Sultana Bambino is a Montreal based multidisciplinary creator based in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). She creates work with a focus on marginal identities and sees the act of photography and design as a ritualistic outlet to reflect on her emotionally laborious role in her Italo-Moroccan family and immediate community. While she identifies as versatile and adaptable, she is most known for her use of pastel gradients and primary colour blocking, illustrations of hands and portraits of either recognizable or invented underground queer icons.
With a background in photography and design, she co-founded Slut Island with Frankie Teardrop in 2013. Her skills and knowledge compounded with her dedication to anti-oppressive community building lead her to cultivation of the festival’s iconic branding and aesthetic. Through her years of experience with Slut Island, she has acquired additional skills in the likes of PR, festival programming/curation and everything that comes with it, welcoming new challenges as they arise with a consistent dedication the the project and its mandate.
Frankie Teardrop has been running events and DJing in Montreal since 2014. Originally from Vancouver, they were scouted to play varsity soccer for Concordia University. Three years into their Film Studies major at Concordia they were hit with the unfortunate realization that there is very little to no funding or sponsorships in sports for women and were forced to quit and start working in order to pay for school. Within their last year of university they became involved in Faggity Ass Friday’s volunteering committee.
They quickly became inspired by parties that held so space for LGBTQ folks and felt it was necessary to begin doing even more of these kind of events at Cabaret Playhouse (where Faggity was held). This is where they founded LIP and co-founded Slut Island Festival. LIP is an ongoing queer-centered party series that takes place in various venues and after hours locations around the city, their mandate has stayed consistent throughout the years as they prioritize marginalized artists within the local and international DJ scenes. Teardrop has found promoting and throwing their own events a useful tool and platform as a queer non-binary person to become recognized as a DJ and has since mixed at events like Piknic Electronik, S.A.T Domesicle parties, Technofeminism (NYC), Babes on Babes (Vancouver), Bodyheat (Vancouver) and more.
Bita Mary Eslami
Bita Mary eslami is an Irani exile and a forever Montrealer. For two decades she has supported non-status and migrant families, victims of police violence, promoted child care and worked to advance the international BDS movement in solidarity with Palestinians.
Former coordinator for the Immigrant Workers Center, falling 2 classes short of a bachelors in social work – she is currently working at Head & Hands establishing a focus in programming and support for Nigerian asylum seekers and criminalised/prison involved youth.
Magassay Mbow is a multi disciplinary artist, author and curator.
Caricaturist, Author and illustrator of the web series and blog “AtTheNunnery” (2010).
Started (2003) and continuing producing songs on FL Studios. At first used for fun on the computer, then turned into something more personal and professional. Most recently concluded 2017 solo EP “Immanence”.
Former contributor, cartoonist and music editor at Aile Reve Webmag (now AfroPeppy).
Founding member of girl-group Strange Froots, under NoBad Sound Studio. Co-founder of Lux Magna festival.
Magella is a vocalist of the black classical music tradition, a DJ, and a kick-ass survivor. She’s a Montreal based artist with an afro-futuristic vision and style. It’s her goal to create and cultivate safe spaces for POC and LGBTQA+ communities and to raise awareness of important socio-political issues. She’s a man-eating force of nature, ready to rip the still-beating heart out of the Patriarchy and crush it beneath her heel. Her ability to wield all the elements, from fire and earth to water and air, is the reason why she is the Avatar. She is the chosen one, and only she can save us from the fire nation.
In her spare time, she reads books.
J. Ellise Barbara is a Montreal-based avant-garde singer, artist, pinup, and organizer whose musical output combines elements of brazen 80s funk, late 70s underground, and downtown no wave. A lover of the odd, dark, and overlooked elements in pop music, they find inspiration in unexpected sources, like off-the-radar acts Su Tissue, Kashif, Francis Bebey, and obscure new wave duo Rexy. Rising from artist-run spaces such as La Brique and Drones Club at the turn of the current decade, J. Ellise Barbara has seen their work soar to enduring acclaim in Japan and Europe, in a short career whose highlights include duets with Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), and DIY icon R. Stevie Moore. Since going on an indeterminate hiatus, Barbara’s efforts have been partly centered around LGBTQ community organizing (Taking What We Need, ASTTeQ, African Rainbow). They are working on new music with their new outfit, the Black Space, which also includes Markus Lake, Mitch Holtby, and Jenni Roberts.
Rooted within DIY Zine, radio, and rave culture, Diana is a non-binary multidisciplinary community builder that emphasizes the dancefloor as a focal point for the creation and strengthening of LGBTQ2SA+ support networks.
Devoting themselves to the resurgence of Montreal’s queer after hours spaces, Diana holds their learnt experiences of collaborative publishing and radio as a driving factor to their curatorial style.
Curation embedded in the bringing together of different visions, experiences and struggles, Diana combines punk, techno and noise with their radical belief of community as a means for survival.
“Communities are not built on the accomplishments and experiences of any single individual, they are complex support systems we build with and for one another when every other support system disregards our struggles and existence.”
Marcela Huerta is the author of Tropico, a collection of poetry and creative nonfiction published by Metatron Press in 2017. She has worked at the Museum of Anthropology, Working Format, and Free Agency Creative as a Graphic Designer, and at Drawn & Quarterly as an Assistant Editor. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in vallum, Leste, Bad Nudes, Montreal Review of Books, spy kids magazine, and Lemon Hound. You can find her online:
Never Apart is a non-profit organization in Montréal, Québec, Canada, determined to bring about social change and spiritual awareness through cultural programming with global reach and impact.
NVA, the music division of Montreal-based nonprofit organization Never Apart, seeks to create high concept experiences utilizing the city’s array of exciting event spaces. Bridging the gap between the DIY and experimental scenes the city has become famous for, NVA aims to pull cutting edge programming from a diverse musical repertoire with a focus on inclusive, community driven events.
Leticia Trandafir is the Music Director for NVA and has been working closely with Slut Island and Intersessions to present the DJ workshop and Panel discussion on Saturday, July 28th at Never Apart.
Metonymy Press is based in Tio’tia:ke (Montreal), unceded Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) territory. We publish literary fiction and nonfiction by emerging writers. We try to reduce barriers to publishing for authors whose perspectives are underrepresented in order to produce quality materials relevant to queer, feminist, and social justice communities. We really want to keep gay book lovers satisfied.