Wynter is among a number of artists producing work that brings them into direct contact with their audiences—performing live and running awareness-raising initiatives—in an attempt to forge alliances among marginalized groups. Artist Emily Pope, who has collaborated with Wynter, was instrumental in organizing School of the Damned, a free, London-based education program aimed at removing the barriers to learning created by soaring tuition fees. As Pope explains, “if you feel the social and economic effects of being outside of mainstream straight culture, you want to do something about it, and you want a community which is supportive.”
This August, Wynter hosted “Lessons in Anti Apathy” at Arcadia Missa, a discussion between four grassroots organizations that aimed to counter political indifference. On the panel were activist publication Strike!
; the activist group Whereisanamendieta, which protests the exclusion of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta
’s work and the work of other artists who are female, non-binary, or people of color (the group, with which Wynter is closely involved, believe Mendieta was murdered in 1985 by her husband, the artist
); anti-domestic violence group Sisters Uncut; and London Palestine Action, a network that takes creative action in solidarity with Palestinians. Dysphoria Collective, which works on behalf of improving trans mental health care, also distributed zines at the event.
On a recent tour of the U.K., non-binary performance artist Travis Alabanza (who goes by the non-gendered, plural pronoun they) brought their show, Black Trans Lives Matter, to the Goldsmith’s Student Union as part of the U.K.-wide Black History Month. Alabanza, who was selected as a Barbican Young Poet for 2015/2016, honed their craft on London’s queer cabaret and club scene. In 2016, they toured the U.K. with Stories of a Queer Brown Muddy Kid, which Alabanza describes as “my queer black gospel.”
An autobiographical, musical tour de force, it tells the story of their experience of coming out as a person of color, in a culture which too often fails to see beyond white experience. “This is for all those people who were told about Adam and Eve, Adam and Steve, but never Tamar and Jamal,” Alabanza declares. “I’m here to tell you that my existence is fucking holy.” Alabanza is currently an artist-in-residence at the Tate Modern
, where they have performed alongside Wynter. They have used their role to highlight the bigotry within the gay community, as well as challenging the fetishization of black bodies.