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From Thick Skin to Femme Armour: On Femme of Colour Art, Organizing and Resistance

8. June 2016 19:00

Series of lectures: Radical Transfeminism in connection with the exhibition MILLIONAIRES CAN BE TRANS*

“[They] took control of their bodies— bodies that were radical in their mere existence in this misogynistic, transphobic, elitist world— because their bodies, their wits, their collective legacy of survival, were tools to care for themselves when their families, our government, and our medical establishment turned their backs.” – Janet Mock, Redefining Realness

In this presentation, Kama La Mackerel talks about the legacies of femme of color resilience and resistance by asking the following questions: given the historical violence enacted on the lives and bodies of trans women of colour, given the disproportionate number of trans women of colour who are incarcerated, homeless, barred from employment and access to health-care, given the high number of trans women of colour who are murdered every year; how do we, as trans femmes and trans women of color, honour our history and legacy of resistance? How do we build thick skins and fierce femme armours in order to thrive? How do we come together and birth a future for the generations of children yet to come? In this talk, Kama La Mackerel grapples with these questions, and also talks about art, love, healing, femme sisterhood and building a bright future for the coming generations of legendary children.

Kama La Mackerel is a Tio’tia:ke/Montreal-based community organizer, movement builder, writer, poet, story-teller, curator and multi-disciplinary artist whose work focusses on narration and cultural production as modes of anti-colonial resistance. The medium of Kama’s work ranges from performance to textiles, from story-telling to print, from poetry to photography and film. Kama is the co-founder of The Qouleur Festival, an annual arts festival and healing space that celebrates the art and lives of queer and trans people of colour in Montreal, and is also the founder and hostess of GENDER B(L)ENDER, Montreal’s unique monthly queer open stage. A femme supreme who is haunted by the ocean, Kama is very actively involved in different grassroots social justice movements and organizing around anti-racism, migrant justice, gender justice and trans mobilization. Kama was born in Mauritius and first migrated to India as a young adult before moving to Tio’tia:ke/Montreal in September 2011.