The Editor looks back at the year 2012 in Polari Magazine and how it has explored the LGBT subculture.
The year 2012 has been the most industrious in the history of Polari Magazine. In the wake of the rebuild and relaunch of the website in December 2011, it reinforced its identity as a publication that explores the LGBT subculture. The 2012 Retrospective is divided into 5 parts: Arts & Culture, Queer Year, Music, Real People and Polari’s Credo. The idea is to take a look at the heart of Polari’s character.
A subculture is made up of the diverse range of people who are under its expansive umbrella, and so it’s inevitably contradictory, fluid, complex and chaotic. The aim of Polari Magazine is to look into it and see what’s going on. This is what we have found.
Part 1: Arts & Culture
Throughout 2012, Polari talked to many fascinating people working the queer arts and culture scene. The following is a selection from a wide and varied company.
The Arts & Culture year started with an exclusive article written by Ernest Hole, founder of London’s iconic bookstore Gay’s the Word, in which he looked back to the birth of the shop and forward to why it “remains vital, a cornerstone of the gay community”.
Writers and Writing
Kate Smith and Babs Guthrie ran the innovative Write Queer London programme, an ambitious festival of curator talks, gallery tours, poetry commissionsand creative writing workshops culminating in a writing competition.
Justin Torres’ debut novel We The Animals is a compelling story of three brothers growing up and growing apart is told in a series of snapshots.
Polari Magazine has a long standing love affair with Clayton Littlewood that dates back to December 2008. In this interview, Littlewood talks about his wonderful second book, Goodbye to Soho, and its downright Dickensian cast of characters.
Interviews with Performance Artists
In February, we caught up with Charlie Hides, the man behind Kandi Kane, and the YouTube sensation Charlie Hides TV, featuring the hit series Madonna’s Lady GaGa Nightmare.
In two separate interviews – one written as an article, and one captured on video in Stoke Newington graveyard, Polari talked to cabaret artist Alp Haydar. “Through the magic of the projector screen, Alp Haydar performs all the parts in a show that is riotously funny, engagingly shocking, and deeply moving. This is satire as it should be, with no holds barred.”
In a wide-ranging interview, performance artist Matt Fennemore about the queer arts pioneer David Wojnarowicz, whose work has inspired his new piece, You Killed Me First!
Interviews with Film Makers
Polari talked to Weekend‘s writer and director, Andrew Haigh, and leading man, Chris New, on the eve of the film’s DVD and Blu-ray release.
Intimacy forms the core of Travis Mathews’ film work so far, including his ongoing series of documentaries, In Their Room.
North Sea Texas is a beautifully shot, gentle and affecting coming of age tale of 14 year old Pim, played by Jelle Florizoone.
Russian photographer Andrei Vishnyakov turns his queer gaze on straight men.
Lee Baxter combines an interest in architecture with an eye for a good-looking man to create photographs that are thoughtful, intimate, and subtly sexy.
The Visual Arts
In three exceptional visual arts reviews, Michael Langan wrote about the good, the bad and the shamelessly commercial.
The End of an Era
On July 31, the author Gore Vidal died. Polari interviewed Vidal in January 2009. I met Vidal, who is my favourite writer, back in 1997. For my obituary I recalled a funny, off the record story.