Lucy Jamieson, Head of Programme here at the AMA, reveals why she’s so excited about our final keynote speaker at this year’s AMA conference.
Something very exciting has just happened here at AMA HQ, and we want to shout about it. We’ve announced performer, writer, presenter, nightclub founder, former Mayor of Camden Town, current London Night Czar, and LGBTQ activist, campaigner and spokesperson, Amy Lamé as the closing keynote speaker at the conference next month.
And I think this is pretty big news, not just because Amy’s a bit of a hero of mine (she is), but for the reasons why she’s a hero. This is someone who in the 1990s co-founded one of the most enduring queer club nights in the UK — Duckie at the Vauxhall Tavern. When it began it was like nowhere else — a bizarre, colourful, proudly uncool mishmash of music, styles and people, which defied you to take yourself too seriously. And it’s still going strong today, despite an aggressive trend towards closing venues down and turning them into nondescript high street chains, or the seemingly ubiquitous ‘luxury’ apartments that no actual people can actually afford.
Something else that I admire, and that I think is hugely important, is her refusal to fit into any one box. A self professed ‘lesbian in a gay man’s body’ and ‘fat feminist’, she embodies a range of identities and opinions, making us challenge our own preconceptions of what it is to be a woman, a lesbian, a writer, a performer, fat, an activist. And this embodiment of many different things all at once allows her to be lighthearted, funny and camp, but also deadly serious — never shying away from her left-wing politics.
And in this weird political time we’re living through; a time of conservatism and Conservatism, when culture and creativity are receiving a political bashing, I think it’s more important than ever that we have someone like Amy to get us talking, and not shying away from the big and sometimes uncomfortable issues.