Queer Salon brings a diverse array of live performers, DJs, and artists who are specialists in their craft sharing space in the name of community and culture. You are proactively creating a community around something you felt was missing in the Cape Town. What initiated the need to host this party?
People I am in community with wanting to build a space in which we see ourselves reflected, without having to worry about explicit homophobia, racism, or transphobia. Cape Town is not a city that equally caters to queer black and brown people. On the off-chance that it does, finding events that are focused on cultivating joy and community with a strong emphasis on Black, POC, Age-diverse and Queer community building and cultural curation is difficult and still often inaccessible.
Who are the people behind Queer Salon and what role does each person play in making it all come together?
The Queer Salon team consists of Eli Ndoumbé and Dani Kyengo O’Neill. We are partners and run, organize, collectively facilitate, conceptualize and develop the event as a collective project – in community – with a strong focus on sound, words, making, celebrating, and building from an ethos of radical joy, collective community network, for Queer identifying artists, cultural curators, musicians and organizers on the continent with radical ways of imagining themselves in the contemporary interdisciplinary imagination of “curating” and future sustainable imaginings of curating line ups for inclusivity. We prioritize black, POC cultural workers, and families and centre new imaginings of what queerness can look like in a pan-global, African community ideology. Artists working in collaboration – because sustainable and ethical inclusivity (not just inclusivity that is for show) is what we’re building and what we need more of…
You are artists with a strong sense of expressing yourself through multiple mediums eg photography, videography, art, music, you name it. Do you feel that because you are so well practised in all these different mediums that it brings a unique layer to Queer Salon that other parties might not have?
Both Dani and I are practice-based artists and facilitators and we try our best to work across multiple disciplines so that our work separate from QS allows us to bring different skill sets, viewpoints and collaborators to the curation thereof. It’s important to note, QS isn’t just a party thrown by the two of us – but a sonic, visual and collaborative collective that involves a team of folks; a space in which people meet and commune in the social or traditional sense of ‘the salon’ as a meeting space or a point where multiple stories, narratives and lives entangle; a space to experience live performance, conversation, workshop, joy, release; or just to exist without needing to feel legible, clockable or on guard all the time.
What do you think makes people insecure?
Loneliness and capitalism… both? Idk. What makes someone insecure is really personal to that individual so it’s not something I would reduce or try to answer on behalf of anyone.
What is perfect happiness?
Not sure I have an answer for this one… but if I had to it would most likely have something to do with food, friendship, sound and dance.
Lastly, let’s touch base with Covid-19- how has Corona affected the way you are going to do things going forward?
Covid-19 had a significant impact on everyone who is in some way a part of or reliant on the gig economy for work and income – this includes those of us in performance and music.
Our most recent Livestream as Queer Salon happened just before lockdown in SA in collaboration with A11 Radio – that was a great introduction into what some future engagements and activations might look like or take shape as. We have some future curations in the works at the moment…you’ll have to stay tuned-in on our Queer Salon IG to see what we have coming up next…
Recap video credits
Tatenda wekwaTenzi @wekwatenzi
Cheshire V @cheshire_v_
River Moon @saint.deepthroat
Jodi Windvogel @jodiwindvogel
Eli Ndoumbe @elindoumbe
Director of Photography: Baz Pinini @baz_bailey
Editor and Grade: @elijahndoumbe
Music: @buu.jinn | @saint.deepthroat