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5 things to do this weekend, including 'Being Muholi' at the Gardner and a papermaking class

I am feeling lighter this week. Maybe it’s all the love in the air and the romantic stories my colleagues are sharing on the radio. Or maybe it’s the warmer temperatures that are thawing out the ice that has formed on the remaining snow and my cold, cold heart. (The weather really affects my mood, so I’m leaning toward the latter.) Regardless of how your current mood, I’ve rounded up a slew of events that are sure to entertain from a drag cabaret performance to a papermaking class.

'Being Muholi: Portraits as Resistance'

Thursday, Feb. 10-Sunday, May 8

The work of photographer and visual activist Sir Zanele Muholi is now on view at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Through black-and-white self-portraits, paintings and bronze sculptural work, Muholi explores belonging, vulnerability, love and loss while centering the LGBTQIA+ community. Pieces of their series “Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness” are on view in the exhibit, some of which were made during the artist’s 2019 residency at the Gardner. Accompanying the exhibition is a community project called “Future Archive,” highlighting five Black queer and trans people from Boston through audio stories and portraits. This project was documented by WBUR arts engagement producer Arielle Gray with photos by WBUR collaborator OJ Slaughter.

Zanele Muholi, "Itha," 2021. (Courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg)
Zanele Muholi, "Itha," 2021. (Courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg)

'The Cellos’ Dialogue'

Friday, Feb. 11

This multidisciplinary play from Guerilla Opera and Un-آن Theatre Ensemble follows a woman who has just immigrated to the U.S. from the Middle East and now finds herself struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. Featuring playwright and performer Deniz Khateri, the production blends puppetry, projections, musical experimentation, and yes, there will be cello playing. “The Cellos’ Dialogue” delves into issues on gender identity, war and abortion. The livestream of the play is Friday, but it will also be available to view on demand through May 31.


'Are You Mad at Me? - A drag cabaret with Patty Bourrée'

Saturday, Feb. 12

Boston-based drag performer Patty Bourrée takes the main stage at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown for a night of storytelling and live music. A particular line I enjoyed from Bourrée’s bio states that the performer “has become regionally known for her big voice, hilarious parodies, vintage style, and bad attitude.” The show will feature Brendon Shapiro on piano and Boston drag performers Rusty Hammer and Briar Blush. The listing warns that the show includes some adult humor that may not be appropriate for children.


'What is Black Creativity?' A Castle of our Skins concert

Saturday, Feb. 12

The inaugural recipients of Castle of our Skins’ Inter-Collegiate Black Student Union Fellowship perform in their capstone event at the Calderwood Pavilion. This co-curated concert investigates the question “What is Black creativity?” by showcasing the “ever expansive world of Black artistry.” Students from the New England Conservatory, Longy School of Music and Boston Conservatory will perform music by Adolphus Hailstork, Joi Harper, Jessie Montgomery and more. The event is free but advanced registration is required.


Papermaking Remix at MAAM

Sunday, Feb. 13

This free papermaking workshop at the MassArt Art Museum invites you to bring paper scraps from home to reuse and create homemade paper. Museum attendant Mikaela Murphy will lead the class and attendees will have the opportunity to view “Yesterday Is Here,” an installation made from combined and spliced together images, created by artist collective Ghost of a Dream. Advanced registration is required.

Dianna Bell Twitter Arts & Culture Editor
Dianna Bell is arts and culture editor for WBUR.

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