LGBTQ* Performance Artists in History
Barbette (Texas, b. 1904)
“Women think about love more than men; that’s because men think more about women.”—Barbette
Barbette was a female impersonator who took Paris by storm in the late 1920’s. Barbette’s performances included aerial acts, trapeze, and stunning costumes, Barbette would close the show by removing his wig and declaring himself an man to adoring fans.
Julie Andrews character(s) in Victor/Victoria is (loosely) based on Barbette. Note: Victor/Victoria is based on a series of previous films (including titles: Viktor und Victoria (1933) and First a Girl (1935) ), which Barbette was the inspiration for.
Barbette was photographed by Man Ray.
Greif, Martin. The Gay Book of Days: An Evocatively Illustrated Who’s Who of Who Is, Was, May Have Been, Probably Was, and Almost Certainly Seems to Have Been Gay during the past 5,000 Years. Secaucus, NJ: L. Stuart, 1982.
1st Photo Source: Male Soul Makeup
Barbette aka Vander Clyde
Female impersonator, high wire performer and trapeze artist 1920s – 1930s
2nd Photo Source: Gorgonetta’s Tumblr
Barbette - Photography by Man Ray
Syd Mead (Conceptual illustrations), Blade Runner [And related earlier art), c. 1980.
Our Cosmic Address
Este año la Escuela Nacional de Experimentación y Realización Cinematografica ofrece cinco cursos para el primer cuatrimestre de 2014: “Introducción al Documental de Divulgación Científica Audiovisual y Popularización de la Ciencia”, “De la Idea al Guión Audiovisual”, “Taller Introductorio a Contenidos Televisivos - Nivel I”, “Series de TV: estructura narrativa y experimentación” y “Cine, Sujeto y Sociedad”. Todos los cursos son gratuitos y la inscripción se realiza el día 3 de abril. Recomendación: ir MUY temprano porque se arma una cola de una cuadra!
La legendaria institución ubicada en pleno corazón de la Recoleta inaugura este año mas de 22 cursos. Entre la oferta tenemos desde “Ópera para todos” hasta un taller de literatura japonesa. También habrá ajedrez, filosofía, tragedia griega, lunfardo y escritura para jóvenes, entre otros. Las inscripciones se hacen por mail.
Ingresen a: http://www.bn.gov.ar/talleres-y-clinicas
"Come one, come all! See the Bearded Lady and Werewolf Boy!"
Excess hair, especially on women, has a long history of sideshow exploitation (and legitimate employment) and has several possible causes.
Meaning “extra hair growth from birth”, congenital hypertrichosis is a very rare condition, but is also X-linked dominant, in several cases. When an affected female has a child, there’s a 50/50 chance they’ll be affected, and when an affected male has a child, they’ll be affected by the mutation 100% of the time. Interestingly, there are several mutations known to cause congenital hypertrichosis, but they’re all X-linked.
These forms of hypertrichosis appear after birth, and are most often caused by a reaction to medication, eating disorders, and internal malignancies (cancer). The most common form of acquired hypertrichosis is the coating of lanugo (soft insulating hair most often found on preterm infants) in anorexia nervosa patients. This extra hair will fall off naturally once the body begins to receive regular proper nutrition again.
This is not a form of hypertrichosis, but some “bearded ladies” have had the condition known as “hirsutism”. Hirsutism is not a disease in and of itself, but is a symptom, where increased androgen sensitivity in women causes terminal hair growth in areas where vellus hairs normally grow - most notably the face and chest.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common cause of hirsutism, and is what the sideshow lady Annie Jones had. Obesity, Cushing’s disease, acromegaly, ovarian tumors, and type 2 diabetes can also cause excess androgenic hair. Of course, treating the underlying condition is the optimal way to reduce hirsutism, but many conditions that cause it can only be treated.
There are several medications that can be taken to reduce the levels of this hair growth, but as they’re all hormone-based and somewhat riddled with side-effects, most women who have hirsutism will opt for hair removal, instead. Or they’ll embrace it, like Harnaam Kaur!
Trinity at .006, .025, 2, 4, and 9 seconds.
It’s fascinating looking at representations of Africans in Chinese CCP propaganda from the 60s and early 70s. During this time period, China saw itself standing in solidarity in a class struggle with POC in Africa, Asia and Latin America against white-led American and European imperialism. The CCP also saw itself as having led a revolution which could be modeled by the peoples of these nations. Representations of Africa in the propaganda of this era therefore show tremendous camaraderie and brotherhood, presenting a united front against Western imperialism and colonization.
At the same time, though, these images are also steeped in a deep sense of racialized paternalism, which the last image, “Saviour” speaks tremendously to as well. This was due in part to the fact that the CCP’s revolution came earlier and was therefore the model revolution which they were “teaching” to Africans, but it also played directly upon antiblack stereotypes of African people as explicitly primitive (see the poster in which the “silver needle of friendship” is passed) and requiring the stewardship of the Chinese CCP in their march toward freedom in their own countries. The paternalism evident in the “friendship” is clear and plays into these racist, demeaning tropes, raising up a Chinese (rather than white) savior for African peoples in the face of Mao ZeDong.
These images are therefore interesting in the ways they evoke a sense of global POC solidarity against white-led imperialist forces from America and Europe, portray African leaders in a positive and noble light, generally work to show brotherhood between Chinese and African peoples, but then also plays to racist tropes like the “noble savage” trope and positions Africans and other POC in the developing world in solidarity but ultimately under Chinese CCP stewardship with a Chinese savior (Mao ZeDong) who “gets” their struggle, rather than a white one— but still a demeaning, paternalistic savior nonetheless.
Very interesting images to examine, especially for those interested in the history of relationships between Africans and Chinese people, and all of this come courtesy of chineseposters.net’s amazing article “Foreign Friends: African Friends.”
Cayendo va, al ritmo del sol
la hoja de invierno
que brilla a contraluz,
entre las casas de nogal
y de pastos profundos
bajo la marea hirviente
y sobre las nubes de plata
Cayendo va, al ritmo de la luna
la hoja de verano
que ilumina las noches
que musicaliza las olas
(las olas de este inmenso río)
emtre calores, fríos y besos
tras el recuerdo de un día bello
sobre las aguas del mar cósmico
Esas olas de Bach, Mozart y Duke Ellington
la mueven sin cesar
Y es que fue así como nació la Tierra
fluctuando por la plenitud del Ahora
cayendo a la deriva del despertar
sonriendo ante un sol nuevo
de un día que ya es viejo
A young Kenyan woman holds her pet deer in Mombassa, March 1909.Photograph by Underwood and Underwood
Argentine gauchos race across a lake near Beron de Astrada, November 1980.Photograph by O. Louis Mazzatenta, National Geographic