[WORK SHOP] Drag Up! Queers! 拽起来,酷儿们!

With the global popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag has increasingly become mainstreamed and even commercialised. But is RuPaul the only legitimate and visible form of drag culture in the world today?And what are the other existing and emerging drag forms and traditions? If we acknowledge the existence of different drag traditions around the world (such as the pantomime tradition in the UK and the cross-dressing tradition in Chinese operas), how can drag be performed differently and understood in a truly global and decolonised sense? If we recognise the communitarian and activist functions of drag, how can drag be used productively to empower Asian and queer communities?

Project Duration:
2nd June 2023 - 4th July 2023

Live performance:
30 June 2023

Application Deadline:
25th May, 2023


Application Form:
Click Here

The project is supported by the University of Nottingham in collaboration with Queer China UK to connect academic research to society and to empower minority communities.

Drag up! Queers! 拽起来,酷儿们!
A FREE decolonising drag performance-making project is calling for participants to join in this journey of exploring gender, sexuality and identity.

谁在「拽起来!」?Who is running 「Drag up!」?

Co-director and facilitator
a QAF theatre maker, a socially engaged art practitioner. 
Their Drag persona 404 not found(she/her) embodies oppressed female figures in contemporary Chinese society, had her Debut act The Chained Bird at RVT in 2022. 
They are going to tell the story of two queer Chinese students blurring the boundaries of gender, intimacy and more with their theatre project TANA this year on EdinburgFringe. 

Project Leader
Associate Professor in Media Studies, University of Nottingham.Hongwei’sresearch is primarily concerned with how media relate to issues of gender, sexuality and identity, and how they participate in community building, empowerment of minority groups, and grassroots mobilisation. It also considers how media and contemporary culture respond to a postsocialist world dominated by neoliberal ideologies, and how socialist and democratic forms of community cultures and social forms are lived and experienced in everyday lives and social movements.

8 years of experience in activism, community building and empowerment. She established Queer China UK after realising the intersectional invisibility of the Chinese LGBTQ+ diaspora community. In recent years, Qiuyan has curated many interesting projects with her lovely community including Queer Chinese Art Festival, queering Chinatown zine making workshops and Decolonising queer tour in Chinese at the British Museum.

Special Guests:

Will Dai is a Beijing native who makes their home in the Shanghai queer underground. They are an LGBTQ+ community organizer, a DJ, musician, designer and visual artist. They are a member of the queer screen culture collective CINEMQ. Every weekend, they transform into Dai Nasty, their drag personality, turning hot looks, hot tricks, and hot tunes around the city.

Matthew Baren is a British filmmaker and queer community organiser based in Shanghai. He is a co-founder of CINEMQ, an underground queer cinema collective promoting a broader awareness of queer film, and generating discussion on LGBTQ+ experience and perspectives in China through screen culture. In 2018, he directed the documentary Extravaganza, which goes behind the scenes of a groundbreaking Shanghai drag show.


More guests will be announced, so stay tuned!

*参与者以志愿者的身份参与项目,在诺丁汉大学的支持下我们不向参与者收取任何活动费用, 并有8磅/天的交通补贴
*Participation in the project will be on a voluntary basis, is FREE of charge and there will be £8/DAY TRAVEL ALLOWENCE with the support of University of Nottingham.

*All the artworks produced at the workshops will be on a Creative Commons licence, with the creators’ names credited.


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