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Arts & culture

Spectrum: A performance on queerness and freedom

Thursday, July 25, 2019
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Jose Richard Aviles and Figgy Baby


This event is free




J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.



Spectrum: A performance on queerness and freedom

In a time where queer bodies are constantly threatened, the personal narrative becomes the counter-narrative. Jose Richard Avilés and Figgy Baby invite you to a Queer celebration of dance, music, hip hop, and theater.

“Callejera” by Jose Richard Aviles

“not built, only implied, and usually invisible . . . useless, amoral and sensual space that lives only in and for experience.” -- Aaron Betsky, Queer Space: Architecture and Same-Sex Desire

Callejera is a multimedia art piece that explores the testimony and spatial analysis of the Queer Ethical Subject. Historically, Queer folk, especially Queer folk of color, have been othered and ostracized to edges. It is in those edges, under the pressures of heteronormativity, that queer people have had to self-determine and create what Betsky defines as the “architecture of self.” This piece looks at the author's life and experience as a queer bus rider in the city of Los Angeles to create a piece of spoken word, dance, and film. Callejera, spanish for Women of the street, is an homage to the Femmes that learned that the city was their first stage.

“Purple” by Figgy Baby

“I’ve seen the anger in many my brothers eyes. It’s only a matter of time, till’ we all blow up. Make another violent decision. How many tears have we caused, cause we can’t let our own out?” -- Lyrics from “Seams” by Figgy Baby

Purple is an interactive hip hop performance reimagining masculinity, fatherhood and self-worth. Figgy Baby’s thoughtful lyricism and high-energy stage presence invites the audience to celebrate their own experience and believe in hope for healing. Using rap, dance, and spoken word Purple creates a vulnerable and welcoming space for all.

Jose Richard Aviles is an Angelino seeking ways to find movements that are authentic to all of their identities and skins. They hope to inspire and empower others to become activists in their lives all while unpacking the epistemology of queer bodies and policing of desire.

Figgy Baby is a rapper, performer, and community builder in Los Angeles, who creates work mainly around mixedness and masculinity. They wrote and starred in a nationally touring hip hop theater show, "Mixed-Race Mixtape." which recently was released as a full-length album, available on all streaming sites. Figgy's work strives to create a fluid space that recognizes identity and truth as continuously changing and progressing aspects of life.


4TH SPACE, at Concordia University is located on the ground floor level and is wheelchair accessible. There is one wheelchair accessible, gender-neutral bathroom on the third floor. To raise other accessibility requests or questions please contact 4TH SPACE.

We acknowledge that to be “on site” requires that we question our relationship to the past, present, and future of the site on which we gather - Tiohtiá:ke on the unceded lands of the Kanien'kehá: ka Nation. Tiohtiá:ke is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. If this is not your land, how did you get here? How did your ancestors get here? How does race, gender, sexuality, citizenship, ability, and class affect the ways in which we relate to, move through, and create space? While the exhibition and corresponding programming is free of charge, we will be encouraging and collecting donations for The Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal.

While the act of queering space can point out the limitations of the ways in which the world around us is produced and normalized by and for certain bodies and not others, it is pertinent that we continuously reflect and act on the ways in which settler LGBTQI+ life is complicit in upholding ongoing colonial structures. As a pin on Queering The Map in Honolulu, Hawaii attests: “queer liberation must mean decolonization, and decolonization must mean queer liberation.”

"Queering The Map: ON_SITE" has emerged in collaboration with the Beyond Museum Walls Curatorial Residency program, hosted at the Curating and Public Scholarship Lab.

This project is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's (SSHRC) Connection Grant, the Sustainability Action Fund and the External and Mobilization Fund at Concordia University, as well as the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture.

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