By Zo Wu, BA Global Development and Arabic
A dark warehouse illuminated by a sea of red textiles and clouds of smoke, reflecting sharp coloured LEDs that changed on the escading techno beats. As soon as you step foot onto the spacious dance floor, you are instantly met with a mirage of colourful energy reflecting off fellow dancers and elevating beats. With the dark and dim atmosphere of the venue, the energies of people are quite the opposite. INFERNO is a space where everyone can express themselves, whether it be through extravagant, tentacle-like costumes or full body paint. There are no limits in the creativity of expressionism. The culture of the event is based on acceptance, with no space for judgement. At first it was daunting but you soon come to realise that the atmosphere is almost sacred; everyone abides by the same logic of thought. It creates a space that is void from the stigma and prejudice of everyday society and has become a safe haven for many like myself.
Before moving to London, I was rather nervous to find my own community of like-minded people. INFERNO was the first LGBTQ+ event that my friends and I had attended. Not knowing what to expect, we were initially quite hesitant. However, we soon came to realise that there was a strong sense of community that was full of warmth, love and acceptance. It was with this warmth that the founder of INFERNO, Lewis G. Burton, allowed me to photograph their 7th year anniversary red rave. It was an unforgettable night filled with talented DJs and performance art, all in celebration of another year of this spectacular event and community. In the spirit of community, the next event INFERNO is holding on 25 March is a fundraiser for INFERNO team member, Sweatmother, who is having visa issues. Tickets are out now so check out @inferno_london for more information. <3
Although techno may not be to everyone’s liking, there are many other Queer events in the London LGBTQ+ community which you can read more about in the 20th issue of the SOAS Spirit!
All photography in this article is by Zo Wu.