Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Respect to the Black brothers and sisters in London

London is one hour flying away from Amsterdam, so not very far. That’s also the way I experience it. I feel very well attached to the black gay scene in London, even though I don’t know lots of people there. Especially through my acquaintance with black artists and activists feed this feeling. So I really though I had to be present at the Black LGBT Community Awards ceremony last month. Especially with my friend Ajamu and artist Dean Atta (who performed with big success in Amsterdam at Black Talk) were nominated.

Together with my sister we took the car and put the given address on the site, Embankment in the car's navigator system. It brought us to the Embankment, but not the one where the ship on which the ceremony was taking place was leaving. Thanks to the idea of my sister that it’s maybe next to the Parliament Buildings at the patience of the organisers that we made it to the boat for the ceremony.

Here me with Ajamu's nice friends Antoine and Mudia

It was a beautiful evening with a nice dinner, typical British very expensive drinks and after he dinner the announcement of the prices. The fact that the Awards s called Black didn’t meant all the organisations nominated were exclusively black. It also meant organisations working in the benefit of the black lgbt community.

To my big joy Ajamu won the Man Of The Year Award! I quote the website why.
Ajamu is an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer, community archivist and the co –founder of rukus! Federation- an arts company dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the best in challenging, provocative works by black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Artists nationally and internationally. Ajamu is the currently the Archive Manager of the rukus! Black LGBT Archive, which seeks to collect, preserve, exhibit public, cultural, and artistic materials related to the Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans heritage, history and lived experience in the UK. Ajamu has initiated various projects in 2008, including Outside Edge: A Journey through Black British Lesbian, and Gay History at the Museum in the Docklands, Glorious Outpourings at Brixton Library, and this year rukus! was awarded The Archives Landmark Award for In this Our Lives: The Reunion, which marked the 20th anniversary of the first and only national Black Gay Mens conference and he was this years creative director for Outburst UK. www.rukus.co.uk.

The man and woman of the year

If there is a man of the year, for sure there was a woman of the year. Mz Fontaine reacted very touched when she was crowned Woman of the Year. According ot the organisers:
Mz Fontaine is a highly successful recording artist. In 2008 she released her latest album ‘Spoken Thoughts’, and appeared at Bootylicious, Pride London, ILGFA World Cup, Outburst and UK Black Pride. Her performances are electric and empowering. In addition to being an artist, Mz Fontaine is also a business entrepreneur having founded an independent Label “Fondation Entertainment” catering for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) artistes in 2001. This label is now housed under the “Fondation Group of Companies“. Through Fondation Entertainment, Mz Fontaine has challenged homophobia and racism through working in schools and with youth groups, and worked to support young LGBT artists and musicians.

Our young spoken word artist Dean Atta won the Awards in the Arts category and all of you who have visited Black Talk back in August in Amsterdam know he is very special. Young, bold and very talented. Keep up the good work.

Yes, I really am part of this community. Matter of fact is that I there isn’t visible black gay community like this in Amsterdam. Of course I know the ‘children’ and so on, but right now we aren’t working together, organising ourselves and supporting each other. Here in Amsterdam we talk about different ethnic communities, that sometimes comes together, but sporadically.
Rob Berkley who is the chairman of the organising body The Black Gay Men Advisory Group announced in his speech that he is quitting. I really want to congratulate him with the job he and his organisation has done.
I also want to give my respect to all the Awards winners, the nominees and really the whole British Black LGBT Community.. I wish we could have people to nominate for something like a Black LGBT awards in the Netherlands. Please count your blessing the next time you feel disappointed and not acknowledged. This black gay brother from the Caribbean, living in Amsterdam really does!

All pictures by Ajamu


miss egg said...

i like your thoughts and comments/ wishes for Amstedam Marlon. who knows...

Anonymous said...

love you Marlon...and yes we can from anywhere we are in the world...

ya sis...Zulile