Sunday, October 27th, 2019 | 10:30pm at The Ballroom Blitz

Shaneera is the English mispronunciation of the Arabic word, shanee’a (شنيعة), literally meaning "outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul." One iteration of the word is used as queer slang in Kuwait and some Arab countries, shedding a positive and desirablelight on these attributes. Shaneera refers to a gender-defying persona (or temporary state or action), of being an evil queen. You know a Shaneera when you behold one.

The lyrics are suggestive, imploring, shady, and loving, some original and some rerecorded material from Grindr chats, online drag, and femme comedy skits. The language is a mixture of Kuwaiti and Egyptian Arabic, and one Iraqi proverb. Sonically, the record combines Khaleeji (Arab Gulf), Western drum kits, and Arabesque melodies. Conceptually, Shaneera follows Al Qadiri’s long term exploration of gender identity and performance in the Gulf. The performance lands somewhere in an undisclosed setting and is a love letter to evil and benevolent queens around the world.

Fatima Al Qadiri (b. 1981) is a Kuwaiti composer and artist. She has released music as a solo artist on Tri Angle, UNO, Fade to Mind, Hyperdub, and as a member of Future Brown on Warp. In 2019, Al Qadiri composed the original score for the award-winning feature film Atlantics by director Mati Diop. She is also a member of the Gulf-based collective GCC, whose work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, New York; Fridericianum, Kassel; New Museum, New York; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

This event is part of Home Works 8: A Forum on Cultural Practices.

Cover photo courtesy of the artist, by Fijia Nabeel.