Stanley Picker Gallery is please to host X Unknown, a display of moving-image and banners by Kingston School of Art Graphic Design student Quba Brown-Higgins and Jamal McLean, who below reflect upon the stimulus for their pieces.
Quba: The intersectional identity of Black Queer Women
My moving image piece is a visual representation about my own journey of enlightenment in terms of my identity. As a Mixed-Race Black, Queer, Woman I wanted to investigate the complex and layered existence of people with the same identity as me, in relation to the Eurocentric, heteronormative, patriarchal society that we live in.
What it means to be a Black Queer woman, is having three identities that are at odds with one another and understanding that liberation for one identity doesn’t mean liberation for you, until all subjugated groups are treated equally.
Additionally, the labels given to us, are a social construct and the oppression that goes along with being Black, Queer and a woman doesn’t define us. Although we are minorities within marginalised groups, we exist and we have lived experiences that deserve to be heard and recognised. My work is a voice for my community.
Jamal: What does it mean to be a Queer Black man?
Being Black and Queer Is having a unique presence and taking back ownership of yourself. The profound confidence and bold audacity to reclaim queerness and revel in our Black history in a society where being different is scrutinised.
For most Black men, conversations around queerness and identity is still a taboo in the community and can affect family relationships. The impact of a hostile society would render any group of people into controlled compliance and suppression of the very nature of their true self. But there is power in expression.
Although both parts of my identity are impacted by phobias, it has also brought me joy that only people like me can obtain. This exhibition documents and celebrates the Queer Black community, these are separate identities that define me and every queer Black person on this shared planet.