Interview: Queer Performance Camp creates a community for queer artists in need of connection

Co-curators Justin De Luna and Winnie Ho talk about the Montreal festival's 5th edition


The 5th edition of the annual performance arts festival in Montreal – which is presented in partnership by Studio 303, MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) and La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines – runs from February 1-14, 2021


When asked what artists could expect when attending a Queer Performance Camp event or workshop, co-curator Justin De Luna has a very simple answer: Community. In a time when artists are looking to connect with each other, De Luna and co-curator Winnie Ho have sought to curate a space where queer artists can come together and connect. 

Ho explains, “I wanted to reach out and bring people together in a time where everything is so precarious and disconnected.”

“The pandemic has made everything so dispersed, so I was wondering, ‘Where’s my queer community?’”

The fifth edition of Queer Performance Camp may be online this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean it is any less of a place for queer artists to meet like-minded people. And for De Luna, creating this community for other queer artists is personal. 

“I have a very special relationship with Queer Performance Camp.” De Luna explains. “It was this place of meeting that I had, because I had just moved to Montreal and Queer Performance Camp was the first thing that I did here.”

“It was this motor that created friends, network and community.”

Perhaps one of the most exciting online events Ho and De Luna have curated is the Ask an Elder Series. This series of live, online events features queer artists interviewing one of their mentors, followed by a discussion and Q and A. 

Ho says this event “was birthed from what I have personally experience as a gap between generations in the queer community.” 

She explains, “It’s important to talk about ancestry, and to ask ‘who do queers look up to?’”

Queer Performance Camp is now entering it’s second week, with a multitude of events and workshops found on their Facebook page. It’s not too late to buy your pass and take part in the community Ho and De Luna have sought to create. 

In De Luna’s words, “Now, because it’s so scarce and so rare, it becomes even richer and even warmer when people come together for performance. They don’t have that critical eye – it’s really just about communion, and that’s what’s really special.”



Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/queerperformancecamp/events

Ticket Link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/billets-queer-performance-camp-2021-138363828937

Website:
https://www.studio303.ca/en/queer-performance-camp-4

Cheyenne Cranston

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