- 19 October 2016 - 30 October 2016
FACT and Homotopia present a collaboration between cultural activist, writer and sex worker, Khalil West, and photographer Ajamu. The first in a series of events for this year’s Homotopia festival, I Am For You Can Enjoy is a living archive of voices at the margins of race, sexuality, labour and commodity.
Through a presentation of portraits and interviews, West and Ajamu explore the idea that although popular discourses around sex work are slowly broadening to include more diverse identities and motivations, men engaged in erotic labour continue to be overwhelmingly represented by whiteness and discussed within contexts of addiction, desperation, and pathology.
In I Am For You Can Enjoy, West and Ajamu reject the normative lens through which both Blackness and erotic labour are ascribed a value of ‘failure’. The exhibition explores the diverse lives, work and perspectives of queer Black men involved in the sex trade, revealing the points at which desire, agency, power and commerce collide with self-identity, performativity, commodity, and (post-)colonial constructions of Blackness.
Homotopia Festival will run from the 1st to 30th November 2016 at various venues throughout the city, with Forbidden as its central theme. In 2013, 82 countries still prohibited homosexuality with legal restrictions ranging from fines, imprisonment, torture and even execution. In these states many artists & curators are censored, artistic freedoms curtailed and extreme ideologies dictate the ‘cultural norms’. Forbidden will showcase Liverpool at the forefront of LBGTQ+ equality and reinforce the city’s reputation as a centre of social justice, drawing upon its rich history of challenging oppression and promoting human rights and fairness.
Supported and funded by Arts Council England and Homotopia Festival.