Interview: Niranjan Kamatkar (GFest: The Gaywise Festival) | So So Gay

ts in The Telegraph that gay culture is, ‘shallow, camp, and kitsch’? 

I was a bit shocked by that. He needs to see the whole range of activities that happen in gay culture, right from the popular side of the spectrum to the high-end of it. You can’t sum it up in so few words and put a stereotypical label on it.

Are there any particular artists, performances, or films you’re personally looking forward to this year? 

[laughs] Is this a trick question? Everybody’s work is unique. As organisers, what we want to see is something for everyone to connect with and enjoy. And that’s a key thing. Each and every artwork is original and there are fascinating insights in them. We’re looking forward to it all.

Is there anything unique about this year’s festival? 

We’ve been working to mark 30 years of HIV. One event is a creative workshop around HIV with a youth group from West London. The second event is happening at the Cockpit Theatre, which is looking at HIV and sex work through role play and acting. We are also addressing the very current concerns of East London homophobia and transphobia at a debate event. We always have a debate every year, but this year it’s something that is a more current topic, but looking at a wider cultural perspective and how arts and other influences are affected by it. It includes Peter Tatchell, local councillors, and practitioners. 

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