Nadine Noor On Centering Trans Black & Brown Joy

From #11 The Art Issue, BRICKS meets DJ, Creative Director and PXSSY PALACE founder, Nadine Noor.

This article was originally published in BRICKS #11, The Art Issue. To order a copy of the issue featuring cover stars Eartheater, Tove Lo, Gab Bois and Sage Flowers, visit our shop.

Night clubs have long had a reputation as a home for queer communities – under the cloak of darkness, these secluded spots have acted as a safe space for marginalised communities throughout history. But at a time when racist, homophobic and ableist hate crimes are on the rise in the UK, and two-thirds of queer club venues in London have closed in the last 15 years, these communities are desperate for spaces that can provide safety from harassment and attacks while still accommodating their desire for escapism.

Nadine Noor founded Pxssy Palace in 2015, a “slaggy club night for queer women, trans, non-binary & intersex BIPOC”, to provide the nightlife they were seeking. Since then, the collective has hosted numerous sold-out themed nights, raised vital funds for LGBTQ+ youth charities and brought the party to Glastonbury, Somerset House and on tour with Bree Runway, changing industry perceptions of who features on DJ line-ups and on the dancefloor. This culminated in the much anticipated Overflo, Pussy Palace and DJ collective BBZ London’s inaugural music and arts festival.

Below, BRICKS chats to the DJ, creative director and curator about their career journey.

How did you first get into your practice?

I have been raving since I was 15 and job hopping between creative jobs since I moved to London 16 years ago. I never thought that a combination of all those experiences would turn into my job as a DJ, Creative Producer and Curator.

If you could describe your work in three words, what would they be?

Transformative, chaotic, tactful

What are some of the biggest challenges of being an artist/creator?

Juggling creativity with capitalism and imposter syndrome.

How do you define success as an artist/creator?

On one hand, being able to support a sustainable living from your art feels like the ultimate success, but I think it’s also successful if your work positively impacts others.

What is the purpose or goal of your work?

To make room for more Trans Black & Brown joy, creativity and art. For nightlife to be recognised as a legitimate art space that should be protected. So much art, fashion and social change comes from queer underground clubbing that the rest of society benefits from, but the club is still seen as a luxury.

The purpose of my work is to make room for more Trans Black and Brown joy, creativity and art.

Nadine Noor

Do you have a collective or a community that supports you?

Yes I couldn’t do what I do without a team, and without friends and fam around me, I need to mirror and bounce off people to work.

How do you manage your work-life balance as an independent creator?

Seeing my work as exactly that, my work, it’s my job, it’s my passion but it’s not me. It took me ages to figure that out and once I had that separation it helps, my phone doesn’t have any notifications nor does ring or vibrate and I schedule in downtime as if it was a meeting lol, its hard to fully switch off though I can’t lie.

Who has been your biggest supporter?

Naeem Davis my best friend, platonic partner and long-time collaborator, amazing artist and thinker that I am lucky to have by my side, lifting me up as well as holding me accountable when needed.

If you could change one thing about the creative industry, what would it be?

Like most things in our society the whole thing needs to be torn down and rebuilt with the most marginalised queer, trans people, working-class people, Black and Brown people centred as that’s who the creative industry take and benefits the most from.

Like most things in our society the whole thing needs to be torn down and rebuilt with the most marginalised queer, trans people, working-class people, Black and Brown people centred as that’s who the creative industry take and benefits the most from.

Nadine Noor

What were you doing before becoming a creator?

I was a club kid and sex worker.

What’s been your greatest accomplishment so far and why?

Staying alive, never thought I would live this long and the fact that I’m living a life now where I feel grateful to be alive is the biggest accomplishment I could ever ask for in terms of work, my work has allowed so many people to realise their queerness and be proud I’m basically a reverse conversion therapy

How can others support your work?

Donate to Pxssy Palace, we need it – hire us and share our work.

How can others support your community?

Giving directly to people, mutual aid is the best.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Don’t do it how I did it (lol) but take your time, there is no rush babes.

What would be your dream project?

To honour queer nightlife history in a year-long interdisciplinary exhibition with a large gallery or museum, where the artists can be paid properly for their work and the world can see that even if they have never entered a club in their life, they have still been positively impacted by club culture.

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