Reflecting for the Future: Karla Marx
MC and drag artist Karla Marx weighs in on inclusivity
In the newest edition of Reflecting for the Future, we connect with Miss Karla Marx. She’s a rising star in the Western Canada drag, burlesque and performance scene, and has been on the loose this summer from Astral Harvest Music & Arts Festival to Vancouver Pride to Grindhaüs’ House of Sleaze to her regular drag troupe Fake Mustache.
She is a politically and socially conscious performer and educator, with a famously quick wit and sharp tongue whenever on MC duties. As an outspoken proponent of LGBTQ2S+ issues, as well as an established student of history with a curiously broad knowledge of Communism and Socialism, she speaks from a deep well of experience knowledge and experience.
As usual, we wanted to hear thoughts on a path forward for positivity, inclusivity, and intentional art in the burgeoning Calgary arts scene. Read on:
What is your vision for the best possible future of arts and creativity in Calgary and Western Canada? What tangible efforts and practices should the promoters, producers, artists and patrons of our city put in place to create a multi-faceted, equal playing field for artistic voices?
Karla Marx: I think that this question really comes down to two main considerations: empathy, and accessibility. With a strong empathetic approach producers of all types can engage with as many audiences as possible. Considering the perspectives of other voices and experiences is critical to developing an inclusive art community. If someone is disabled, racialized, queer, etc would they engage with this event or space? If you don’t know then do the work to find the answer or answers to that question. This needs to be considered and paid as labour. It is the duty of those who have inherited a system that privileges them to use that power to democratize and decolonize those institutions that gave them power. So acquiring the knowledge to make your event accessible may require producers to hire or train people to meet this requirement.
Also, producers who want to build bridges and welcome in other viewpoints and voices need to engage in those communities. Do not just invite them to join your events but go and support those communities. Attend shows, pay performers, support their causes. Welcoming in other voices needs to be more than them coming to you.
See Karla Marx at venues like Dickens, The Oak Tree’s back room, and round about town and beyond MCing, being a sassy lady, and generally being fabulous.