Pride Month is getting more exciting by the day. Desire Marea, the multi-disciplinary artist hailing from Durban, South Africa, has unveiled their newest visual for “Tavern Kween” off their electric 2020 self-titled debut. Previously known for being half of the acclaimed performance art duo FAKA alongside collaborator Fela Gucci, Desire’s solo work has been similarly praised for their exploration of queer identity in the context of post-colonial Africa.
“Tavern Kween” is an ode to Desire’s aunts who defied convention to find empowerment in the male-dominated taverns of Amandawe, their hometown. The Allison Swank-directed video reflects on the sanctity of dance floors, clubs, friendships and Black queer love with the stark contrast of hazy gold reflections against the darkness, interspersed with vignettes of pure bliss. It reflects on the roots of Pride and the gay rights movement, both of which began as acts of protest, while honoring the power of unashamed existence.
Swank reflects on the message of the video, saying:
This video is a tribute to all of the Tavern Kweens that lived dangerously before us, especially the queer icon Lebo Mathosa. It’s a statement of gratitude to those that survive and thrive now. It’s a love letter to the free and fierce future Kweens we hope to inspire.
In addition to the new visual, it has been announced that Desire will be available physically on Aug. 6 via Mute, over a year since its digital release.
Watch the video for “Tavern Kween” below and preorder Desire on CD and vinyl ahead of its Aug. 6 release here.