OTA Double Yellow: the superstars of the century are all queer

OTA ‘Double Yellow’ means one thing: when you’re drawing up your lists and engaging in your debates, remember that the superstars of the century are all queer

When I covered OTA’s 2017 showcase, called Hathor, I described it as a “social experiment of sorts which seeks to highlight the eclectic art hidden in this concrete jungle and celebrated in isolation.” That’s a whole bunch of journalistic bullshit for a very simple idea: the future is queer and Tutu Zondo and his team are relentlessly determined to make that known.

This year, the vehicle for such a showcase is called Double Yellow and takes place at KingKong in Troyville, Johannesburg on Saturday (5 May) night. It’s still the same gumbo of various artistic disciplines but this year is markedly more streamlined than last. There’s a stronger focus on music with acts including Fresh by Caddy, Nkosana and FKA Ghetto Bird (who makes live performance debut) which is highlighted by performance art pieces, most notably, one choreographed by Hannah van Tonder which explores themes of gender-based violence.

Revisit 2017’s OTA Project HATHOR showcase: a safe space for art that matters

As you make your way up KingKong’s seemingly never-ending flights of stairs, everything feels like it’s a part of the show, as though the show itself is an artpiece. The stairwells are littered with yellow paper flowers and as you enter the door of the venue, you’re confronted by a series of illustrations, paintings and photography. In particular, a 20-year-old photographer and videographer by the name of Linda “Ziggy” Zulu is displaying nine film noir self-potraits of his journey through anxiety and depression. As he explains it to me, he’s the “black sheep” of the family for choosing a creative profession and this is his artistic emancipation.

It’s as I’m discussing Ziggy’s work with my friends that Mr Allofit appears in my periphery. His album 5 to Mainstream has just been released and he’s been promoting it across the country, even going so far as to bag an Afternoon Express interview and live performance. But not even those are the reasons he deserved to headline the Double Yellow show. The reason is one: Mr Allofit is the superstar of the century – a term coined by the artist himself and apparently the title of his fifth album as determined by “Hitler”.

Mr Allofit’s Afternoon Express appearance proves what we already knew: the future is queer

I wrote at length over here about why Mr Allofit matters but allow me to offer some additional evidence. Even if you had missed all but his show at the OTA Double Yellow showcase, you really wouldn’t have missed all too much. Where he could have owned the stage all his own (because he is that seasoned of a performer), he invited Gyre on twice, brought Caddy back, gave FKA Ghetto Bird his second shot at stage time, partied with all his friends onstage for the “Best Dressed” performance, and even managed to bring out surprise act Moozlie for “Killin’ It.”

As important as it was to have an event like OTA Double Yellow, I feel it’s equally important to represent as many varieties of queer bodies as you can. Tutu did it with the entire showcase. Mr Allofit did it with his show. It’s important that we celebrate us. It’s essential that we do it the right way. And it matters that we think about things this way.

It’s a stupid world out there but OTA Double Yellow proves that not only can we create safe spaces to nurture queer bodies so they can thrive but it also shows that the only heroes who are going to save the world are queer. So, when you’re drawing up your lists and engaging in your debates, remember that the superstars of the century are all queer.

One comment Add yours

Well, what do you think?