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.
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 to trans and queer youth at Black & Pink’s National Convening, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Broadway Youth Center, and have led workshops on subjects ranging from trans liberation to prison abolition for Assata’s Daughters, For the People Artists Collective, and at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. They also facilitate meetings and circles for grassroots collectives, focused on organizational development and community healing.
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 for the Elements of Vogue exhibit opening at CA2M (2017), INCITE!‘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, most recently as a part of Forward Together‘s Trans Day of Resilience (2017). 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.
Header photo: Eddie Jerks, 2017