Photography by Bernice Mulenga

BBZ London: A lesson on how to Party unapologetically

You can’t help but fall in love with BBZ London. The name, an acronym for BOLD BRAZEN ZAMIS, was started by power couple Tia Simon-Campbell and Naeem Davis. On their Facebook page, they describe themselves as an “exhibition or turn-up prioritizing the experiences of Queer Womxn, Trans and Non-Binary people of colour”.

BBZ London is a curatorial project seeking to carve out safe spaces for their people and they are very clear on how, “any behaviour deemed as homophobic, transphobic, abeilist, classist, racist, disrespectful or hateful will not be tolerated.”

The curatorial collective provides a multidisciplinary platform that is both an exhibition space and a place to come dance and JUST BE. Feeling lonely and invisible in the clubs that they frequented the couple set out to create a space where they could feel safe and less alone.

The group’s Instagram page offers an intimate look into the lives of those who inhibit their space. The feed shows party goers unaware of the camera capturing their exuberance – a couple share a kiss as their smile fills the photograph. BBZ London is a platform where members are not just “seen” through the camera lens but also a space to be seen in an unapologetic manner.

Here the QTIBPOC community’s beauty and resilience is captured by BBZ as alive and well. Their works engage in “a plethora of mediums primarily within visual arts, while interrupting and discussing accessibility issues within institutions”.  Their projects act as a strong reminder to the powers that be that the QTIBPOC community are alive and thriving. The curatorial work of the platform acts as the archive to the community’s continuing existence. The output of BBZ London is an affirmation that their stories will not be left out of the history books.

They are “remoulding what queer nights look like on London’s club seen” describes Dazed. Yet their ventures should also be understood as the remoulding of London life. Platforms such as this are needed to fight for the inclusion of QTIBPOC in the city’s ID and reframe what it means to be British. Their work shows us what is possible for the world – a “Post Brexit Britain”.

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