Kicking off a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Steven Braines, co-founder of He.She.They, based in the UK
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Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect at The Zoo XYZ
By IQ on 02 Jul 2021
The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.
The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.
To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Steven Braines, co-founder of He.She.They, based in the UK here.
Global event & experience architect, The Zoo XYZ
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Setting up The Zoo XYZ and being able to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the forefront of my career, enabling me to meet more amazing people and pass on skills and awareness to more communities across the world.
What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Proudly be you. This industry hosts an array of talent, characters and personas that stand confidently on our event shoulders. It’s equally important that these people are also recognised behind the scenes.
Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
My international work experience can be the most challenging, especially when working in countries that criminalise and fail to acknowledge basic human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community. I navigate these countries delicately, whilst proudly loving who I love, these are still developing countries from a human rights perspective, so I use my status and power within the industry to support a more diverse event team wherever I can.
“Consciously, actively and openly encourage and support more people that do not look like you into your spaces”
What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Consciously, actively and openly encourage and support more people that do not look like you into your spaces. For organisations across the industry, from the top down to grassroots-up. Everyone has a part to play.
Causes you support.
A few causes that have recently crossed my radar are The Oasis Project & LGBT Rights Ghana. Any cause supporting the LGBTQIA+ community on the African continent deserves a platform to be amplified.
The Zoo XYZ is also raising awareness on Black event professionals; supporting all intersections of being Black in this industry through our BEEHive programme that supports Black Event Experience, and the Association of Black Event Professionals aimed at being the voice of this community across the UK event industry and beyond.
“I hope organisations are moving away from theoretical ways of supporting other communities and are actively embarking on change”
What does the near future of the industry look like?
I would like to see more women and members of my community get involved in production and other aspects of the industry that are typically held by cis white males.
We have seen how the use of technology and social media has helped the industry expand and enhance its audience on a wider scale, yet this diversity needs to be adapted to the workforces behind the scenes for the real growth of the industry.
How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
This forced pause has been time to reflect, and I hope organisations are moving away from theoretical ways of supporting other communities and are actively embarking on change. Real change.
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