Benji Hart headshot

Benji Hart

Dancer
2015 3Arts Awards /  2020 The MacDowell Colony Fellow /  2018 The Rauschenberg Residency Fellow
Teaching Arts

Benji Hart is an author, artist, and educator based in Chicago. The writer behind the blog Radical Faggot, their essays and poems have appeared in anthologies including Rebellious Mourning: The Collective Work of Grief (AK Press), The Funambulist by its Readers: Political Geographies from Chicago and Elsewhere (Chicago Architecture Biennial), and Trans Bodies Trans Selves: Second Edition (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). Their commentary has been published at Teen VoguePoetry FoundationIn These TimesThe Chicago ReaderThe Advocate, and others.

Their solo performance Dancer As Insurgent, which explores voguing as a practice of Black queer resistance, has been featured at CA2M (Madrid), Museo Universitario del Chopo (Mexico City), and the Amsterdam University of the Arts (Amsterdam). Their current project, World After This One, examining the myriad ways Black art forms rely on the materials of the present to construct liberated futures, premiered at BRIC (New York), and is still in progress.

Benji Hart is a Black, queer, femme artist and educator currently living in Chicago. They are the writer behind the blog Radical Faggot, and have essays featured in the anthologies Rebellious Mourning: Collective Works of Grief (2017) and Taking Sides: Radical Solidarity and the Poverty of Liberalism (2015), both from AK Press. Their writing has also been published in Truthout, Salon Magazine, Socialist Worker, and other feminist and abolitionist media.

While formally certified as an elementary educator, their teaching philosophy is grounded in popular education, and relies on art to inspire resistance and direct action. Their areas of expertise include the dance form vogue, spoken word poetry, trans history, and prison and police abolition. They have taught voguing to queer and trans youth at the Chicago Cultural Center, the Broadway Youth Center, and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. They have offered workshops on a range of political topics to such groups as Assata’s Daughters, Chicago Desi Youth Rising, For the People Artists Collective, and others.

Their original one-person piece Dancer As Insurgent–which explores the street dance style of vogue as a form of radical resistance–has been performed at conferences and universities across Chicago, such as Black & Pink’s National Gathering (2017), Creating Justice (2016), INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence’s conference Color of Violence 4 (2015), and Jane Adams Hull House (2015). Their poetry and spoken word have been featured at showcases and venues around the city.

Featured Artworks

  •  Benji Hart artwork
  •  Benji Hart artwork
  •  Benji Hart artwork
  •  Benji Hart artwork