Tag Archives: pictures

Mami Slut Will Decolonize Your Culo

Mami Slut is one of the only dance parties in Mexico City with a mission of "desculonialization," the liberation of culos with Latin beats. Since it was started a year and a half ago by DJ Travieza (Jovan Israel) and La Mendoza, the monthly celebration at Bahia Bar has become a premier gathering point for queer folks looking for a safe space to grind to reggaeton, cumbia, dembow, and basically anything other than the house music and Madonna songs that dominate the city's gay parties.

Like many of the revelers who come to the celebration, La Mendoza and DJ Travieza are artists who push boundaries with their creativity. La Mendoza identifies as a "travestí," a word reclaimed by activists that embodies an anti-colonial spirit and rejects Western gender constructs. When La Mendoza's not turning up at Mami Slut, she's designing clothes and teaching people how to vogue. DJ Travieza, on the other hand, is well known for his genderqueer drawings. When he DJs, it's almost always in drag. The two often coordinate their outfits, from candy-colored wigs in Sailor Moon–style buns, ripped fishnets, and wild décolletage to imprudent heels worn with carefully, hyperbolically lacquered pouts.

Their emphasis on style has spread to the attendees and helped turn Mami Slut's dance floor into a runway. Kitty ears, studded dog collars, and several dance partners at once are all popular accessories. Drag queens and twinks come out in full force to pay the 50 peso ($2.61) cover. Still, a large percentage of Mami's attendees are straight girls, who feel free to body roll without the persistent male douchebaggery they face at other local reggaeton parties. Travieza and La Mendoza are not the kind of people who would discourage this—their resident DJs Mataputos and Rosa Pistola project a distinct girls-first atmosphere.

Some might say that gender equality on the dance floor won't change the world. But I know that having a positive, communal space like Mami Slut can change someone's life, because it changed mine. At Mami Slut, I'm a better, more brazen, and somehow more gracious version of myself.

I remember one recent night when my friends lifted me onstage for the party's monthly twerk contest, which had a prize of 250 pesos (approximately $13.30 USD). I was wearing a long blue wig and an ominously short dress. Right when I hit the stage, I assumed the perreo position. The competition eventually came down to a final round between my ample hips and a boy whose rock hard six pack fought for attention with his piston-like go-go moves. I'm not going to lie, the kid was athletic. But don't believe what they tell you about potheads having weak lungs: My cheering section went hard.

In the end, Travieza had a difficult time judging the crowd's winner from the screams of the audience. It didn't seem fair that the Mami Slut crowd was going to have to decide between me and the go-go guy, two visions of perreo perfection. So I leaned over to my dance foe, put my mouth next to his ear, and asked, "What if we tied?" Go-go babe's eyes lit up, and he grabbed the microphone. "We're going to share the prize!" he shouted. The crowd squealed triumphantly. We were the conquerors of the night, our hang-ups, and reggaeton gender essentialists. Thanks for sharing the love Mami Slut, air kisses, and perreo duro para ti, siempre.

Scroll down for more photos of Mami Slut by Erin Lee Holland.

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See more photos by Erin Lee Holland.

Behind the Scenes of 90s Nostalgia Trip ‘As You Are’

A few years back, I was asked to style As You Are, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte's new film about young people exploring their sexuality and finding themselves. Set in the early 90s, it stars Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, and Amandla Stenberg. The teenage love story was shot in the autumn months on the Hudson River in Upstate New York. 

I've spent much of my career working in and around New York City, so getting the chance to retreat to a small town during one of the most beautiful parts of the year to work on my first big film was an incredible opportunity. We set up shop in this beautiful Victorian house, that served as the sleeping quarters for the crew and also housed the film's art and wardrobe departments. Working, living, eating, and sleeping together in the middle of nowhere really helped us bond. We cooked meals together, helped one another solidify ideas about characteristics of the cast, and had fun when it was time to wind down. We were all in it together, and thats what made it so magical.

It was only natural for me to capture the experience in photographs, which you can see below. I tried to take as many pictures as I could so that I could remember every step of the journey. Looking back at these photos, I know shooting As You Are will always hold a special place in my heart, because of the magical moments shared I with the crew and cast.

As You Are is in theaters now. For details, visit AsYouAre.movie.

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Awol Erizku Was Hot Long Before He Photographed Beyoncé’s Baby Bump

A lot of people are talking about Awol Erizku today for good reason. The photographer shot the most-liked Instagam photo of all time: an immediately iconic image of Beyoncé, pregnant with twins, posed in front of a lush floral arrangement. 

This photo was not just viral but important—both for it's arresting beauty and rare universal acclaim—and it's no surprise that Awol did it. VICE has worked with the young photographer for years, and it was always apparent to us that he was bound for greatness. What the world is seeing today on Beyoncé's Instagram and Beyonce.com—where there are more striking and elegant portraits by Awol—is merely the tip of the iceberg.  

From readymade objects to short films to paintings to mixtapes, Awol has been using every medium available to him to bring beauty into this world. His unique vision is always smart, colorful, and rooted in both art history and the African diaspora. We feel very lucky and are immensely proud that Awol has used VICE as a platform in the past to showcase his work. 

Below are some of our favorite Awol Erizku photos that have graced the print pages of VICE magazine and the webpages of VICE.com, typically paired with the words of VICE Senior Editor Wilbert L. Cooper. The photos below were taken from Awol and Wilbert's nostalgia-driven piece on black barbershops, their forward-looking piece on black masculinity, and their contemporary piece on black death and fatherhood