I am *extremely* proud to have curated “Ecstasies & Elegies” in honor of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. I’m not going to affect false modesty here: This is going to be an awesome show. The line-up is phenomenal, and you will be missing something really special if you don’t come.
Come out and support these fabulous & visionary artists. Tell your friends & family. Bring your love, your sorrow, your rage, your joy.
And happy winter, all—
San Francisco in Exile Presents:
Ecstasies & Elegies: In Honor of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers
Friday, December 18th, 2009
7:30 doors, 8pm show
Center for Sex & Culture, 1519 Mission Street @ 11th, San Francisco
$10-20 sliding scale (nobody turned away)
International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is observed annually on December 17th by sex workers, our advocates, friends, families and allies. Originally conceived as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, it has evolved into an annual international event. The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe, as well as the need to remove the stigma and discrimination from all kinds of sex work.
In “Ecstasies & Elegies,” current and former sex worker performance artists, writers, and visionaries will honor sex worker community — remembering our beloved dead and celebrating the living. Bring your love, your sorrow, your rage, and your joy for what is sure to be an incredible night.
RYKA AOKI DE LA CRUZ
the work of FRANCES VARIAN (as read by Gina de Vries)
Curated by Gina de Vries.
**Email questions, volunteer inquiries, etc, to email@example.com.
**If wheelchair access is needed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the event.
**Please refrain from wearing scented products to ensure that audience members and performers with chemical sensitivities can attend.
ANNIE DANGER is a fierce and fearsome performer. Raised in the desert by a pack of drag queen werewolves who were themselves a litter produced by Leigh Bowery, Marina Abramovic, and Andy Kaufman, Ms. Danger wants nothing more than your allegiance to the tenets of your own thoughtful ethics and a sturdy but flexible sense of humor. She is a transsexual woman who lives and loves in the San Francisco Bay area mostly. You can find out more at: www.anniedanger.webs.com
RYKA AOKI DE LA CRUZ has recently appeared at the 2009 National Queer Arts Festival, 2009 Fresh Meat, 2007 San Francisco Pride Main Stage, 2006 National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, Ladyfest South, Atlanta Pride, UCLA’s OutCRY, Santa Cruz Pride, and Emory University’s Pride Week. Ryka was keynote speaker at UC Santa Barbara’s 2005 Pride Week and was the inaugural performer for San Francisco’s first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride 2005. Ryka is the author of five chapbooks and has been published in numerous literary journals. Her work appears in American Eyes: New Asian American Short Stores for Young Adults, which won an American Library Association Award as one of its “Best Books for Young Adults.” She has also closely worked with the American Association of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions have been adopted by the group as its official “Songs of Peace.” Ryka has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University, is a founder of Cornell University’s Asian American Playhouse and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. Ryka was a charter member of the Transgender Advisory Committee for Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights (APHIR), and was head judo coach at UCLA and Cornell University. She is also the founder of Trans/Giving, LA’s only art/performance series dedicated to trans, genderqueer, and intersex artists, and was recently honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” Ryka is currently a professor of English at Santa Monica College.
JUBA KALAMKA appears extensively in Alex Hinton’s 2005 documentary “Pick Up the Mic”, an active survey of the homohop scene through documentation of artists on tour and in performance at the various PeaceOUT festivals. An essay/interview with Kalamka and former bandmate Tim’m West appears in hip hop writer Jeff Chang’s collection Total Chaos: the Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop (Basic Civitas Books,2007). Kalamka was contacted by artist and sex worker advocate Annie Oakley (whom he’d met at the Olympia, Washington queer arts fest HomoAGoGo) and accepted an invitation to tour with The Sex Workers Art Show, a month long cross-country cabaret style theater event featuring current and former sex worker artist/activists. His second solo recording, “Ooogabooga Under Fascism”, will be released on Sugartruck in late 2009. In December 2006, Kalamka completed the MFA program in Poetics (minoring in Queer and Activist Performance through the schools Experimental Performance Institute) at New College of California in San Francisco. He is still working at his really cool day job like a real musician would and planning solo touring and lecturing.
LOGAN KNIGHT is queer…southern…trash. He came to writing through pornography that didn’t show his body; through crowded, tiny queer open-mics that let him break five minute time limits over and over; and because his family only speaks to each other in the past tense. From a long line of Pentecostal preachers, he thinks this may be how he’s channeled the charismatic impulses of his family. He’s currently working through an MFA program in fiction at San Francisco State University.
NOMY LAMM is a writer, performer and voice teacher. she recently performed in Sins Invalid, an event that highlights work by queers and people of color with disabilities on subjects of sexuality, embodiment, and social justice; and at Flabulous! with her band OBEAST. she is currently a student in the MFA creative writing program at State, where she is working on her first novel, The Best Part Comes After the End. nomy has toured with the Sex Workers Art Show and served on the board of the Young Women’s Empowerment Project, an organization by and for young women and girls in the sex trade and street economies (youarepriceless.org).
FRANCES VARIAN is a writer, performer, and community activist who currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with her partner. In the past decade she has worked in nearly every facet of the sex work industry in between low paying gigs in abortion clinics and no-paying gigs teaching inner city Youth the power of language and embracing their own stories. She is proud to be a working-class queer femme women’s health expert, poet, essayist, a sensual massage parlor manager, phone sex operator, soft core porn voice-over starlet and fetish model. In September of 2004 she premiered a 30 minute feature length poem, choreographed to the opera Carmen written for the women killed by Gary Ridgway - The Green River Killer - for the Bumbershoot Arts Festival in Seattle, Washington. She believes that capitalism killed the Sacred Whore and that we must think critically about the ways privilege affects the safety of all working folks, especially those who are more vulnerably gendered. She also holds fast to the belief that sex is one of the most profoundly sacred and joyful gifts we are given in this life. She is a femmeinist, a working girl’s working girl, and a proud member of many different communities who have had to hold too many damn memorial services and funerals for people who should still be alive. She carries their ghosts with her every day of her life in a pocket she has sewn over her heart. She is currently fighting advanced late stage neurological, cardiac and musculoskelatal Lyme Disease. She is uninsured and unemployed and relies solely on the generous contributions of her community to obtain medical care - for the past year her ability to treat her disease has been negatively impacted by the devastating economic crisis everyone is facing - and as a result her disease has had the upper hand for far too long. Though she considered herself “retired” from the business she is currently planning on re-entering the world of sex work in an attempt to earn enough money to win her life back. She would greatly prefer to write a poem that speaks to some stranger, or sit and talk with a 16 year old girl until she understands the necessity of finding her own voice and loving it enough to use it. She would prefer to make enough money stopping a beautiful woman from bleeding out after an abortion but none of those things are worth a tiny fraction of what she can be payed for providing an executive gentleman with a happy ending. She prays every day for a happy ending for all of us. And she believes every single one of us holds the power to create change and could do so immediately if we simply embraced our own limitless supply of strength, courage and compassion. She is honored to participate in this event. Please feel free to drop by her site and learn a bit about Lyme Disease and leave a note in her guest book - she really loves that: www.helphealfran.org
GINA DE VRIES is a writer, rabble-rouser, writing instructor, performer, cultural worker, porn model, seasonal pro-switch, and queer femme Paisan pervert. Her work has appeared dozens of places, ranging from the academic to the pornographic, and she has performed, taught, and lectured in chapels, leatherbar backrooms, and the halls of the Ivy League. Other shows she’s curated include “Girl Talk: a cis & trans woman dialogue” (with Julia Serano) and “Rebel Girl: a riot grrrl nostalgia show.” Gina teaches a writing workshop for sex workers at San Francisco’s Center for Sex & Culture (where she also serves on the Advisory Board). She’s currently pursuing her MFA in Fiction Writing at San Francisco State University, where she is working on a kinda-fictional-kinda-not novel that is mostly about witchy Southern Italian Catholicism and her family lineage of queers, whores, & witches; and a book of short fiction that is mostly about sex, gender, & desire. She believes in the transformative spiritual powers of writing, sex, and justice, and enjoys political discussion as foreplay. Cruise her online at queershoulder.tumblr.com.
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO IN EXILE (SFinX): Founded in 2001 by queer arts visionaries Kris Kovick and Sara Moore, San Francisco in Exile is a longstanding cornerstone of San Franciscan queer and outsider culture — promoting new and emerging queer artists alongside queer arts Most Valuable Players. Find out more at www.sfinx.org.