Welcome to the 47th guest blog post of Time Out Sydney's 52 Weeks of #SydCulture 2017 challenge! November’s culture selector is Ayebatonye Abrakasa: DJ, event producer, curator, director – and founder of House of Ayebatonye. Every week in November, Ayebatonye will be telling us what she loved the week before. Think of it as your recommendation, from someone who sees a helluva lot of arts and culture. Over to her.
I spent my last Tuesday evening the way every Tuesday evening should be spent: attending the first ever See You Next Tuesday event at the Lady Hampshire hotel.
I walked in and what I felt was the ambiance of a space that was fostering joy and mutual understanding through conversation. The vibe was welcoming, there were delicious free Pimms Cocktails and alcoholic lemonade on offer, and it felt as though the entire venue was celebrating each and every individual’s existence and the fact that we were all gathered in the same space.
See You Next Tuesday was created to facilitate an inclusive, open and fun safe space for all female, female identifying, WoC, non-cis bodies and allies. I am always a fan of a space where I can interact with people that share a level of mutual understanding through lived experiences; where knowledge can be shared/exchanged, intersectionality unpacked and perceptions challenged.
There was most certainly a lot of conversation that stemmed from a live interview hosted by FBi host/DJ/MTV presenter/national treasure, Flex Mami (pictured above) and the incredible Sydney City councillor/founding director of Vivid Ideas/curator at TEDxSydney/all-round powerhouse Jess Scully.
They explored issues such as changing the language we use to address one another, the best practice for safely navigating spaces as fem-identifying and non-binary folk, and how we can work to empower and uplift one another; I felt that a lot of what was discussed resonated with many people in that room.
After some very riveting conversation, more free drinks and a delicious bean burrito, we were treated to acapella renditions of hits by the Bad Bitch Choir, a group of 30 angels serenading us with hit such as Justin Timberlake’s 'Cry Me a River' and Queen B’s 'Partition' I felt as though I could have been an extra in an Australian version of Pitch Perfect. Ending with a killer set by DJ extraordinaire Nes and a 'vadge draw', See You Next Tuesday was a lovely way to distract from the then pending results of the postal plebiscite.
Wednesday followed with big, resounding YES! celebrations, as thousands took to the streets nationwide to celebrate a turning point in Australian history!
While making my way to join Oxford Street, I spread my gaze as far as my eyesight would allow me and as I looked down at the thousands of people celebrating, I just imagined the number of people celebrating Australia wide at that moment.
Oxford Street was alive with an infectious energy and the Reclaim the Streets' Result Street Night Festival, featuring the likes of House of Mince and Girlthing, added to the excitement as everyone partook in what felt like the world’s largest victory dance en masse.
Although the battle is far from over, and there are many things we still need to fight for – Indigenous hyper-incarceration/deaths in custody, trans rights, the men on Manus Island, disability rights, antiracist rhetoric, to name a few – it was great to see each individual dancing, adding their own unique flair to the collective feeling of joy/relief/euphoria that vibrated in the air that night.
See You Next Tuesday is at the Lady Hampshire on the second Tuesday of each month. Follow the Facebook page for event details.
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