queer qandī fest

queer qandī fest is an arts and activism festival celebrating queers of colour, envisioning queer futures, highlighting creative forces and creating new narratives and representations.

50 years after the Stonewall riots, spearheaded by Black and POC trans activists, we wish to celebrate and acknowledge the work, importance and involvement of QTI of colour in the lgbtq+ movement. We will do this by organising queer qandī fest, a four-day festival with talks, workshops, film screenings, club event and art exhibition.


Please note that all events are open for all members of the lgbtq+ community and allies unless otherwise stated.

Accessibility: venues are accessible for wheelchair users.  Please let us know if there are any ways we can make it easier for you to attend the events.

Thursday 20 June

17:30-18:30 Panel at Waterstones:
Queer and Trans Global Activism

Panellists:  Dr. Nour Abu Assab, Dr. Senthorun Raj and artist Texta Queen. Chaired by Dr. Joyce Man and Yu-Chen Lai. Organised in collaboration with lgbtQ+@cam.

19.00-19.30, Waterstones
Mingle and opening of art show

Join us for a mingle after the panel discussion for the opening of queer qandī art show. Art works by photographer Myah Jeffers, artist April Lin, illustrator Ornella Ospino, artivists Elmira Zadissa and Ramona Zadissa.

21:00-23:00 Film screenings, Arts Picturehouse

Film screenings in collaboration with Queers in Shorts

Friday 21 June

18:30-19:30, Waterstones
Race, Sexuality and Mental Health

A conversation between Alexander Leon, mental health awareness activist and Dr. Mónica Moreno Figueroa, a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

Alexander Leon
Mónica Moreno Figueroa (photo by: Imke van Herden)

Saturday 22 June

11:30-16:30 Workshops at Cambridge Junction

To find out more about the workshops, click here

  • Poetry workshop with Sonia Quintero
  • Illustration workshop with Ornella Ospino
  • Portrait photography workshop with Myah Jeffers
  • Zine making workshop with daikon* zine

21:00-02:00 queer qandī club night at Cambridge Junction

Celebrate queer talent and energy to music played by DJ LUSCiOUS and performances by The Kings of Colour Initiative! Tickets £6. Tickets will be released soon!

Eight drag kings of colour posing for the camera, looking happy and funky.
The KOC Initiative

Sunday 23 June

11:00-16:00 Workshops at The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

To find out more about the workshops, click here

  • Writing queer identity with Aude Konan
  • Self-care tips for the LGBTI community with Dr. Joyce Man
  • Infectious Diseases and Marginalised People, talk and workshop with Dr. Morwan Osman

Thursday 20 June – Tuesday 25 June

Exhibition at Waterstones

Art work by photographer Myah Jeffers, artist April Lin, illustrator Ornella Ospino, artivists Elmira Zadissa and Ramona Zadissa.

qand + قندي qandī, sugared: Candy

So what’s the deal with qandī? Well, the English word Candy is derived from Arabic قَنْدِيّ‎ (qandiyy, “candied”), in turn, derived from Medieval Persian قند (qand, meaning “cane sugar”), in turn, borrowed from Sanskrit खण्ड (khaṇḍa, “candied sugar”). Words we don’t know the roots of are a natural part of our vocabulary. We take them for granted and probably never bother to know where they come from. The sweet victories won by LGBTQ movement, come from the struggle of many. Yet not all of the members of the community can enjoy the fruits of these victories. It is often taken for granted that Queer history and Queer struggle is a White Western phenomena. The white/cis-washing of the historical events retold in books and films are some examples of QTIPOC being erased from Queer history. The prevalent LGBTQ+ phobia in many POC communities and countries of heritage for migrant queers, strengthen the assumption that fighting for LGBTQ+ rights are White Western issues.  With queer qandī we wish to acknowledge the diverse experiences of QTIPOC and create a space where we can learn, share and explore our experiences, history and struggle.

Our sponsors and partners

queer qandī fest is a community project by QTI Coalition of Colour and funded by LGBT Consortium the National Lottery’s Community Fund and made possible by generous donations from Qweirdos and Sofar Sounds Cambridge and in partnership with lgbtQ+@cam, Qweirdo, Waterstones, Cambridge Junction and Queers in Shorts.