DJs, techno, house and club culture have become ‘mainstream’ and the big stages are dominated by (white) men. However, the roots of house and club culture can be found in marginalized communities, both in front and behind the DJ table.
When you look at the average techno festival, the representation of these roots is hard to find. As often happens to progressive types of music and subcultures, it is picked up by the masses and is in danger of losing the committed nature. The social context is forgotten, money is made by others and inclusive spaces become monotone and normative. This evening we will shed light on the political potential of club culture and specifically on POC and LGBTQIA+ presence, activism and endurance. Can club culture be political? What is the contemporary club culture like? And is it possible for issues concerning gender, sexuality and race to enter this arena?
Elias Mazian is one of Amsterdam’s finest DJs/producers. He is resident at De School in Amsterdam, and hosts Private Hearts on Red Light Radio. He played at Amsterdam Open Air, DGTL, Lowlands and many other festivals.
Steve Rachmad, most often associated with Detroit techno, has been active and integral to the development of the Dutch electronic music scene for the past 25 years. As STERAC he plays techno with dark, deep, edgy atmospheres. When his birth name is on the bill, it can be anything from planet Rachmad; a realm best explored by listening to one of the extended sets recorded at Panoramabar and his own, Studio 80 based, kis. club night.
Sven Bijma is part of SPIELRAUM and organizes queer techno parties inspired by great thinkers like Friedrich Schiller and Johan Huizinga. They are convinced of the idea that every person needs a place to play, a place to dance and a place to be themselves.
Valentijn de Hingh is a Dutch model, writer, DJ and LGBTQIA+ activist. From the age of 7 to 17 she was the subject of the documentary Valentijn that explored her experiences as a transgender child. Since then she has modelled and performed all across the globe, became Pride Ambassador in 2016 and written articles concerned with LGBTQIA+ rights and emancipation.
Jeff “Abraxas” Porter was responsible for the radio mix of Technoheads’ world famous classic ‘I wanna be a hippy’, together with Jeroen Flamman. In the late eighties, this duo started producing house music under the name Fierce Ruling Diva and travelled the world DJing. They also produced for names like the Party Animals.
Patricia Weijman has been active in the dance scene for years as a production assistant and stage manager. With that experience she initiated club Jack. For over three years now she has been engaged in club Jack, which stands for solidarity, anonymity and freedom. Besides, Patricia is chairman of a committee on safety in Southeast Amsterdam.
Emma van Meijeren (moderator) is a writer and organizer based in Amsterdam. She organizes around the reunification of queer culture and electronic music with a platform called ‘Dance with Pride’. Her work is published on platforms such as Noisey, Resident Advisor and Glamcult. She is interested in issues surrounding the emancipatory potential of clubs and nightlife as an activist, writer and feminist. This year Emma and Fenna Fiction started the sticker protest ‘Nein danke’ to make the absence of women on line-ups visible.
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