Benji Hart is a Black, queer, femme artist and educator currently living in Chicago. They are the writer behind the blog Radical Faggot, and have essays featured in the anthologies Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief (2017) and Taking Sides: Radical Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (2015), both from AK Press. Their writing has also been published at Black Youth Project, Truthout, Salon Magazine, and other feminist and abolitionist media.
Formally certified as an elementary educator, their teaching philosophy is grounded in popular education, and relies on art to inspire resistance and direct action. Their areas of focus include the dance form vogue, spoken word poetry, trans and queer history, and prison and police abolition. They have taught voguing to trans and queer youth at Black & Pink’s National Convening, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Broadway Youth Center, and have offered workshops on a range of political topics to such groups as Assata’s Daughters, Chicago Desi Youth Rising, For the People Artists Collective, and others.
Their original one-person piece Dancer As Insurgent–which explores the street dance style of vogue as a form of radical resistance–has been performed at CA2M in Madrid (2017), INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence’s conference Color of Violence 4 (2015), and the Jane Adams Hull House (2015). Their poetry and spoken word have been featured at showcases and venues around Chicago, and most recently as a part of Forward Together‘s Trans Day of Resilience (2017).
They are the recipient of the Rauschenberg Residency (2018), Chicago Women and Femmes to Celebrate (2016), and the 3Arts Award in the Teaching Arts (2015).
Header photo: Love & Struggle Photos