34
34
8

RAGGA x Jamsterdam: CONNEK

$1,185 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 8 months
Created November 13, 2018
Fundraising Team


RAGGA NYC and Jamsterdam will join forces to bring together NY and Jamaican talent for the launch of a travel project called “CONNEK”. CONNEK Kingston will link queer folk in Jamaica to their allies across country borders through group trips and online storytelling. So in despite of your background, identity and possible doubts- if you're interested in building genuine ties to this beautiful country then CONNEK Kingston is for you!

Against all odds and trivial media Kingston, Jamaica has celebrated their 4th Pride. At this pivotal time in queer liberation, our mission is to help develop the often-short sighted perception of queerness in the Caribbean. There is no time like the present to bridge the gap of connection and aid this country’s already courageous movement towards the future. The time for demystification and bridge building is now!

The following is for a campaign we have created to raise the funds necessary to develop CONNEK, a new travel and documentary project we are assembling for 2019.

Funds will used for:
-Development of CONNEK curriculum and programing that will be built in NYC and Kingston, Jamaica

- Development of our infrastructure for the 2019 trips - A 4-day Spring travel experience in Jamaica will initiate a program of cultural exchange that will culminate in a visit from a select group of Jamaican ambassadors to New York for a sister event in Summer 2019.

- The production of documentary content that will further our mission of telling queer Caribbean stories in a healthy and healing manner - showcasing local queer artist, community leaders, night life. Also the production of a documentary video mini video series showcasing the trip in Jamaica.

Applications for the program will be opening in soon. All participants in this transformational travel experience will be required to pay for their own flights and lodging in Kingston. All contributors to this development campaign will receive a package of thank-you gifts. Deeper levels of contribution will receive special incentives and gifts from RAGGA collective members.


How did this project come to be? In 2014, I (Neon Christina) booked a trip to Jamaica for a overdue visits since childhood. Close friends and family alike discouraged me from going. They all said I was essentially risking my life. My peers having this fear didn’t surprise me but my mother's fear actually did which lead me into a rabbit hole of research around Jamaica and its relationship to the LGBT community. I've heard rumors about Jamaica and its homophobic attitude but when I started to look online there was an overwhelming amount of negative news about the country's queer folk. Every headline I read posed as a warning and every documentary I watched was a sad story. I dreadfully cancelled my trip.

Fast forward to late 2017, I finally went on my trip to Jamaica to prove a point to the people in my life and myself. I hadn’t been there since I was a child, so it was a big deal. A friend of mine named Tsige who had recently went to Jamaica told me that I must go and recommend a queer friend of hers living in Kingston named Chaday who she could connect me to once I was there. With the possibility of meeting and hanging with queer people actually living and loving out loud in Jamaica I booked my ticket immediately and went to my parent’s homeland. On the trip I not only meet Chaday but I went hiking, I went to street parties, heard local Reggae bands, had amazing Jamaican meals that I had never had as a Jamaica American and really found myself. It was life changing to be in a black country as a queer adult defying all the scary stories, I had heard about my home country and actually having the experience of a lifetime with other queer Jamaicans.  

When I came back, I did a lot of thinking about how afraid I was on the plane to Jamaica. How afraid I was thinking about my own people/ homeland reading articles about the “rampant homophobia” from my laptop here in Brooklyn. I did a lot of thinking about the way fear of black countries vibrates outward from media and effects all people. Ironically enough in Jamaica I saw so many white tourists. So many single white women walking around by themselves in the “allegedly dangerous” city of Kingston and in the dark countryside dirt roads of Port Antonio, Jamaica. I thought about how this daunting media hits people of color and more so the queer community of color the hardest. The fear of violence keeps a lot of people away from black countries throughout the world and in this case, Jamaica. So how could I change that? How could I share my own experience of Jamaica with my fellow sistern?

What better way to change someone’s mind about a people and place then to go there and talk with people. The power of travel is real. Unfortunately, there have always been roadblocks for the traveler of color. We have seen this even here in the U.S. with the need for publications like the Green Book. The Green Book was a travel guide that listed businesses and private homes that would reliably serve black people during the era of Jim Crow law keeping motorist safe from dangers like sundown towns. On the flip side the gay/ queer travel industry has often stayed clear of black countries at large and often only targeted to gay men. The endless amounts of Sizzle Miami ads with shirtless black gay men and white gay couples I had seen in ads for Paris had painted a very specific idea about who I was when moving throughout the world and where I could go. This specific cross section of queerness and race in relation to travel is unseen in the strides many travel companies trying to tackle the lack of diversity in their messaging/ programing. This is where CONNEK will fill the void starting in Jamaica and with possibility of growing globally.

After talking over the seed idea of throwing a party in Jamaica for foreigners and queer Jamaicans with Chaday she began to tell me just how important it was in turn for Jamaican queers and liberals to meet people from all over the world. To not just meet but to really connect and break bread with them. The beauty and possibility to hear what it’s like to be a trans entrepreneur living in Brooklyn or a visual artist with Puerto Rican parents living in Philly sending money back to Puerto Rico would be a beautiful for all parties. Chaday and I talked about the need to see/ hear the voices of queer Jamaicans living out full lives outside the dark narrative painted by most Western media. We wanted to not just bring folk to Jamaica to celebrate kinship but also shine a light on who these brilliant queer Jamaicans living in Kingston who were leading the change and changing the narrative. This is the specific blend of programming that makes CONNEK different from any other travel project.

In keeping with RAGGA NYC’s mission to document and create representation for the queer Caribbean community, CONNEK will release a campaign of videos [like this], photographic stories [like this] and more telling the stories of a select group of influential queer Jamaicans changing the narrative. Highlights of people like Neish McLean. Neish McLean is the HIV Coordinator and Project Manager at Equality for All Foundation Jamaica and Co-Founder of TransWave Jamaica, an organization that promotes transgender health and well-being.

All this leading up to a group trip where all folk outside Jamaica can register to sign up for the trip. The CONNEK team will then select 20-30 people to join the weekend trip and coordinate with them so the group is all together on the voyage. From a party held at a Kingston venue run by a queer Jamaican, beach days, family dinners to even hiking trips in Jamaica’s Blue Mountain- CONNEK will be the perfect getaway for folks who join us on the trip. 

During and after the trip in Spring 2019, CONNEK will release a video series going over the trip and its impact of attendees after the trip ends. The CONNEK team will then hold a RAGGA x Jamsterdam family link up party here in NYC free for all supporters of the project where the Jamaican talent who was involved in the trip then comes to NYC. CONNEK supporters of the project will also get gifts from the CONNEK team like a CONNEK zine with contributions from all the folk involved in Jamsterdam and RAGGA NYC.

We hope that you will join us in raising funds for a project that has never been done before that is way overdue. Please donate and share our go fund me campaign. What better way to demystify and build kinship with a land/ people then to travel to them, celebrate and CONNEK?

CONNEK TEAM

Neon Christina
Born in Long Island, NY Christopher Udemezue has shown at a variety of galleries and museums, including the New Museum, Queens Museum of Art, PS1 MoMa, Bruce High Quality Foundation, and Envoy Enterprises. Udemezue recently has utilized his Jamaican heritage and the complexities of desire for connection, tragedy through personal mythology and public lynching as a primary source. As the founder of the platform RAGGA NYC, he completed a residency with the New Museum "All The Threatened And Delicious Things Joining One Another" this past June 2017.

RAGGA NYC is a party and platform run by artist Neon Christina that has received press from the New Yorker magazine to Art Net.com. Working with the likes of PAPI JUICE, Juliana Huxtable, YES YES YALL (Toronto) and The New Museum; RAGGA has stormed NYC nightlife with a much needed queer Caribbean flavor.

IG: @neonchristina

Chaday Emmanuel
Born and living in Kingston Jamaica, founder of Jamsterdam, Tribe876 and Tribe Tours. Chaday has had over ten different events under three major brands including 2 queer events in Jamaica. A young entrepreneur majoring in Digital Media Production, she has designed both websites and apps for a lot of big Jamaican companies. At the beginning of 2018 opened Tribe876 as a bar/ lounge for artists, liberals, queers and persons with open minds in Kingston, Jamaica. Always striving to provide persons with amazing spaces and opportunities to make memories and ties that last a lifetime.

Jamsterdam is a party run by creative director Chaday Emmanuel that has pulled in over 600+ people and worked with some of the best of Kingston Jamaica’s queer talent scene. Working with the likes of DJ Chemics, Dj ZJ Nova, DJ David, and DJ The Wixard Muzikal Savage and JFLAG. Jamsterdam has had events to date both tailored to the lgbt community and community at large. Jamsterdam always highlighting love and tolerance no matter what the event has continued to have successful, safe events working with local venues to build ties through out the community.

IG: @1emmanuel

We hope that you will join us in raising funds for a project that has never been done before that is way overdue. Please donate and share our go fund me campaign.

What better way to demystify and build kinship with a land/ people then to travel to them, celebrate and CONNEK?
+ Read More
Hey boos! Thank you all so much for the love and support behind this @connekja project! It means a lot and we can’t thank y’all enough. Registration close next week! So if you want to join us on this once in a lifetime experience hit the link in bio and sign up now. Also our fundraiser on GoFundMe ends at the end of this month! Link in bio - Please share, re post and donate anything you can. Funds raise go towards building the CONNEK programming like paying all the amazing talent we are working with in Jamaica and NYC, all the media we plan on producing to demystify this beautiful country’s queer history and programming to give this project legs beyond just this year! We really want to build something beyond just a party, just a trip and something that is way overdue and needed to bring folk back to their family, queer kin and future possibilities of ties to this island on the verge of so much beauty. MUCH MUCH LOVE ❤️
+ Read More
Rashade St. Patrick

Rashade is an art director, writer, and trail blazer. “I’ve been working in the creative industries for 7 years and I’m forever moved and inspired by Jamaica’s boundless, pulsating energy and creativity found especially in vibrant communities like the LGBTQ” - Rashade. Read more about CONNEK at https://www.ragganyc.com/connek
+ Read More
The beautiful Mainsz is a fashion designer, stylist and dancer. “Dancing is something I have loved from a young age and I started dancing professionally in 2008 when I got my first scholarship at Praise Academy of Dance. There I’ve been exposed to all genres of dance and different people in the field. In May 2018 I created a dance group that had our first performance at the ‘Supermodel International’ fashion show at Gardening Academy @cotterells__emphasis.” - Mainz.
+ Read More
Get into our next Jamaica ambassador @theofficialwixard of Kingston, Jamaica inviting you all to join the @connekja project ! A wicked musician, producer and dj @theofficialwixard is doing big tings in Jamaica that will soon storm the world! Helping us curate the perfect queer bashment and even get behind the scenes of music production you’ll be able to meet and ki with @theofficialwixard and many more in person to continue to break down the negative ideas of what it’s like to be gay in Jamaica. See more at https://www.ragganyc.com/connek-jamaica-ambassadors/
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$1,185 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 8 months
Created November 13, 2018
Fundraising Team
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
JH
$20
Jason Ham
4 months ago
$20
Oscar Nunez
4 months ago
TC
$10
Tom Cinko
4 months ago
MM
$15
Max Mohenu
4 months ago
$100
Anonymous
4 months ago
MB
$10
Matt Benson
4 months ago
TS
$15
Teresa Smith
4 months ago
JH
$100
Jed Holtz
4 months ago
$65
Anonymous
4 months ago
SS
$20
Sam Sikanas
4 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.