North London based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issue based arts charity Wise Thoughts, organisers of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in London, took part in London Pride Parade on Saturday the 25th June 2016.
Posted by Niranjan Kamatkar
A Landmark exhibition of paintings, watercolours and some 3 dimensional work by Indian gay artist Bhupen Khakhar (1934-2003) was launched at Tate modern last night.
A number of figurative works that include portrayals of gay relationships are showcased. It is a rare opportunity for Londoners to see a large body of his work under one roof .
Bhupen Khakhar was known globally to the art world and a number of high profile people attended the opening night on the 31st May.
The show is open to public from 1 June – 6 November 2016.
See ‘Towards Marg’, an exhibition exploring South Asian LGBT identities in political and cultural scenes.
‘Towards Marg’ features the photographic and image work of four artists: Charan Singh, Raisa Kabir, Sushil Mangaonkar and Balbir Krishan. ‘Marg’ is Sanskrit for pathway, and the exhibition looks at the various journeys South Asian LGBT people take through life.
The dates for the mini-series exhibition are from Wednesday the 18th May to Monday 30th May 2016. It will be open for Alchemy 2016 visitors from 10am – 11pm on Level 2 Foyer (Blue Side) at Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre.
Wise Thoughts artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar, who presents the exhibition ‘Towards Marg’ said, “I am excited to highlight the work as part of Alchemy 2016 at the Southbank Centre, which also marks IDAHOT (International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia) on 17th May. It is about time that we encourage greater visibility and platform the artistic excellence within South Asian LGBT identities.”
Alchemy, Southbank Centre’s annual festival celebrating the cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. Now in its seventh year, Alchemy is also the largest South Asian festival outside of the subcontinent.
Wise Thoughts is a London-based arts charity dedicated to creating and showcasing LGBTQI arts and culture. Established in 1999, they work on projects involving LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) and BAME (Black, Asian Minority Ethnic) artists, filmmakers and practitioners. They also organise multidisciplinary art events such as GFEST- Gaywise FESTival, London’s annual LGBT cross-art festival, held in November.
Exciting March: Starting with 2 New Classes
Evening Yoga on Mondays & Ballroom, Latin Dance on Tuesdays
Classes 7-8pm / £5 (£3 conc) / No experience necessary
NEWS: A BIG line-up was presented by Wise Thoughts for LGBT History Month 2016 National festival in London. The events were co-organised and led by our director Niranjan Kamatkar: Events took place on the 5th, 6th & 7th Feb 2016 at Islington Town Hall, V&A and Museum of London – a great success!
We had very successful workshops in schools, ran by ‘wiseOUT!’
tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
Movers & Shakers – Yoga+Indian Folk Dance Fitness:
Fridays until 25 March 11am to 1.30pm
Regular activities: all at Wise Thoughts CCH
2nd Floor Wood Green Library N22 6XD
FREE drop-in activities & advice:
#gayWISE dropin (LGBT)
1st & 3rd Thursdays monthly 5-7pm
Next: 3 March / 17 March (to be continued)
#womenWISE dropin (LBT women+guests)
2nd Thursday monthly 5-7pm
Next: 10 March / 14 April (to be continued)
#FREE LGBT Legal Advice/ Housing Advice
3rd Thursday monthly 4.30-5.30pm
Next: 21 April (to be continued)
#PositiveRainbow (HIV+ gay,bi,MSM support)
4th Thursday monthly 5-7pm (to be continued)
Next: 24 March / 28 April
For more information on all classes and activities, go to the Wise Thoughts website What’s On page.
See you soon!
GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2015
(COMPLACENT PRESENT)… FRAGILE FUTURE?
2015 HIGHLIGHTS — SOLD OUT EVENTS — QUESTIONS ABOUT GAY RIGHTS RAISED WITH BRITISH PM DAVID CAMERON — SOLIDARITY WITH PARIS AND DEFIANCE AGAINST ISIS
The 8th GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® came to a close this weekend after a successful two week run. The festival enjoyed a good turnout for its week-long visual art exhibition ASIAN FUTURE, challenging perceptions of Asian LGBTQI identities at London’s Menier Gallery. This was matched by a good turnout for GFEST’s TONAL FUTURE evening dedicated to gay composers past and present, with their compositions performed in St Pancras Parish Church by LGBT musicians. The corresponding panel discussions were also successful and well attended.
GFEST’s CINEMA FUTURA film screenings at ArtHouse Crouch End was sold out. GFEST’s special LGBT tour of Tate Modern, led by artist Michael Petry, was another successful, sold out event.
Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of GFEST commented: “We got a fabulous response from both the artists and audiences, saying that they thoroughly enjoyed participating in the events. It was all due to high quality artistic contributions, not only by the artists but also by the guest curators and programme advisors.”
Festival organisers and artists took the opportunity of GFEST to make several important statements. On the eve of Diwali, India’s festival of light, an appeal was made to British Prime Minister David Cameron. In a letter to the PM, GFEST’s Subodh Rathod urged David Cameron to discuss LGBT rights in India with the Indian PM, whose visit to Britain coincided with Diwali and with GFEST’s ASIAN FUTURE visual art exhibition. With GFEST’s TONAL FUTURE music concert taking place exactly one week from the horrific events of Paris, and with extremists in the Middle East killing LGBT people and destroying art, GFEST took a moment during the concert to show solidarity with the people of Paris and with LGBT people in Syria and beyond.
With this year’s festival, GFEST challenged its audiences to question and not blindly accept the status quo, with the theme: (Complacent Present)… Fragile Future? It turned out to be an especially pertinent, timely theme that highlighted a promising future for the LGBTQI artistic community.
GFEST will return next year – 2016 dates to be announced.
GFEST 2015 LGBT art tour at Tate Modern
GFEST- Gaywise FESTival 2015 music concert
GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2015 DEBATE: ASIAN LGBTQI
When we planned for GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2015 music concert, it was vital to ensure that we have selected a range of artists and musical works that reflect the theme for this year’s festival – (Complacent Present..)..Fragile Future? There is an element of complacency amongst both the audiences and the artists of classical music, to acknowledge the sexuality of some of the most eminent composers from past. Composers such as Tchaikovsky, Schubert or Britten whose works that have enriched and shaped the musical landscape. In selecting the work we also wanted to remember and recognise the sufferings of those such as Vladimir Horowitz or Francis Poulenc who were either forced to deny their sexuality or face possible prosecution. And as they say – ‘without a past there is no future’.
In these financially challenging times for smaller voluntary art organisations like Wise Thoughts, it is very difficult to resource the creation of new work that may not be commercially viable, hence the only way forward, for us, seems to be to try and support artists ourselves. We hope the concert will inspire both composers, musicians and institutions, to create new works and engage with Wise Thoughts (the arts charity that organises GFEST) to showcase the works via GFEST or our other platforms.
All the money raised from the sale of music concert tickets will go towards setting up a fund to commission new works. We have kept the ticket prices very low – only £7 or £5 to help ensure we are able to encourage greater access particularly by new audiences for classical music. Audiences are also able to make an online donation when booking the tickets, and these too will help contribute to the fund.
We aim to commission a range of music from diverse genres. Commissioning artists to create works that will be showcased at the next GFEST also enables them to develop work without fear of not having their voice heard or their creations not shared to a broader audience.
So we appeal everyone to purchase tickets and come and support the wonderful musicians who are performing for Tonal Future : Gulliver Ralston, Liam Bryne, The Korros Ensemble, Miles Lallemant, and Duncan Day. Please visit; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gfest-2015-classical-music-performances-tickets-18574903035 We hope people will be generous and make additional donations either via the booking link or via our own website or on the day. It would be a great to help spread the word about the concert via social media using the #TonalFuture and @GFEST. We need all the support we can get to help promote not just the concert but more importantly the fact that we are trying support the commissioning of new work.
LA based director Michael J Saul is in London to present his film at GFEST 2015
Michael J Saul, the acclaimed director of gay feature drama ‘The Surface’ is now in London to present his UK premier at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2015.
The film screening will take place at ArtHouse Crouch End in London on Tuesday the 17th November at 8 pm.
Melbourne born Harry Hains, an emerging talent, stars in the film portraying a young man struggling to create his own sense of family.
GFEST 2015 artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar said. ” We are delighted that Michael will be here to present his coming-of-age film in London. This is a film that can inspire a number of LGBT young filmmakers and potential filmmakers.”
Director of ‘The Surface’ Michael J Saul added, “I am very excited for our UK premiere and very happy that I get to attend. I look forward to the audience reaction to the film.”
The second night of GFEST 2015 film screenings showcases diverse short films on Wednesday the 18th November (8 pm) at ArtHouse Crouch End. Book to watch the short films programme.