Homotopia is the UK’s longest running LGBTQIA+ arts and culture festival. The festival launched in 2004 with a grant from Liverpool City Council. In the 15 years that followed, Homotopia has welcomed some of the biggest names in LGBTQIA+ arts to Liverpool, including John Waters, Boy George, Armistead Maupin, Sarah Waters and many more.
The 2020 festival continues the success of previous years, with some very special names and events. This year contributors include artist and filmmaker Fox Fisher, illustrator Millie Chesters and writer/actor Jade Anouka.
The events feature a public Art Crawl, A Lovely Word poetry night, a Fabulous Cabaret evening from the Everyman Theatre and much more.
Here are a list of highlights to discover and explore.
1/ Pattern of Play
Pattern of Play is a portraits series of Lily Parr by illustrator Millie Chesters and an inspirational story of strength. Born in 1905, Lily was a pioneering footballer from St Helens, known for her powerful kick and strong personality. She was open about being lesbian long before the UK’s decriminalisation of homosexuality. Millie Chesters is inspired by sport, portraiture and music. Her drawings are full of movement and tackle social issues head on.
Online, 29 October – 22 December, all day, free. See www.lilyparr.org
2/ 4:3 by Amy Pennington
Join Amy Pennington in exploring queer television memories and idols. Before HD, 4:3 was the standard television ratio. Growing up queer in the 1990s, under Section 28 and in a small northern town, it was Amy’s ratio – a portal into a queer education. The event is accompanied by a one off workshop exploring the themes in the film.
4:3 film, online, from 29 October, free.
Workshop, online, 3 November, 5.30pm-6.30pm. Workshop tickets
To watch the film see: www.heartofglass.org.uk/project-and-events/events/43-a-film-by-amy-pennington
3/ Queer the City: Art Crawl and The Walk
Queer The City is a public Art Crawl and a newly commissioned series of audio plays called The Walk.
Take a tour around the Homotopia Art Crawl, featuring huge art installations by eight LGBTQIA+ artists, in prominent locations around the city. Looking at Liverpool through a queer lens, The Walk is a stroll through the city, as told by 6 LGBTQIA+ writers/performers. Join them as they take queer art and culture to the streets!
Across Liverpool and online, 30 October – 15 November, all day.
Download the map with timings and podcasts at the link below from 30 October: www.homotopia.net/queer-the-city
4/ One Woman
Cheryl Martin’s One Woman takes the audience on an immersive dramatic experience, exploring how it feels to live with Borderline Personality Disorder. Cheryl Martin is a Black lesbian disabled theatre artist, she has won awards as a writer and director. The event uses binaural audio and mesmeric images to simulate the disorder.
Online, 31 October, 7pm-9.30pm, free. Book tickets
5/ Ally 101 workshop
Homotopia have invited The Goddess Projects to deliver their Ally 101 workshop. The workshop will help the community to learn, grow and better equip themselves to tackle racism. The discussion will look at defining racism, anti-racism and allyship, exploring whiteness, white fragility and the weaponisation of whiteness.
Online, 4 November, 7pm-8.30pm, free, booking essential. Book tickets
6/ Trans Creative at the Movies
Trans Creative at the Movies reclaims transgender space in cinematic history. You’ll never see these movie classics in the same way again! The panel for the evening includes artist Fox Fisher,and writers Krishna Istha and Laura Bridgeman, as they ‘trans up’ cinema history. Trans Creative’s Kate O’Donnell will chair the event, which will be followed by a selection of short films.
Online, 5 November, 7.30pm-9.30pm. Book tickets
8/ Fox Fisher
Collaborate with artist Fox Fisher at a live screen printing event. Fox is an award-winning artist, filmmaker, campaigner and co-author of the Trans Teen Survival Guide. This is an exciting opportunity to show the positive power of social media and to contribute to a shared piece of art.
Online –YouTube/Twitter, 6 November, 5pm-6.30pm, free.
9/ A Lovely Word: Homotopia
Join Homotopia for a very special version of ‘A Lovely Word’, Liverpool’s most eclectic spoken word night. The evening features headliner Jade Anouka. A Lovely Word also have spots for open mic-ers. Contact them at their email address below if you require an online slot. For this Homotopia special, poets identifying as LGBTQIA+ will be prioritised.
Online –Facebook/YouTube, 11 November, 8pm-10pm, free.
10/ Queer Arts North
Queer Arts North is digitally bringing together the LGBTQIA+ creative community, as part of Homotopia 2020. Head along and (virtually!) meet other LGBTQIA+ creatives, including programmers and commissioners, working across the North. You can pitch your projects, share your opportunities and connect with your peers.
Online, 13 November, 5pm-6.30pm, free, booking essential. Book tickets
11/ Collective Encounters: Queer Womxn in Action
What does it mean to be an activist? How have queer women in Merseyside resisted oppression?
This online storytelling and poetry workshop will celebrate queer women’s stories of resilience, resistance and hope, producing an inspiring audio piece that will be presented as part of the festival. Bring your experience, your passion for social justice and a desire to get creative.
Online, 2 November, 6.30pm-7.30pm. Free, booking essential.
To book, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
12/ Homotopia and Friends – Fabulous Cabaret
The Everyman Theatre is re-opening its doors for the first time since lockdown and queer artists are taking over the main stage! Join them for an evening of fabulous cabaret, presented by Homotopia Associate Artist, Ashleigh Owen. The cabaret showcases local talent from the QueerCore artist development programme.
Everyman Theatre, 13 November, 7.30pm-8.30pm. Book tickets