Phil Lind Initiative

The Phil Lind Initiative Speaker Series: Sasha Velour

Buy tickets
Thu Apr 18 2024 6pm
Chan Shun Concert Hall
TICKETS ON SALE MARCH 7

The Phil Lind Initiative is presented by UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs in partnership with the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Critically acclaimed gender-fluid drag queen, visual artist, speaker, illustrator and author, Sasha Velour has been a force in the international drag scene long before her scene-stealing, rose-petal-filled win on season nine of the Emmy Award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race. Her first book, The Big Reveal: An Illustrated Manifesto of Drag has been heralded as “a rousing tribute to a revolutionary art form and its practitioners” (Publisher’s Weekly).

In her Phil Lind Initiative talk titled The Big Reveal: Why Drag MattersVelour will delve into queer history and the importance of drag as an expression of oneself, as a revolutionary act of visibility for queer culture, and as a rich, multifaceted and politically-charged art form that delights and disrupts. “Drag embodies the queer possibility that exists within each of us,” Velour states, “the infinite ways in which gender, good taste, and art can be lived.”

Velour’s first one-queen drag show Smoke & Mirrors was called a “spell-binding tour de force” (Forbes) touring to over 80 cities around the world from 2019-22. Her acclaimed NYC drag show NightGowns was adapted into a docu-series in 2020 and recently completed a sold-out residency at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge. Velour’s star continues to rise with a brand-new stage work created in connection to her book, as well as a role hosting the fourth season of HBO’s Peabody and Emmy-Award winning tv show We’re Here. She was also recently commissioned by the Tony Award-winning Tectonic Theatre Project to star in and co-create a new theatrical work premiering in 2024.

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Pop Politics: Pop Culture and Political Life in the United States

Popular culture plays a vital if complicated role at the heart of American political life. The music, movies, memes, podcasts, shows, and novels that saturate our daily existence reveal much about how American society thinks about itself and how it understands politics. The narratives conveyed through pop culture often seek to reflect the realities of American life and, in so doing, help shape those realities. A testament to its influence, more people experience politics through mass culture than they do through formal political acts. This speaks to the potential power that pop culture has for getting Americans – and younger generations in particular – engaged with the political debates that define our era. But pop culture, susceptible as it is to manipulation and underpinned by commercial interests, is not without potential pitfalls for democratic societies. This series asks how the defining debates of American political life are represented in pop culture and, in turn, how pop culture helps define them. Going beyond the substantive content, it also offers a critical eye to the mediums of pop culture and how they shape how we understand politics. Ultimately it explores the promise and peril of pop culture in how we understand, experience, and practice politics in the United States.

Buy tickets
Thu Apr 18 2024 6pm
Chan Shun Concert Hall
TICKETS ON SALE MARCH 7

The Phil Lind Initiative is presented by UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs in partnership with the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

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