Flatness

Flatness is a long-running ‘site of resistance’ (Dr Sylvia Theuri) inspired by the expanses of the screen, the outdoors and community networks. Read more about us.

🇵🇸 Free Palestine announcement 🇵🇸 20% from the sales of the remaining 30 copies of Queer Diasporic Futurity (QDF £15+£2 p&p) will go to UNWRA (United nations works and relief agency for Palestine Refugees).

Buy your copy now, or I understand they make excellent gifts! Why not pick up Jack Jeans’ Bee Zine: Solitary Solidarity (£4.50) at the same time? I’m joining the PayPal boycot so email me or send me a DM with your address for payment details. Thank you!

The rest of the price tag will support our upcoming programme including a comission by brilliant agitator and QDF contributor, Amardeep Singh Dhillon.

Queer Diasporic Futurity cover
Back cover of QDF with list of contributors

Leaflet by Art Workers for Palestince distributed at a vigil for Palestinian artists held at Tate Modern - front cover

Thanks to Art Workers For Palestine for sharing this documentation from the vigil for Palestinian artists held at Tate Modern last Sunday 26 November. The Tate have made a statement in solidarity with Ukraine but are keeping silent about Gaza. Why?

Silence is violence. Denounce the ongoing violence of occupation. Cultural boycott of Israel and permanent ceasefire now.

type reading 'we are many' over red white and green watermelon shapes with eyes in their centres looking out

Flatness is in grief and rage at the ongoing genocide in Palestine as well as the apartheid which evidently exists beyond national borders but in people’s minds too. See you on the streets each week in our thousands and in our millions until there is justice for Palestinians and all colonised peoples. We Are Many. Read the latest Radicle newsletter to find an accessible list of resources and reporters to follow.

 

Different colour copies of Bee Zine in red, green and pink

Jack Jeans’s new ‘Bee Zine: Solitary:Solidarity’ with paintings by Ruzha Kazandjieva is now available as a free download and as a hand-bound, risoprinted zine. Follow the link to buy and we can send you a copy or head to Peckham Books while stocks last!

Bee zine: Solitary:Solidarity

Compiled by Jack Jeans with artwork by Ruzha Kazandjieva

Bee Zine: Solitary:Solidarity by Jack Jeans builds solidarity with solitary bees and private renters to protect biodiversity and improve living conditions. Where homeowners and honey bees are the only one prioritised, we all lose out.

The zine accompanies the bee homes Jack made and installed in Peveril Gardens after our Swap Shop in January. 

In the spirit of the zine, the ink and materials used mean the publication is fully compostable! Read more.

Cover of zine entitled Pavement Flowers by MZ Rahman showing a dandelion growing through a pavement.

In June Flatness took part in the first Presse Books Fair, selling publications by contributors including Texta Queen, Mohammed Z. Rahman, Nat Lall, Steve & Samantha, 56a Infoshop, Beth Bramich and, alongside our book Queer Diasporic Futurity (QDF), two brand new zines by Jack Jeans and Hannah le Feuvre and Ulijona Odišarija. Pavement Flowers by Mohammed Z. Rahman, QDF by Flatness and Bee Zine: Solitary:Solidarity compiled by Jack Jeans are available to buy or download from the site.

 

Plant Medicine of the City: A seasonal diary by Rasheeqa Ahmad. What new tastes and experiences beyond our comfort zone can transform our sense of what’s possible?

Documentation from gig with Ulijona behind keyboard and James on guitar
So pleased to host Ulijona Odišarija and James Lownes’ band Steve & Samantha at Presse Books to launch their new EP ‘Better is Better’ and celebrate the culmination of our residency at Forma and Peveril Gardens. Listen to their full EP on all streaming platforms including Bandcamp.

 

Orange and cream motif of Peveril Gardens by Design Print Bind

Thanks to everyone who made it to the programme we put together at FormaHQ and Peveril Gardens over the February half term. We appreciated your company defeating the Winter dank! Special thanks to contributors Ali Yellop, Design Print Bind,  Ulijona Odišarija & Hannah Lefeuvre and Richard Court for being so generous with your time and sharing so much knowledge and inspiration.

 

swap shop and screening poster

Thanks to everyone who came to the swap shop and screening event at FormaHQ (documentation is up here). It was great to meet everyone and reflect on notions of value, redistribution and mutual care with you. There was a surplus of donations (thank you) but it was perhaps the smaller swaps of things that still had value for both swappers that were most 💫 in defeating capitalism ; )

Big thanks to filmmaker Tomás Fernandez Vértiz for your beautiful film and conversation (not to mention the warming drink of Mexican hot chocolate  and Colombian sweets you brought for everyone), Southwark Notes for chatting about community activism around Elephant, and Jack Jeans for making the insect homes for Peveril Gardens and seed bombs for the swap.

We were overwhelmed by the response and look forward to seeing you again for events we’re planning during the half term break 14-18 February.

 

The Chiron Choir was formed on occasion of Dr. Hannah Catherine Jones’s exhibition ‘OWED TO CHIRON (The Wounded Healer) at Mimosa House in London at the end of last year. I was honoured to be invited to write about HCJ’s work in a text entitled ‘Vulnerability with Attitude (Overdue Dues)‘.

 

Thanks to Flatness contributor Joseph Walsh for this welcome throwback to the Summer and AssemblePlay’s Mini Festival of Play that we curated as part of the public programme for Brent Biennial 2022, ‘In the House of my Love’.

Thanks too to the playworkers and their loose parts, all the children and everyone who came along to Kilburn Grange Park to join us. Scroll down for ‘In the Curve’, another contribution by Joseph recorded during lockdown.

 

Image of the Forma building, garden above and neighbouring towerblock viewed from the Bricklayers Arms roundabout next door

Flatness have just moved to Elephant and Castle to begin our Oasis residency at FormaHQ. Lasting until Spring 2023, the residency invites socially engaged practitioners to develop and deliver a cultural programme that strengthens the bridge between the newly developed FormaHQ (retrofitted into a studio building, cafe, events space and public garden from 1960s garage block and podium on top) and its local communities, creating meaningful connections that have social impact and harmonise with the organisation’s activities.

Close up of hands colouring in pictures of medicinal plants found growing wild around the city.

Brent Biennial 2022 Public Programme by Flatness

Flatness curated a public programme of talks, workshops, activities for kids, screenings and a conference for Brent Biennial ‘In the House of my Love’. Lifting the conversations from QUEER DIASPORIC FUTURITY off the page, the programme gathered together community-building practices that centre on creativity, healing, listening, showing up for others and asking bold questions, in what can otherwise be a dizzying political environment. Events included a misery medicine walk, a day of action Against the Hostile Environment (with QDF contributors Amardeep Singh Dhillon, Beth Saha and Daniella Valz Gen), a series of community listening events, an event on housing called Homes for Queers (with Adam Farah), and kids’ events with misery and AssemblePlay. The intention was to nurture connections that can help to find one’s voice and feel supported in taking a stand against hostility.

Thanks to all who joined us!

The documentation above is of a misery medicine workshop held in July showing the Pavement Flowers zine made for the event by Mohammed Zaahidur Rahman. Photography by Kes-Tchaas Eccleston.

 

QDF contributors show relief between group portraits

‘Queer Diasporic Futurity’ edited by Flatness

The book launch at Studio Voltaire at the start of July was a shy success and we’re happy that copies of Queer Diasporic Futurity have since found homes at addresses from Wales to Melbourne. This limited edition publication and special launch poster is available to buy for £17 incl. p&p (payment details follow below). Copies are also available at Category is Books and Good Press in Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan Uni Library and Presse, BOOKS, Koenig Books at Whitechapel Gallery and the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths in London. Get in touch if you have any access requests, or if you would like to order one of four remaining bundles of TextaQueen’s ‘Learn your ACABs’, Nat Lall’s ‘Scores for Sissy Bois’ and QDF for £30 + p&p.

Queer Diasporic Futurity, commissioned by SAFEDI and developed in partnership with not/nowhere artist workers’ co-operative, marks 9 years of the Flatness curatorial platform for artists’ moving image and network culture, bearing witness to the decentralised QTIBPOC (Queer, Trans and Intersex identified Black and People of Colour) networks it has come to form a part of.

QDF contains a collective call to restore loving connections to the body and to nature. The collection makes visible a vital network of practices focused on sustainability, accessibility and futurity. QDF reflects on the holistic conditions the book’s contributors are creating in order to disassociate less from the exhaustion of everyday overstimulation and disappointments, and to begin to identify new, potentially transformative felt connections to build upon.

Contributions to QDF include:

• A foreword by Evan Ifekoya;
• Introductions by Flatness founder, Shama Khanna;
• Two reflections on Earthlove within urban settings and facilitating the Community Apothecary by Rasheeqa Ahmad;
• An in-depth discussion on ‘Queering Economics’ organised by Decolonising Economics with guests Evan Ifekoya, Amardeep Singh Dhillon and June Bellebono addressing queer infrastructures of care, redistribution of power and spiritual relationships to money;
• A divination essay by Daniella Valz Gen probing questions of sustainability and growth within practice;
• A response to the entangled temporality of diasporic life by Aditi Jaganathan;
• A wellbeing spell by Adam Farah;
• and a scorebook tenderly exploring introverted tomboy and transmasc sounds by Nat Lall.

QDF is published in partnership with not/nowhere artist workers’ co-operative and has been beautifully designed by Design Print Bind.

Place your order via PAYPAL (paypal.me/QDFbyFlatness) to receive a copy of our book for £17 (£15 + £2 UK p&p/ £22 including International p&p) along with any donations you’re able to make.

The process is a little clunky unfortunately, but can be broken down into the following steps:

– First, choose the ‘send’ (not ‘request’) money option

– To ensure all your ££ comes to the fundraiser choose the ‘friends and family’ payment option. Or, if you wish to choose the ‘item or service’ option please add £1 to the cost of the book (i.e. £18 in total) to cover extra charges incurred.

– Lastly, add your address in the “What’s this payment for?” box. We will be in touch in the coming weeks to confirm your details for delivery.

 

Plant Medicine of the City: a Seasonal Diary by RASHEEQA AHMAD (Hedge Herbs)

Rasheeqa is a Herbalist practicing in London with plant medicine, supporting people in her community with herbs and the healing they can offer. In the coming year she will be guiding us through the seasonal energy changes she observes and works with – both in the herb gardens she runs and growing wild around the city – in this special realtime plant life diary for Flatness. Watch Rasheeqa’s introduction to the series here.

 

RESURRECTION LANDS 2020 by Danielle Braitwaite Shirley

Interview with DANIELLE BRATHWAITE-SHIRLEY

Danielle discusses types of gatekeeping which determines value and erases the presence of Black people from archives, technologies and markets. Through her work she seeks to create a foundation for other Black Trans people to build on top of, including making archives where they are not only centred but embedded in the fabric of her coding. We also speak about her non-linear approach to technology reviving technologies to repurpose them for use by Black Trans people. And how she emphasises accessibility in her work and the importance of setting out terms and conditions as a way of holding people (and gatekeepers) to account.

 

The physical and digital and the spaces in-between by Dr SYLVIA THEURI (image courtesy estate of DONALD RODNEY)

 

black and white film still showing a tall man in traditional south asian dress resting against a human sized set of weighing scales

Following Ten Million Dinner Parties by NISHA RAMAYYA

 

image of the very long hair of a person stood in a kitchen

hair folder (video) by ULIJONA ODIŠARIJA

 

watercolour drawing of two basking figures and a green stream

In The Curve by JOSEPH WALSH

 

room lit with low pink light showing musician in front of synthesisers and turntables

Lockdown performance by TOM RICHARDS

 

collage of pisces rising memes by Nat Lall

The blessing of the Pisces Rising by NAT LALL

There is a high chance that astrology is a load of bollocks but there are a few things I get out of it. Actually one or two things are very useful.

The first is a sense of belonging because for some reason astrology is a predominant part of lesbian culture. Don’t ask me why. I don’t really care why. Why not? I mean I was forced to study Christianity for a lot longer…lmao.

Anyway, I also find that regular horoscopes give me a sense of focus. That’s super useful for me. I find a lot of truth, or at least correlation, in my chart.

Continued …

 

open notebook showing handwriting and postcard used as bookmark

Notebook Score #2: The line of the hand throws the mind out of the body reading by HANNAH SATZ

This notebook practice represents a release of thought and feeling, in some sense counter to the control or fixity of Writing. It’s flighty – the motion of writing long-hand is another way of running  but the connection from hand to gut is also grounding; it earths me. I read fragments from the end of February to the end of April 2020, here and there; paragraphs, lines, or words from flicked through pages, self-censoring as I stumble and flow. It is meant, even in its inward-looking, to be a form of openingan offering.

Listen to the reading 

 

Peaceful in the rain in the order by DAN WALWIN

 

Texta Queen, documentation from the making of the 'Bollywouldn't' series 2019

Interview with TEXTAQUEEN

… There are so many more south Asians I’ve connected with whose lives are on tangents to mine here in London than back ‘home’. I’ve felt part of a cluster of brown and black artists working with care and integrity here, and have made more intergenerational connections. My parents migrated, and I was born, not long after the White Australia policies ended, there aren’t elder second generation POC migrants and I have very few peers my age at my intersections. …

… A decolonial practice for me is, during the creative process, letting go of imagining the white liberal audience reaction to the work and keeping present in mind myself and an audience who will feel empowerment through the work.

Read the interview in full …

 

Rehana Zaman, Your Ecstatic Self (teaser), 2019

rehana zaman

 

MEDICATED SUMMERS / BENEFITS TRAP / ENDS PORTALS  two-part momentational sequence consisting of a short video and an image dump PDF file by ADAM FARAH

TAYLOR LE MELLE responds to MEDICATED SUMMERS / BENEFITS TRAP / ENDS PORTALS by Adam Farah

 

lucy clout

 

An Analog for Listening by NIKHIL VETTUKATTIL

nat lall

 

painterly image of a steam train reflected in a sea of water

dan walwin

 

Creating safer spaces

The web is not a neutral space. From its beginnings as a US defence initiative to improve communication with soldiers in remote places, through to the privileged, racial capitalistic understanding of freedom and ‘making the world a better place’ the Californian ideologists who continue to structure and profit from it maintain. There has been an equally long history of artists and technologists critiquing this version of its development which Flatness builds upon.

Flatness is working on becoming a safer and accessible space free from racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, classism, casteism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, or hatefulness. Let us know if there are ways we can do this better.

Subscribe to the Flatness newsletter for project updates.

Donations are always welcome for supporting the project.

Web design & programming by Gailė Pranckūnaitė & Andrius Zupkus.

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