25.08.2016 ON THE SOFA: Voguing in Europe - Cultural Admiration or Cultural Appropriation?

Voguing is a culture deeply rooted in the New York City ballroom scene, a community built by and for queer and trans people of color. Within the last 10 years voguing has exploded in Europe on social media but also through workshops and functions organized by dedicated European pioneers.

But what does Voguing look like in cultural translation?


While some voguers from the U.S. are eager to share their knowledge of the culture and even encourage and support voguing's European evolution, others are more critical because it now differs from the original ballroom scene. In New York, Washington, D.C., and Detroit, for instance, the ballroom scene is still ruled by black and latinx gay and trans people. In Europe, the majority of voguers are white gay men or white straight females.


Dance studios and commercial dance events have picked up on this trend and often they present Voguing as just another style of urban dance, a choreography that can be learned, rather than the culture it used to be -- a safe space for marginalized and intersectionally oppressed people. This panel examines the appropriate ways to translate voguing as a (sub) culture and lifestyle to a European audience and points to ways that European Voguing Pioneers can develop this culture without being exploitative.
Panel Guests:
Known as Mother Steffie, Stephane Mizrahi is the European Mother of the House of Mizrahi and one of the pioneers of the Paris Ballroom Scene. Together with Lasseindra Ninja both pioneers have paved the way for Voguing in Paris and Europe. Stephane Mizrahi is judging Balls and teaches Voguing all over Europe.

madison moore (London)
madison moore (Ph.D. American Studies, Yale) is a London based artist-scholar who blurs the lines between theory, pop culture and artistic practice. He is an ERC-funded Research Associate in "Modern Moves" in the Department of English at King's College London, and his first book, The Theory of the Fabulous Class: Creativity at the Margins, is under contract at Yale University Press. madison has been published by Aperture, Interview magazine, Art in America, Thought Catalog, Splice Today, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Theater magazine and Dancecult: A Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. His new scholarship and artistic work explores creativity, club worlds and queerness.

Niv Acosta (New York)
niv Acosta is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Acosta’s intersectional identities—as transgender, queer and black Dominican—have continuously inspired his community-based work. Acosta’s performance work has shown at various spaces including The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, Human Resources, Los Angeles, MOMA PS1, New York, and the New Museum, New York.

After practicing Voguing in N.Y., Mother Leo Melody has founded Germany's first Vogue House in 2012 - the House of Melody with meanwhile 13 members in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Paris. Furthermore she's organizing together with Mic Oala Voguing workshops, lectures, panels, community events, and the annual BerlinVoguingOut Festival since 5 years. BerlinVoguingOut is a movement created to teach, spread and respectfully translate the Voguing culture to a German (based) audience with its special demographic characteristics. This pioneering work in close collaboration with Legends from New York and other European pioneers has lead to an active Voguing community in Germany.

The Panel discussion is in collaboration with Tanz im August - Internationales Festival Berlin.

9:00pm @ Sophiensaele, Sophienstr 18, 10178 Berlin