Jeremy is a Sydney based movement artist and spoken word poet creating and performing from his perspective as a queer asian millennial living with HIV. The meeting point of his two passions Dance and Poetry allows for a unique performance style in both his movement and spoken word.

2020 saw his Spoken Word Poem ‘Back Burning’ performed to at a benefit in San Diego, California to raise funds for the Bushfire crisis. He also danced for queer artists Sam Smith and JamarzOnMarz at Mardi Gras 2020 After Party and Fair Day. Despite the swerve that 2020 has taken he continues to dance and write and share of his experiences navigating this new normal.

Equality Australia’s interview with Jeremy Santos: COVID19 and the LGBTIQ+ Arts scene

22 April 2020

How has your work been impacted by COVID?

My work is currently going through both extremes and opposites of the spectrum. While all the gigs I had locked in over the next couple of months have been cancelled the demand and need for myself as a teacher of Movement and Dance to transition into the online/digital space has shot through the roof. I’m working, harder than I have ever before – and I’m not sure whether it’s out of guilt for being one of the lucky ones or if it’s out of duty to continue carrying the blazing light that is the Arts and its value in a time when it’s known such darkness.

Why are cultural events so important to the LGBTIQ+ community during isolation?

“In a time of social distancing, where your reality is a trip to the shops or the park, the four walls of each room if your home and the few people you still allow within your personal space the likelihood of losing your sense of self or being twisted in it is high. There are many pathways to connecting to ourselves and events such as these bring around the opportunity, for those who need it, to be reminded of who they are, where they’re going and above all, why they will reach their destination.” 

What’s one thing that’s been helping you get through this period?

To be absolutely honest, in the most low key (but absolute high key) way, my boyfriend. I’ve been going through absolute ups and downs, swinging from motivation to numbing apathy and he has held me close, kissed my forehead and been the first smile and reminder of light and joy I see most mornings. He has been a gift and treasure… and I dunno whether I could be getting through all this without him.

What does Equality mean to you?

Equality means not second guessing myself, in anything I do.
Be it my art
my career
the places I wanna go
the food I want to eat
the people I feel a kinship towards
the man I love… Equality means me unclenching my jaw.
Relaxing my fists.
Lowering my chin
and in all of those small ways…
no longer fighting… just living. 

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