Paola Revenioti has been discussing transgender rights, a topic still highly taboo in Greece and other parts of the world, since the early 1980s.
The Greek artist, filmmaker and sex worker is making her UK premiere tonight (18 October) at 8pm in East London’s George and Dragon bar, where the White Cubicle Toilet Gallery will be showcasing photographs from her time as a sex worker in Greece in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The photo exhibit comprises images of her former lovers and clients and will also include images from Kraximo magazine, which she published from 1986-1992.
Kraximo was a ‘trans-anarchist fanzine’ where Revenioti published articles about gay and trans rights and controversial photos about her experiences with boys. Much like modern-day BUTT magazine, Kraximo’s pages were printed in pink.
The show’s curator, and director of artist agency Queer Archive Konstantinos Menelaou told Gay Star Travel what visitors can expect to see tonight and throughout the show’s run.
‘The exhibition draws on the pink pages of Kraximo magazine, so the photos will be on pink wallpaper. I selected photos that she hasn’t published yet and tonight there will be a slideshow with 50 prints not in the show.
‘The goal is to introduce Paola to an international audience.’
Menelaou, who launched Queer Archive as a blog and agency to fundraise for artists and filmmakers, said he travelled to Athens to meet with Revenioti to select the photos for the show.
‘We went to her archives and starting picking out of the many she had. I selected some, and she started telling me stories about where they came from. Then we chose 20 images to fit in the space. This isn’t a retrospective of her work. You would need an entire floor for that.’
Revenioti claims to have organized the first gay pride in Athens in 1992. In a recent interview she said: ‘It was extremely difficult because there was no gay organisation of any sort at the time in Greece to support us, and we decided to take the risk and organise an open party on a hill in central Athens and later on a big square in the centre of the city. It was the first time that Gay Pride posters were everywhere in the city for the for everyone to see.’
With regards to the situation for transgender individuals in Greece, Revenioti said the main problem is survival.
‘The government does not care about [trans people] at all, and as it’s difficult for trans people to get work anyway, they have to turn to prostitution, which nowadays is far from providing a living. It is a very tough time for many trans people I know, including myself.’
KRAXIMO by Paola Revenioti will run from 6pm – Midnight 19th October – 3rd November 2013 at the George and Dragon 2 Hackney Road, London E2 7NS.