During working hours, security guards wander the largely vacant premises, eyes glazed over from the boredom. People do not visit; the elevator to the upper two floors no longer works.
But at night, Club Cul moves in – and the space transforms entirely. Step inside, through an unassuming beige door, and a blast of music hits you as bright neon lights dance along the walls. Through the crowd, the stage comes into view, lined with electric blue tassels and framed with two small TV screens.
The patrons – sporting shiny watches, spiked stiletto heels – take to their seats as the music fades and the room fills with anticipation. Then, as a lively salsa beat starts to play, the stage explodes with color: four drag queens, wearing intricate headpieces that tickle the ceiling, whirl onto the platform. Backstage dancers follow, moving through the audience as feathers and glitter fly through the air. The crowd erupts. This is what they came to see.
Outside of these four walls, Venezuela remains in crisis..."
Full digital article available here.
Also published in Huck´s 073 print issue.
This story, picked up by HUCK Magazine, is a look into the drag culture in Caracas. The crisis has turned Caracas into a hostile, repressive city where daily tasks are nearly impossible. Yet, in the midst of this slow suffocation is a breath of relief: drag.
This scene is growing out of an urgent need for escape, especially for LGBTQ citizens. Performers and the public can immerse themselves into the antithesis of what Venezuela has become: vivid, luxurious, free.
This project sheds visibility on a community that is overlooked and provides a distinct look into the Venezuelan crisis as it relentlessly continues on.
Thank you to those who welcomed me into their world and thank you to Aron, the legend of Caracas drag. This story is a testament to you and your dedication. Rest in peace.