I STAND WITH YOU is a collaborative project between final year Visual Arts majors, Tara Simon and Luisa Tora of the Faculty of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).

Timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the project and its contributing artists and partners stand in solidarity with MIT’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex students and staff and their broader communities.

The artists are Sharon Fitness, Tanu Gago, Rebecca Ann Hobbs and Thomas and Liana Fonua, Leilani Kake, Nicole Lim, Steve Lovett, Jo Mears, Richard Orjis, Molly Rangiwai-McHale, Sangeeta Singh, Luisa Tora, Pati Solomona Tyrell, and Kerrie-Anne Van Heerden.

The artists were asked to respond to the IDAHOT 2014 theme which is ‘Freedom of Expression’. The theme was chosen by activists worldwide following attacks on the rights and freedoms of LGBTQI communities and their allies.

The artwork is in the form of posters because posters are the preferred medium for political activists around the world whether they are large scale screen-printed affairs or hastily scrawled messages on pieces of cardboard.

The posters will be installed at MIT’s Faculty of Creative Arts and at Fresh Gallery Otara in South Auckland. Artist talks are scheduled for 1230pm, Room Z142 on Tuesday, 13 May, and an LGBTQI Youth Service Providers panel at 1230pm, Room Z142 on Thursday, 15 May at the Faculty.

I Stand With You hopes to foster a safe and nurturing environment for LGBTQI students and staff at the Faculty of Creative Arts and greater MIT. It also encourages open-minded attitudes amongst Faculty students and staff regarding diverse lifestyles and sexual and gender identities.

We hope that you will join us in person or in solidarity for what we think will be an exciting and historic event at the Faculty of Creative Arts and for South Auckland.

12-17 May 2014

Otara, South Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

Project Sponsor + Host, MIT Faculty of Creative Arts

Luisa Tora + Grant Thompson

Thanks to Luisa Tora and Tara Simon for organising the I Stand With You project as part of their final year BCA degree studies. Thanks too to Ema Tavola for her mentoring of the project.

I Stand With You creates a space in which queer consciousness gets to unfold. That’s good, I like it. I kind of expect the Faculty of Creative Arts to be a bit more rainbow than the other faculties around MIT, but my expectation just buys into a set of assumptions that says queer is artistic, expressive or exotic and not your mechanic or your accountant or your arborist. Queer is an energy.

Last year’s FAFSWAG Ball made that energy palpable, and I am so proud to say that MIT’s Faculty of Creative Arts funded that event and now we and FAFSWAG are co-sponsors of I Stand With You. It’s family.

Grant Thompson
Dean, Faculty of Creative Arts
Manukau Institute of Technology


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