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Explore Identity with Collabor-8 and Shady Cow at Nottingham Contemporary

23 August 17 words: Emily Thursfield

There's something very special happening down the Lace Market art gallery this Friday

G.A.L art collective

Collabor-8 was set up by young arty types in the city to encourage more youngsters to get involved in creative arts. Each month, the group meet in The Space at the Nottingham Contemporary for a free day of crafting, creating and socialising, and at the end of each of their seasons, they like to put on an extra special session by teaming up with another Nottingham collective.

This time, it’s the turn of Shady Cow, the LGBTQueer music and arts showcase who’re residents at Rough Trade. This lot specialise in music nights, exhibitions, film screenings and performances, so expect all this and more as they put together a day of celebrating the creativity of Notts’ LGBT+ community.

Welcome to Collabor-8 X Shady Cow presents: Omee Palone, Varda the Palava. It’s a mouthful, but its name is an integral part of the event’s message. Written in the secret language of Polari, it’s all about expressing your true self. And that’s exactly what the day has been designed to do.

The Space will be decorated with all the LGBTQ flags, plus the canopy that appeared at Nottingham Pride to help get your creative juices flowing. At 12pm, you can explore the gender ambiguity of Southeast Asian sexuality with Ibtisam Ahmed, who’ll be using the Indian classical dance style of Kathak to tell stories of these traditions. Then at 2pm, there’s a poetry workshop led by Cynthia Rodriguez where you can try your hand at writing a verse in a different language or in a style you’ve never considered before.

After that, Guerrilla Art Lab (G.A.L) will be hosting a progressive performance workshop which gets you to celebrate your identity by moving your body any which way you feel like. And if you feel confident enough, there may even be a chance for you to strut your stuff in front of everyone later on. Throughout the day, you’ll also get the chance to learn more about the Commonwealth Initiative and find out more about the problems faced by members of the LGBT community in different countries.

If all that isn’t enough, then comes the evening social. Alongside musical performances from Emily Franklin and Baby Tap, you’ll see art performances by the eccentric Christos Gkenoudis and a photography exhibition from Jazz Glen. Plus, if you’re the kinda person that loves to get all dressed up for a night out, fear not. Just take a visit to the “get your drag on” booth, where you can spend some time experimenting with your look or get a professional to show you the best ways to apply some slap. There will be music, food, good company… what else could you possibly want?

Collabor-8 X Shady Cow presents: Omee Palone, Varda the Palava takes place at The Space in Nottingham Contemporary, from 11.30am - 11pm. It’s free and completely open to all 15-25 year olds, no matter your skill or experience with art. Check out the event on Facebook.

Nottingham Contemporary website

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