BLACK LODGE PRESS"THERE CAN BE NO LOVE WITHOUT JUSTICE"
FOR PRIDE 2021, QUEERCIRCLE AND BUILDHOLLYWOOD FAMILY OF JACK, JACK ARTS AND DIABOLICAL HAVE TEAMED UP TO BRING ART AND DEMANDS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE TO THE STREETS OF LONDON, BIRMINGHAM, CARDIFF, EDINBURGH, GLASGOW AND SHEFFIELD.
THE SELECTED ARTISTS INCLUDE:
BEX WADE, KGOTLELELO BRADLEY SEKITI, BLACK LODGE PRESS
Black Lodge Press is an ongoing print and micropublishing project by Cj Reay. Coming from a background of zines, DIY punk and radical politics, Cj creates images and graphics using a combination of bold text, found images and abstract textures. WE SPOKE TO CJ TO DISCUSS THEIR PRACTICE, "Queer Borders," Lesbians and gays support the migrants, AND WHAT ROLE PUBLIC ART PLAYS IN RAISING AWARENESS AROUND SOCIAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS.
QC: Why did you start Black Lodge Press?
CJR: Cause all my friends were starting record labels! But coming from a background of DIY punk my entire life has in many ways revolved around 'doing it yourself', and so as I was already putting out zines and creating art it seemed a natural progression to do a little self-publishing platform to promote and sell my art and others art through.
QC: Can you tell us a bit about "Queer Borders"?
CJR: Using a combination of bold print and abstract and found images, and inspired by agitprop and the art of the anarchist underground, the poster puts forward a direct statement in support of queer solidarity against the repressive nature of borders and the racist and homophobic systems in which they exist.
QC: Why have you chosen this artwork?
CJR: Borders affect everyone but their implications are particularly severe for queer people; whether its gay men escaping state repression in Iran or trans sex workers fleeing violence in Brazil, the border is a further construct which limits human freedom. Solidarity, however, is a powerful tool. Raising awareness, raising funds, supporting asylum appeals, creating art, disrupting immigrations raids are all tangible actions that we can utilise to disrupt the border system and disrupt the hostile environment.
Raising awareness, raising funds, supporting asylum appeals, creating art, disrupting immigrations raids are all tangible actions that we can utilise to disrupt the border system and disrupt the hostile environment.
QC: What role does public art play in social justice movements?
CJR: Art and social justice, or radical left politics, are intrinsically linked. A lot of my stuff is inspired by groups like Up Against The Wall Motherfucker who combined art with militant anarchy, or King Mob who undertook graffiti campaigns around London. I think public art is a crucial means of spreading radical ideas and creating a radical culture - whether it's on billboards or graffiti covered squatted buildings, it all creates a visible alternative to the drudgery and normative nature of capitalism.
QC: What are your hopes for this billboard campaign?
CJR: To see queer art with a genuine purpose in public spaces. 'Pride month' often feels appropriated or watered down by corporations and other large organisations - many with awful politics and awful ethics - pushing their faux-acceptable politics with a rainbow logo attached. To see actual political art created by queer people would be a welcome change! And hopefully direct people to new ideas and/or political groups in the process.
QC: What campaign have you chosen to highlight?
QC: Why have you chosen to highlight this campaign?
CJR: The border intersects with so many struggles. Within the context of queer lives the border criminalises and decreases the safety of queer migrant sex workers, it forces LGBTQ+ people from repressive regimes to risk their lives attempting to flee to safe countries, it imposes hostile and racist environments in communities. In the UK LGBTQ+ asylum seekers routinely have their cases rejected due to homophobic means of assessment, despite the risks that deportation would carry for those individuals. The border is both an abstract concept and a concrete reality, and like most powerful structures that uphold capitalism it is inherently queerphobic.
ABOUT LESBIANS AND GAYS SUPPORT THE MIGRANTS
Inspired by Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners in the 1980s, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants) is a queer group that stands in solidarity with other communities facing state violence and media attacks. LGSMigrants use the strength of the queer community and an understanding of our history of struggle to fight back in support of those at the sharpest end of government oppression today.
ACTION TO TAKE
CLOSE ASYLUM CAMPS, SAVE LIVES:
Since September last year, the government has been using decommissioned army barracks in Wales and Kent to house asylum seekers. People are sleeping in dormitory style blocks with bunk-beds and are unable to socially distance or self-isolate. They do not have access to adequate healthcare and COVID outbreaks consistently put their lives at risk.
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BLACK LODGE PRESS
Location: North Yorkshire
Black Lodge Press is an ongoing print and micropublishing project by Cj Reay. Coming from a background of zines, DIY punk and radical politics Cj creates images and graphics using a combination of bold text, found images and abstract textures.