QUEAM was a DIY research project that operated over the course of my time at the Royal College of Art. Collaborating with Emily Contain and Natalie Barton. We specifically looked at the intersections of Architecture, Sexuality and Gender, which spurred me to want to capture the stories of some of London's most important queer venues as they were going through the process of closure
The Joiners Arms has been an integral East London institution for 15 years. It was the first gay pub established in the New Labour government and the first to introduce the London Living Wage.
It is now being closed, like so many similar places, to make way for more luxury residential flats no one can afford.
The Joiners Lives On captures the rich history of the pub and looks towards the legacy of the campaign to save it and to create London's first LGBTQI Community Centre.
QUEAM is a collaborative research and film project exploring London's queer spaces and the various subcultures that are nurtured within them. The Joiners Lives On is the first case study in the series.
Special thanks to Francesco, Giuliano, Aigars, the Dans, Yaki Ben Ami for his great footage, and of course David.
For over a year, the infamous Black Cap pub in Camden has hosted its most successful drag and cabaret night to date, Meth Lab.
From serendipitous beginnings, Meth, the host of the fortnightly show, was compelled to take on the role as star of a new unplanned night. The main focus of which was to bring over famous queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race to give UK fans access to their beloved stars from the other side of the Atlantic.
However, with a long history of performance and academic theory behind her, Meth and the Familyyy Fierce used the time before the headlining American performances to showcase their own acts.
From impressive lip-synching renditions of Shirley Bassey to subversive polemics addressing gender and homophobia, this British drag collective have risen to complement their Drag Race counterparts.
Now, Meth Lab attracts swathes of adoring fans that not only reflects the rising interest in drag but also gives accolade the continuing success of Meth and the Familyyy Fierce.
This short film looks to capture the Meth Lab as it exists today, understanding the history of the night and interrogating the importance of safe queer spaces where a fan or a performer can express themselves in any way they choose to.