Drag artists gathered in Port Elizabeth for DragCon 2018

Some DragCon delegates: Katya Mendez, Dakota Demure, Ava-reece Cole, Belinda Ferguson, Wendy LaRosa

Saturday 15 September 2018 saw the first ever DragCon to be held in Port Elizabeth at Ibhayi Lodge, Walmer.

The symposium-styled workshop was hosted by Katya Mendez, a drag artist from Port Elizabeth, in collaboration with Wendy LaRosa, a drag artist from Cape Town.

The event formed part of Mendez’ projects as the reigning Miss Gay Nelson Mandela Bay Humanitarian 2018. The main aim of DragCon 2018 was to empower drag artists in Port Elizabeth to extend their skill set to stay abreast with the dynamism of drag artistry but also to align their drag aesthetic with their personal purpose.

This event presented delegates the opportunity to brush up, or gain new knowledge, on the history of drag culture and how the art form has evolved as well as engaging with topics on gender expression, self-identity, grooming, etiquette of a queen and branding.

The event was well received by delegates and they took full advantage of learning new skills and asking thought provoking questions that raised engaging debates among all in attendance.

“When I agreed to be a facilitator for DragCon2018 I came in with the idea of only being a teacher, yet I came out a learner as well”, LaRosa remarked.

“The day made me realise again that drag artistry is multifaceted, ever-changing and that you can always learn something new. Furthermore, collaborative, safe explorative platforms are much needed to provide a support network to drag artists across the board, upcoming and established”, Mendez said.

“My advice to other drag artists is that they should use their liberated privilege of self-acceptance to inspire others who may not be as fortunate due to societal perceptions and stigma associated with gender expression. Continue what you do, remain committed even if it goes seemingly unnoticed; someone is aspiring to be in your fortunate place too one day.”

Many may ask: So, what happens now. “It gives me great excitement to announce that a 2019 version of DragCon will be held in Cape Town. More details will be communicated closer to the time,” said Mendez.

For more information contact Mendez on mendez.katya918@gmail.com.

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