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Who sings the queer island body?

Exhibition: March 3 to 25, 2023
Vernissage and Artist-guided gallery tour: March 2 at 6 pm
Art Hive with Kama La Mackerel (in-person): March 4, 10:30 am to 1 pm

Island spaces have a long and persisting history of being represented as terra nullius— wild, empty spaces, in a pristine state of nature, to be exploited for transactional, colonial enterprises. In this new interdisciplinary exhibition, Kama La Mackerel reclaims the sovereignty of islands as a decolonial and spiritual force in relationship to their queer/trans body. Bringing together ancestral, geological and ecological memories through sound, poetry, photography, moving image and textile installations, Who sings the queer island body? offers a new cartography for the coming-into-being of island sovereignty.

Kama La Mackerel (they//them) is a Mauritian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, educator, cultural mediator, writer and literary translator who lives and loves in tio’tia:ke (Montréal), Canada. Their work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decoloniality and self- and collective-empowerment. Kama’s artistic practice spans across textile, visual, poetic, digital, and performative work; their work is at once narratological and theoretical, at once personal and political. A firm believer that artistic practices have the power to build resilience, to heal and to act as forms of resistance to the status quo, their work articulates an anti-colonial praxis through cultural production.

Kama moved to tio’tia:ke (Montréal) in 2012, where they have since developed a multi-disciplinary and community-based arts practice. The creator and host of GENDER B(L)ENDER: queer open stage (2013-18), Kama generated a cornerstone of the Montreal queer performance scene where, over the span of 5 years, they presented 650+ performances from 300+ artists and collectives from Montreal and beyond. They also curated and hosted The Self-Love Cabaret: l’amour se conjugue à la première personne (2012-16), résistance//résidence (2012), Home Invasion: Queers Shaking the foundations of all White Houses (2015), Contemporary Poetics of Trans Women of Colour (2016-18), SPEAK B(L)ACK: a Black History Month Spoken Word Show (2016-19), Voix et Résiliences (2019) and Qœur-à-Qœur (2020). In 2016, was named one of 9 artists whose work is making a difference in Canada by CBC/Radio Canada.



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