Benji Hart is a Black, queer, femme artist and educator from Amherst, MA, living in Chicago. They are the writer behind the blog Radical Faggot, and have essays 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 been published at In These Times, Black Youth Project, Socialist Worker, and other feminist and abolitionist media.
Certified as an elementary educator, their teaching philosophy is grounded in popular education, and relies on art to inspire direct action. They have taught voguing at BRIC House in Brooklyn, the Chicago Cultural Center, and at Black & Pink’s National Convening. They have led workshops on subjects ranging from trans liberation to prison abolition for Assata’s Daughters, Chicago Desi Youth Rising, and at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. They have facilitated retreats and circles—focused on organizational development and community healing—for grassroots collectives such as Love & Protect and For the People Artists Collective.
Their original solo piece Dancer As Insurgent—which explores vogue as a form of radical resistance—has been performed for the Elements of Vogue exhibit opening at CA2M in Madrid (2017), INCITE!‘s conference Color of Violence 4 (2015), and at the Jane Addams Hull House (2015). They are currently drafting a second performance piece, World After This One, examining the myriad ways Black art forms rely on the tools of the present to imagine liberated futures.
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: Eddie Jerks, 2017