Text by Fran Tirado
Photos by Justin J Wee
In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first act of the play is written with the intention of throwing the audience. Here we are, watching noble families talk about boring things – a quarrel of classes, arguments over matrimony and property. They are painfully average people having painfully average conversations. In the following act, the world flips—fairies, sprites, and queens emerge from the woods, dancing, making music and magic. An entire fantastic ecosystem existed underneath the universe you thought you knew.
This is what Bushwig is like. You take a shuttle deep into Brooklyn to a vast parking lot surrounded by concrete walls and barbed wire. You walk through the parking lot toward a warehouse where you can see decked-out ladies filing in, music thumping from the doors. Lights flash. Loose strands of hair and glitter trail in front of you. You step through the doors and into this sparkling underworld.
At Bushwig, a community of drag queens, artists, nightlife-goers, club kids, and queerly liberated fairy folk congregate, watch performances, grab a drink, compliment each other’s heels, dance in clouds of fog. Co-created by Issue 03-featured Matty Mendoza (aka Horrorchata), Hello Mr. got on the ground at Bushwig 2016 shooting some details from the work of the artists.