“I can bend and fold to the surrealness of a pandemic, but it’s all the implications of conservative, fascist governments which is concerning.” Emma Maye Gibson one of Australia’s most iconic performers tells me. Loud, unapologetic and queer as fuck, anyone that has seen a Betty Grumble show knows how transformative an experience they can be.
Throughout lockdown Emma Maye Gibson has continued to engage with her fans by streaming daily exercise classes, with the Grumble Boogie sessions having facilitated community connection over recent months.
“It’s been such a nice way of connecting with people, they’ve been really generous and excited.”
“My personal eco-sexual womanifesto is about reimagining earth from mother to lover and rejecting a human dominated world. It’s about exploring where your body begins and ends but not needing an answer. It connects all bodies to a possible communicative sensuality that flies in the face of those that tell us there is only way of being.
“Breath is a huge part of the eco-sex experience, so when we are back in a live space sharing breath again, that’s going to be quite a radical act:”
“It’s a show that was already dealing with grief, emancipation of self and justice, but the stories I am looking at resonate with the collective trauma that we are all experiencing.”
This collective trauma is of course COVID-19, we asked how Gibson has viewed the unfolding situation.
“It’s been such an extraordinary, almost democratic experience that we’ve all had where we’ve been asked to care about community by not seeing each other.
“Humans invented the very real class and race wars – and this time is exposing and unravelling that further, it can be a time for change. People are powerful.
“This virus has no idea of class or race – everyone is having to respond and negotiate this crisis and there is something queer about that – in queer spaces we constantly battle with these ideas of freedom and justice.
“We must refuse the world that is being presented to us by the patriarchy and ask ourselves how we want to live, and how we want to be with each other.”