Veruska Bellistri
Exhibition of drawings and collages Coal

Tuesday, March 8th at 20.00, klub Monokel

Veruska Bellistri is a biracial queer feminist artist/activist living in Rome. In 1999, she began broadcasting her anarchopunk radio show Queen Bee on the pirate radio station Onda Rossa. Since then, she has been organising concerts for queer bands like she did for Tribe 8 as part of the World Pride celebration in Rome in 2000, she irregularly puts out a zine called Clit Rocket and contributes to other zines as well. She released an experimental spoken word project Die Bitch which documents the ways in which misogyny affected women’s lives throughout history and thus distorted our self-perception.

Her collages and drawings address her patchwork identity as a black queer feminist. Neither here nor there, she is caught in the crossfire of two different cultures. Her images of black women resist invisibility, exoticism, sexism and racism. Veruska plays with stereotypes and uses her identity as a weapon: “I push my images to the viewers' face and force them to question their own prejudices. My works are political as I portray the damage caused by racism and sexism. Coal heals me, sets me free.”

Veruska and her friends have also recorded the music to accompany the exhibition in Monokel.

Veruska’s exhibition title was inspired by Audre Lorde’s poem Coal.


is the black, being spoken
from the earth’s inside.
there are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a word, coloured
by who pays for speaking.

Some words are open like a diamond
on glass windows
singing out within the passing crash of sun.
Then there are words like stapled wagers
in a perforated book, -buy and sign and tear apart-
and come whatever wills all chances
the stub remains
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
breeding like adders. Others know sun
seeking like gypsies over my tongue
to explode through my lips
like young sparrows bursting from shell
Some words
bedevil me.

Love is a word, another kind of open.
As the diamond comes into a knot of flames
I am Black because i come from the earth’s inside
now i take my word for jewel in the open light.

© RDEČE ZORE 6 . Email . Oblika: Phant&Puntza