HÄN Is Creating an Intentional Archive of the London Queer Community

In the book, there are deep-dive interviews of subjects from a range of backgrounds, such as a martial artist, performer, activist, and sex worker by the name Black Venus. There’s also a profile of Prinx Silver, a drag king who is described as having “stolen hearts on the London scene and beyond,” as well as a conversation with partners Tegan Ashmore and Lottie Hughes, who run a collaborative visual art project studio.spf out of their studio. The black and white photographs give each portrait an intimate flair, and the book also includes handwritten poetry and images of sculptures.

The publication took over a year to create. The research portion was extensive, as Boucht, Fedorova, and Gorkova delved into historical archives for both visual and writing inspiration. The trio headed to Bishopsgate Institute and the library at Central Saint Martins to research LGTBQ+ history, politics, and culture in the United Kingdom. Literature such as On Our Backs: Entertainment for the Adventurous Lesbian, and old adverts and posters fueled their creativity. The search for yesteryear media exemplifies HÄN’s mode of storytelling, which works to mesh the influence of past archives with modern life. “[HÄN] is a mix of old and new gathered research from the team, a collaborative approach to creating a visual and graphic language together,” says Boucht.

A portrait of Black Venus, a martial artist, instructor, poet, performer, and co-founder of sex worker advocacy organization Sex and Rage. Photo: Courtesy of HÄN by Anya Gorkova

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