For this project, our journalistic instincts and production skills were put to test. A complete digital publication had to be completed, and for it, a subject—on this occasion, Montreal's queer ballroom and kiki scene—had to be observed, reported on, and synthesized through the pages of an InDesign mock-up. All images and texts (including interviews, articles, reportages) were created specifically for the project. After months of following, drafting, and designing "LSS: Legends, Stars, and Statements" was finished. An homage to the queer BIPOC community in Montreal, this project was my introduction to this city that I now call home.
When I first moved to Montreal I promised myself to explore all of these unknown aspects I never experienced as a gay Panamian man. Little did I know that two other Panamanians were at the forefront of this ebullient scene: Brian and Gala—both born in Panama but based in Montreal—opened the doors to their world, to dance rehearsals and parties, they introduced me to new people and let me explore a subculture that celebrates diversity and sisterhood. That's what this project is about: new perspectives, explorations, and community.
A nod to the golden days of queer BIPOC culture, the photographic style of the project is grainy (textured) and retro-inspired, mimicking the 80s which were an explosion of color, joy, and liberty in all artistic spheres. A journalistic, B&W photographic aesthetic aptly registers the cultural catacombs of a movement often misunderstood by mainstream media. A reflection of Montreal's ever-changing cultural landscape—not to mention chameleonic nightlife—"LSS" is queer culture in its making.