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[RESEARCH SPACE] Panel Discussion: Queer(in)g Croydon - Exploring the potential towards a common safe place

Queering Croydon Poster Version 3.png

Thurs 22nd Feb 2018
5.30pm - 8.00pm


Almass Badat
Ana Benlloch
Mandisa Apena
Fahmida Islam
Plus other speakers TBC

A panel discussion on the potential to create a new queer place for Croydon’s diverse LGBTQIA community as part of the wider place-making discourse.  The idea will centre on the potential to use existing venues, spaces and places as well as make better use of disused places, and connect different groups to help program and develop an inclusive & sustainable model.

The discussion will briefly explore existing models of successful community organisations and what a community-led model could be for a queer place in Croydon.  It will also propose questions, especially in ways of understanding what a safe place could potentially be for diverse members of the community. Croydon is the largest London borough with a population over 380,000+ people and itself has a deep history with LGBT+ activities. It is represented currently in events such as the Croydon Pridefest, its participation in LGBT History Month, IDAHO as well as diverse groups such as the Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) that meet regularly. At the same time there has been the erosion and closure of entertainment and other venues that catered specifically for the LGBT+ community across London and this means new models of place-making need to be explored. This panel discussion will look to talk about a more dynamic, community-led model, and the panelists will discuss aspects of their experiences and what they believe could be a collective vision for a safe place for the queer community.

We will invite local council members, LGBTQIA community leaders, along with wider London advocates including academics, activists and cultural leaders for a meaningful discussion.



Introduction and presentation

The panel Discussion

19.00- 19:30
 Q&A to be chaired by Ruhul Abdin

Followed by live music by Tom and Jet of the Ninetales Collective & refreshments


 For more information, please contact:  - +44 (0) 7775 192 199


Bio of Speakers

Almass Badat
Almass Badat is an Artist, Creative Consultant & Activist. With parents of Indian origin, she spent the majority of her early childhood in Lusaka, where she roots her inspiration to document within culture, nature and the Arts. Almass is Founder of MOTION PICTURE, a quarterly independent film screening providing free access for those unable to interact with the Arts. She is a vocal and visible advocate for #BLACKLIVESMATTER and the QPOC community.

Ana Benlloch
Ana Benlloch is an artist who queers language in sticky, fluid, hypnotic rituals to create new potential realities.
They are part of AAS art group and Ninetales Collective and make audio works as Underwater River. / /

Mandisa Apena
Mandisa Apena is a poet, womanist and part-time vegan from South London. Their poems span over concepts such as the convolutions of life, the isolated, neurodivergence, the body, dreams and the earth. They are a Barbican Young Poet, and founder + host of poetry: hot 4 u (a queer poetry night in London). They also self-published a collection of their poems 'and twice as bitter' in 2016.

Fahmida Islam
Fahmida Islam, 32 identifying as queer androgynous, cis female Sylheti Bengali, muslim gay. Born and raised in London, Hackney. With a background in marketing and documentary film making - she has worked with small non-profit orgs adding value to their marketing/comms. Passionate about mental health, intersectionality, decolonising mindset, and actively challenging white fragility in the lgbtq community and beyond.

Ruhul Abdin
Ruhul Abdin is co-founder of the architecture and research studio - Paraa, which is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh with a focus on design participation and urban research. As an artist, his practice mainly focuses on life drawing and portraiture. /

This event is kindly supported by CAS