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lavender
menace
occupation
a handbook

bar interruptions by Angela
Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney
photos by Jasmine Clark
essays by Evan Kleekamp, Maya
Marshall, Shana Redmond &
Sidney Thomas
This project was made possible with a grant from the Propeller
Fund awarded in 2016.
Angela Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney

1

2

2 lavender meance occupation a handbook

2nd Floor Rear, Cole’s Bar, Logan Square, Chicago IL, Feburary 6, 2016, photos by Joey Delisi

Angela Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney

3

project origin story
By Brett Swinney

most enthusiastic about contributing to the project. Over

The

Lavender

Occupation

started

Menace
as

the course of the evening we

a

were able to collect a variety

means of queering public

of positive responses that

space, or expanding upon the

counteracted

the

standard

number of public/private spac- angry and aggressive meses that could hold room for

sages scrawled on the walls

specifically targeted and mar- of public bathrooms. From
ginalized populations. The first there

it

seemed

apparent

iteration took place in Cole’s

that we needed to produce

Bar, a part of the 2016 2nd Flr

more events that interrupt the

Rear Festival, and asked par- cynicism found in the public
ticipants to answer the prompt

space by providing affirmative

“Who do you make room for?” alternatives.
by writing their answers on

Public bathrooms pose as

the walls with paint markers. an important place caught
While the installation was a

between public and private

part of an alternative art space

space. In this current politi-

festival, it was the unsuspect- cal climate the bathroom has
ing bar patrons who were the

been transformed into a bar-

4 lavender meance occupation a handbook

rier that enforces false bina- further communal action and
ries, forced segregation and is

participation. Through the col-

often seen as issue in the war lection of surveys ,we intend to
of words that is perpetuated produce a publication on how
by a conservative agenda. The

social practiced based strate-

Lavender Menace Occupation

gies can be used to elevated

intends to be a disruption causes related to social jusof

gender

based

politics. tice. The goal of the publica-

Through the development of tion is to present the scope of
communally generative instal- the lavender menace project
lations, LMO hopes contribute while serving as a resource for
to growing movement to sub- artists and activist interested in
vert the status quo.

using printmaking as a form of

In furthering the reach of the
Lavender Menace Occupation

subversion.
Angela Davis Fegan is a

we would like to coordinate a native of Chicago’s South
series of public interventions,

Side. A graduate of Chicago’s

through public installations and famed Whitney Young High
distributing public surveys, as

School, she received her BFA

a means to create content for

in Fine Arts from New York’s

a publication to empower for Parson’s School of Design and
Angela Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney

5

her MFA in Interdisciplinary Her work has been written
Book and Paper Arts from about in The Offing (LA Review
Columbia College Chicago.

of

Books),

Hyperallergic,

Angela has mounted shows

PopSugar, Chicago Magazine,

at the University of Illinois at the RedEye and the Chicago
Chicago’s Montgomery Ward Reader.
Gallery, Galerie F, Chicago
Artists’ Coalition, the DePaul
Art Museum, The Center for
Book Arts (NY) and the Hyde
Park Art Center. Her work has
been selected for book covers including How to Seduce
a White Boy in Ten Easy
Steps by Laura Yes Yes, The
Truth About Dolls by Jamila
Woods, Secondhand by Maya
Marshall, Where Brooklyn At?
by Roger Bonair-Agard and the
upcoming All Blue So Late by
Laura Swearingen-Steadwell.

Brett Swinney and Angela Davis Fegan at Off
Chances at Danny’s Bar Wicker Park, Chicago IL,
Feburary 14, 2017, photo by Jasmine Clark

The lavender menace occupation is a collaboration between
Angela Davis Fegan and Brett
Swinney.
Fegan started the lavender
menace poster project as
her master’s thesis, and as a

6 lavender meance occupation a handbook

means of critiquing the push

laborative art projects. Fegan

for legalizing gay marriage and Swinney have collaboas an assimilation tactic and

rated over the last 6 years on

not a means of liberation. various art projects but came
More specifically, to critique together as the LMO in order
organizations like the Human to develop work that blends
Rights Campaign from the

social practice with social

left in the same way that the

justice in an effort critique

lavender menace disruption of

and address the division and

the National Organization of

intersections between various

Women’s 1970 was a critique

socio-political movements. As

of NOW’s attempt to exclude

the LMO, we will continue to

queer women from the femi- produce interruptions that will
nist movement. Swinney is a

awake and inspire the masses.

cofounder of the community
art collaborative Anysquared
which was propelled by a
deep sense of cooperation
with artists, neighbors and the
wider community to support,
produce and promote colAngela Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney

7

Aay Preston-Myint at Off C

8 lavender meance occupation a handbook

Chances at Danny’s Bar Wicker Park, Chicago IL, Feburary 14, 2017, photo by Jasmine Clark

Angela Davis Fegan & Brett Swinney

9


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