 29 March 2014, at 9.30 am in London.


Subodh Rathod & Niranjan Kamatkar

The wedding took place at Wood Green Civic Centre, North London. Live podcast was at 9.30 am (United Kingdom time):

Live streaming video by Ustream

#SameSexWedding BBC Radio 4 World Tonight Interview Start at 36.15 min – World’s First Asian Same Sex Couple Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar married in London on 29 March 2014 - Start at 36.15 min – Ends with Shehnai music by Bismilla Khan




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Arts Charity Wise Thoughts presents art and dance classes as part of ‘Creative Cultural Hub’ at Wood Green Library


The second round of exciting arts and creative classes will be run by arts charity Wise Thoughts as a part of its Creative Cultural Hub – CCH initiative in Wood Green Central Library in Haringey. The workshops and classes are led by experienced and enthusiastic workshop facilitators.

Accomplished performer Subodh Rathod  will run ‘introduction to South Asian dance form of Kathak, entitled ‘Ang’ –  using rhythm as a base to choreograph a gamut of movements and narratives.  These classes will take place from Monday 20 January 2014 to Thursday 6 February 2014.

Professional artist Jason C Woodson will present  ‘Identity’ – visual art workshops using the ‘Exquisite corpse’ (digital collage) as a guiding concept. Participants will create their own personal exquisite corpse using elements that they choose to represent themselves into a cohesive piece.  The classes will run from Friday 24 January 2014 to Sunday 16 February 2014.

Established artist  Matthew W Stradling will run workshops entitled ‘Room to Grow’ in which he will explore ideas of identity and gender through some playful and exciting creative exercises.  He will facilitate the sessions from Tuesday 21 January to Wednesday 5 February.

The above artists will run artists lab sessions specifically targeted at local artists in order to form a creative network and develop showcase activities in North London.

Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of Wise Thoughts said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for diverse members of the public in North London, artists and Haringey residents to gain skills and be part of sharing or showcase in February 2014, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) History Month.”

The workshops are suitable for people aged 12 and above.

For further information, including how to book, visit: http://wisethoughts.org/events/?p=223

Wise Thoughts recently organised and delivered London LGBTQI cross-art festival, GFEST 2013 in November.

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London LGBT Cross-art GFEST 2013 showcase video released

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2013 events took place at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, North London, from 7 to 9 November 2013.

GFEST 2013 Showcase Video
GFEST — Gaywise FESTival® is London’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) cross — art festival for all.
Film By: Stoo Iresen

GFEST organiser arts charity Wise Thoughts has announced – Leading up to LGBT History Month of February – Creative and Cultural Hub (CCH) Workshops/ classes

More info on: http://gaywisefestival.org.uk/and http://wisethoughts.org


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Wadham College Oxford Hosts London Gay Art Festival GFEST Exhibition

Wadham College, Oxford ‘Queer Week’ activities feature an exhibition of  ‘Same Sex Kiss’ by Niranjan Kamatkar. The image collages and video captured from a live installation in Trafalgar Square in Trafalgar Square and were first exhibited as part of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in 2010.



GFEST is recognised as ‘London’s Gay and LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) cross-art festival for all’. The Exhibition was first showcased at Westminster Reference Library Gallery , Leicester Square in November 2010 and subsequently shown at St. Ann’s Library  in North London as part of LGBT History month in 2011.

SameSexKissatWadham3 15 minutes of ‘Same Sex Kiss’ is now exhibited at Old Refectory, Wadham College, Oxford from 18 November to 23 November, 5 to 7 pm.

SameSexKissatWadham2Niranjan Kamatkar mentioned, “LGBTQI rights have been offered a boost through the hosting of the exhibition and other events in the UK by eminent college like Wadham. I hope it further asserts the unique ability of the arts to be at the forefront in shaping and presenting a cultural shift.”

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