D’Orange, aka Aviv Shalem, is a gender-blending fashionista drag performer from Tel Aviv who also struggled to find constructive representation.
As a genderqueer Arab-Jew raised in a religious household in Israel, Asis admits that if they saw more genderqueer people both on and off stage it would have been a very different experience to grow up in.
“Showing it on stage hopefully gives people inspiration to express themselves the best that they can and also this kind of validation that we are here and we’re beautiful,” they said.
Since winning the first drag competition at the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival in 2017, Asis has become a household name in the underground drag scene, known for performances that transcend the boundaries of genre and gender.
Asis said using drag as a playful way to raise powerful messages was a important medium.
"It gives us great tools to deal with harsh issues and laugh about it, cry about it and be angry about it together in the community," they said.
Creative Producer at The Capitol Ghita Loebenstein said she was thrilled that the venue could offer students, staff and the public alike these sorts of opportunities to build on their existing education.
“This Masterclass will provide a place to learn about queer representation from internationally renowned artists, creating an open space for curiosity, discussion and knowledge-sharing and we hope audiences can discover how these ideas might relate to their own practice and experience,” she said.
Masterclass: Queer and Transparent Gazing is supported by CAST, RMIT School of Art and School of Media and Communication.
Both events are co-presented by the Festival of Jewish Arts and Music.
The masterclass is free to RMIT staff and students and can be booked here. Discounted $15 tickets to The Queen are available for RMIT staff and students by booking here.
Masthead image: Film still of The Queen (1968) courtesy Kino Lorber
Story: Isabella Radevski