Raju Rage

Raju Rage is an interdisciplinary artist, creative-critical writer, community organiser and educator who is proactive about carving space, self-representation and self-empowerment using art and activism to forge creative survival.

Raju Rage is an organizer and member of Collective Creativity arts collective and a self/published writer.

Based in London and working beyond, they are interested in the role of art in social change and transformative healing justice. They are actively, individually and collectively, creating opportunities where there is a lack, for QTIPOC artists who are often multi-marginalized for being queer and/or trans* AND people of color. Finding strength in collectivity and collaboration, they are focused on knowledge and creative production both inside but mostly outside of academia and institutions, within pro/active creative and activist communities.

Working in live art, Raju focuses on de-con-structive techniques of resistance such as interruption, confusion, disturbance and anti-performance, primarily using embodiment and working with assemblages of sculpture and multi-formulations of unspoken narratives in multimedia formats. Their work focuses on exploring, occupying and performing race, ethnicity, gender and queerness. Specifically, the way ‘South Asian’ queer gender non-conforming people have to navigate and negotiate their bodies in a western world where there is often a conflict between tradition, culture, defining and expressing complex identities.

Their practice is centred on contemporary gendered and feminist interrogations of rites, non-western cultural rituals (specifically South Asian), such as the tying, binding and wearing of cloth, but also their broader politics and how they are inextricably woven and tied together, for example, the politics of cloth and textile labourers migration through colonialism. In ‘There is more at stake than just 3 metres of cloth’ 2014 they focused on exploring muslin/cotton/rubber and the violent colonial trade of cotton and rubber, by creating and tying saris and turbans, binding cloth with and onto their gender non-conforming body. They have also used rites as a vehicle to challenge stereotyped notions of identity, such as practicing yoga in unusual/non expected settings in ‘Public Interruptions: Inv-aSian’ 2014.This work to date explores how complex diasporan identity navigates all these elements of tradition and histories in contemporary spaces and contexts, to explore the conflicts and tensions and resistances that are practiced in/by these revisited rites.

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