Taka Taka will present a character construction workshop with tools that they have developed from their camp - dragtivist practice, the result of which will be a public presentation. Taka Taka welcomes students from all departments, genders and sexualities.
Drag identity is formed by empowerment and playing with expectations, appropriating characteristics of known symbols and presenting a dramatic sense of the ideal self. Taka Taka will lay down archetypes as a resource for character construction in order to play with expectations and identity. The aim of the workshop is to reveal the reality of the act of dressing/undressing as an undeniable personal and social engagement and understanding one’s impact, the realities of character and their production from fingernail till toenail.Drag Queens have historically played an important role in HIV activism in many communities, as well as sharing valuable knowledge about STIs, drug harm reduction, sex work and working your sex. They challenge gender norms, push boundaries around sexuality and redefine the heteronormative reality. Taka Taka personally experiences drag to be a transcending form of communication of a self-absorbed spectacle. Drag needs entertainment in order to give voice for its community in the public domain. It could be argued that Drag stands as an activist proposition for under-represented groups and their intersections. Doing Drag is interrelated with the statement of its sociopolitical position; thus the context where drag is performed defines its position.
For this workshop we will use tools from drag to define our performance characters and reflect on the following question: How can we relate to the art context in order to channel and experience the power and responsibility of getting attention through our altered public image? Results from last year’s workshop Relating (to) Colour can be seen here: come-and.hotglue.me
PANAGIOTIS PANAGIOTAKOPOULOS (36, GR), a.k.a TAKA TAKA, was trained as a professional make-up artist, studied Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie followed by the MA ArtEZ at the Dutch Art Institute (DAI). Taka Taka identifies as a professional dragtivist and edu-curator who produces performances as art director for the Amsterdam cruise club Church. Taka Taka sees drag as an amplified voice, whose purpose is to communicate, problematize and propose methods according to local (Amsterdam) conditions. Taka Taka is the godmother of the House of Hopelezz, sister for others, mother of the drag king House of Løstbois and proud daughter of Jennifer Hopelezz. Taka Taka sees life through the lens of Dragtivism by producing weekly parties and para-educational strategies for the margins of the marginal LGBTQIA ++ community. Taka Taka is the co-founder of Drag King Academy Amsterdam and collaborates yearly as the House of Hopelezz art director-producer-performer and/or curator with institutes and collectives such as: SOA/AIDS Nederland; Global Aids Village; Aids Healthcare Foundation, Amsterdam; Pianola Museum for Museum Nacht, Wende Snijders Kaleidoscope at Koninklijk Carré Theater, Drag Olympics at Homomonument, Begging Babes at Paradiso, Superball, the Battle of European Drag Houses at Paradiso, Queer Porn film night at Compagnie Theater, NoPantsNoProblemat Global AIDS conferences, Kids friendly queer Streetheart Festival at Kerkstraat, PrEPnu, Milkshake Festival-Erwin Olaf stage, City Collective Amsterdam, House of Yes-New York and more.
They have shared their knowledge and methodologies for gender-queer artistic practices and its intersections with HIV through interviews, lectures and essays with: If I can’t Dance; ‘Open! Platform for Art, Culture and the Public Domain, Lost and Found, Nacht van de Nacht, and Perdu. Taka Taka has held workshops around Dragtivism and Character construction for: Dutch Design Week-Albert van Abbehuis, Mediamatic, Queer Rotterdam, and Art Academies such as: SNDO-School for New Dance Development, Practise Held in Common - MA in Fine Art and Design, (ArtEZ), Studium Generale Rietveld Academie.