Noirish Lesbiana is an interdisciplinary project bringing together literary, visual, and performing arts in an exploration of lost stories from Seattle’s pre-Stonewall queer culture. Noirish Lesbiana includes experimental hybrid text, a multi-media installation series, and performances of queer Indigneous memoir/speculative fiction.
The historical location is Seattle’s Pioneer Square/Chinatown of the 1960s. The atmosphere is noir-esque – nighttime, subculture, marginalized, invisible lives made visible. This is hybrid history, filtered through a speculative fiction lens where the fantastic makes the story more real. The focus is on my lesbian-headed family of mixblood Alutiiq Natives, and the communities, struggles and strengths that shaped their lives. I am the storyteller, the second generation Black Alutiiq Two Spirit daughterartist.
This work restores absent narratives of Seattle’s culture- the voices of urban Natives, working class lesbians and gays, and the day-to-day realities of life when gay life itself was criminalized.
Utilizing video, live performance and music, visual arts, archival photographs and experimental poetry/song hybrid recordings, this work utilizes noir aesthetics to tell moody, submerged hidden tales of Seattle’s multicultural queer past.
The experimental text is made visible, illustrating its nonlinear experimental nature that reflects both Indigenous storytelling and the often-fragmented nature of the marginalized lives of the protagonists.
It honors and recognizes our LGBTQ elders and ancestors who lived in oppressive and dangerous times, who were threatened with violence, jail and commitment to mental institutions. It celebrates how far we have come in terms of recognizing modern queer community as a part of the whole.