DIY 15: 2018 - Toni Lewis: PUM

A pleasure party experience by Black Womxn, for Black Womxn; healing our hearts and souls, through our vaginas

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Mon 2 July
This DIY is supported by Colchester Arts Centre and Live Art UK's Diverse Actions initiative

Project summary

When you go to Ann Summers' party section of their website, every model is white and/or of (quote un-fucking-quote) “normal” body type. Granted we don’t all head to Ann Summers to get our kicks; but many womxn do. It’s on the high street, for many womxn this is where they can respectfully, without shame, explore their sexuality in public... and it’s shit.

PUM is about ‘Black Womxn’ and Sex. It’s about Amber Rose, Lil Kim and ‘Bad Gyal Ri Ri’. PUM explores sex from the impossible (beauty) standards set by and for black womxn, gross objectification, fetishisation and appropriation of black female aesthetic, sexual liberation under colonialism and the watchful gaze of religion and men. PUM is about PLAY, intersectionality, non homogenized blackness, hope, pleasure, health, kink and queerness. It’s about helping other Black Womxn cum hard by proxy and being #sorrynotsorry.

There will be additional opportunities to engage with PUM as audience members and online. More details will follow over the summer.

How to apply

I would like a core group of no more than 8 participants. We will live together for for 3 days and 2 nights. The participants should be as broad a representation of ‘blackness’ and womxnhood as the pool of applicants allows. You may be artists, producers, choreographers and dancers, filmmakers, writers, dramaturgs, artistic directors, curators (this is not an exhaustive list).

The online application asks about you and your work, what you hope to gain from participating in this DIY, and your experience of sex as a Black Womxn (including what you wish you'd known before you had it). The application also asks you to complete the following statement: 'In the future, Black Womxn will...' Applications can be made in writing or video links provided.

There is no stipulation on how long you may have been within your current field of practice or research, rather that you must be able to confidently evidence and/or demonstrate that you are active/engaged in the fight for racial equality, however loudly or quietly and can and want to engage in discourse on sex and sexuality (theoretically, personally etc.) Intersectional/Black Feminism, Black and Queer Politics, FGM, Religion and spirituality, Sisterhood, Activism/Womxn’s movements, Gender, Identity and Cultural Practice. Womxn working in the field of sexual health, medically, theoretically or womxn who may use sex as subject matter in their work through transgressive or other practice. You may be a person who follows Black Twitter Comedy, thinks Tiffany Haddish is wonderful and knows Afros ARE sexy.

The participants will be selected based on their ability to demonstrate a keen, proven or specific interest in the total and absolute liberation of Black Womxn everywhere and particularly as it relates to sex, sexuality, gender and feminism.

I particularly welcome applicants offering a non-western perspective and Womxn over 50. Applicants must be aged 18 or over on the date of application.


Dates, times and location

Dates: 28-30 Sept 2018
Location: Essex

Accommodation for participants will be provided.

The artist

I am an interdisciplinary artist and producer based in Birmingham and I work predominantly in Live Art. I make work that explores the nuances of the human experience as it relates to race, culture and identity. I make and produce work that speaks about and to invisible pain and silenced voices. I make work that fuelled by rage and love.

For questions about this DIY, please contact Toni.

Part of DIY 15: 2018 - Call for Participants