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EDITORIAL Timeline

2021 Roundup

2021 was admittedly one of the slowest years for Sidewalkkilla.com and not because there was a lack of topics to cover. The future of the website was in limbo. In a time of so much change and uncertainty, many things stood in the way of the project: mental health, finances, and family loss, to name a few. We took a hard look at reality and asked ourselves if it was worth keeping it going.

After a few discussions and much self-reflection, we decided that we can’t just give up. It’s crazy to think that in June 2022, the website will celebrate its three-year anniversary, and in that time, almost 20,000 people have seen the extraordinary and diverse range of work that we’ve been able to showcase together. There are still so many stories yet to be told, so many voices yet to be heard and so much work yet to be seen — we couldn’t let this project go to waste.

One of our most exciting developments is the immediate expansion of our columns. We’ve approached a few talented artists and writers to contribute their work on a regular basis, joining one of our first columns, Movies With Matvey Cherry, which debuted at the end of November.

In the spirit of community, Sidewalkkilla strives to be a collaborative environment, one that connects artists together for inspiration and creative exchange. As such, we are always open to artistic collaborations and photo work to accompany the stories we publish. Please reach out with ideas via the button below and let’s see how we can disrupt the ordinary.

For now, as we close out 2021, we’re revisiting some of the exciting work we published, wishing you the best, and looking ahead with optimism and gratitude.

If you enjoy our work and would like us to go on well into the future, please consider DONATING. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and will ensure that we do our best in continuing to tell creative stories and cover important events.

the articles are arranged in no particular order

The Fight For Democracy In Myanmar

In this in-depth article, artist and drag performer Emi Grate examines Western media’s surprising lack of coverage of the fight for democracy in Myanmar.

Photos for this article were contributed by Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe, a local female reporter on the ground in Myanmar.

Movies With Matvey Cherry

Movies With Matvey Cherry is a dynamic artistic collaboration between Matvey, who uses his unique voice to talk about films, and illustrator Paco May, who interprets those films through beautiful illustrations. Most recently, they looked at Paolo Sorrentino’s touching remembrance of youth, The Hand of God.

Getting Personal With Bones Jones

If you’ve seen the latest season of Project Runway on Bravo TV, you are probably familiar with eyelash-wearing, wig-switching, catch-phrase-giving, and an all-around talent Bones Jones. In February of 2021, when the New York Fashion Week was canceled until further notice and designers were equally uncertain about the future of their fashion houses, Bones pulled off a 40-minute fashion presentation in the form of an immersive dance theater within a matter of one week.

Interview and photos by Sidewalkkilla founder Alexey Kim.

Bushwig

Alexey was this year’s official photographer for Bushwig. A month after the event, he took over Bushwig’s Instagram account and featured his work and that of other photographers present at the event. A few of them agreed to publish their work here! See the latest contributions below (and check back for a few more libraries to be added at the beginning of 2022).

View full Bushwig coverage HERE.

Alexander Wang Did What?

At the end of 2020, male model Owen Mooney accused famed fashion designer Alexander Wang of sexual misconduct. Triggered by the flurry of discussions and opinions on the subject, Sidewalkkilla founder Alexey Kim shared his own stories of sexual abuse he was forced to endure during his modeling career.

The article was produced in collaboration with illustrator Paco May.

LOVE IS THE VACCINE

On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white psychopath went into three different spas in the Atlanta area and murdered eight people with a gun. Six of them were Asian women. Hate crimes against Asian Americans are not new by any means, but anti-Asian sentiment rose precipitously after ex-president Donald Trump used a racially charged hashtag (#chinesevirus) and continued using anti-Asian rhetoric throughout the pandemic. Just a month after being acquitted in his second impeachment for inciting the Capitol Hill riot, his nation-dividing orange spirit lived on.

On March 21, New Yorkers took to the streets demanding that anti-Asian hate crimes be stopped and that the Atlanta shootings be officially recognized as hate crimes. What further fueled the protesters’ anger was sheriff spokesperson Jay Baker’s statement that the shootings were based on the shooter’s supposed sex addiction (AKA fetish) and that the shooter was having a “bad day.”

A crowd of speakers and protesters assembled at Union Square, later moving on to Columbus Park in the heart of Chinatown. See what the protesters and an ex NYC mayor hopeful Andrew Yang had to say below. 

Photos and interviews by Sidewalkkilla founder Alexey Kim.

Britney Is Finally Free!

In February of 2021, still under a harrowing 13-year conservatorship at the hands of her father, Britney Spears‘s fight for freedom reached new highs in the public consciousness with an investigatory documentary by The New York Times. Paco May shared his millennial memories of TRL, and how the very generation that loved Spears subsequently helped destroy her.

Nightlife

What would Sidewalkkilla be without the nightlife coverage?

See all of our nightlife libraries HERE.

Unhappy Valentine

Sidewalkkilla’s frequent contributor Matvey Cherry has had a fair share of heartbreaks. For last year’s Valentine’s Day, Matvey divulged three “love” stories that many may continue to find relatable for as long as this oft-torturous holiday exists.

The article was produced in collaboration with designer and creative director Sky Vargas.

Alexey Kim

Founder

Felix Santos

Co-Founder


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Categories
EDITORIAL Timeline

2020 Roundup

sidewalkkilla

2020 ROUNDUP

We decided to divide the 2020 Roundup into categories. Needless to say, the new decade started off as a level-five hurricane. The focus of our conversations over the past year has been unavoidably influenced by the coronavirus, the Black Lives and Black Trans Lives Matter movements, and how we, as a human race, deal with this new world without losing our inspiration. This year’s Roundup is split into five categories, each highlighting three stories that we thought to be the most representative of 2020:

ART, BLM, COVID-19, CONVERSATIONS, and PRIDE.

If you enjoy our work and would like us to go on well into the future, please consider DONATING. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and will ensure that we do our best in continuing to tell creative stories and cover important events. Sidewalkkilla was founded by representatives of two immigrant minorities and is fully self-funded. We are an independent platform that aims to be open to creative collaborations with people from the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. We created this platform out of love for our community, and we are hoping to keep holding important conversations through our unique lens.

articles arranged by oldest date

ART

Oftentimes, we produce the most creative and daring things when we are backed into a corner, depressed, or broken down. In fact, most of the ideas for Sidewalkkilla came to us when we were down on our luck, and we would get stoned out of our minds and spitball crazy ideas into the air: What if…? The stories we decided to highlight were all spawned in the midst of the pandemic, and the artists behind them took on an ambitious idea and just ran with it. 

Photographer and visual artist Michael Sullivan moves back to his hometown and photographs a collection of stunning masks that he creates; Brooklyn-based drag artist Untitled Queen “celebrates” July 4 in an unusual way; Michael Cruz, Zac Thompson and Aaron Hawkins  launch a gallery space out of a Brooklyn home.

BLM

On May 26, three days after George Floyd’s death by a cop’s knee, violent protests erupted in Minneapolis. In turn, on May 29, nonviolent protests in NYC organized at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn turned violent. Following the violence as well as looting that ensued on May 31, Gov. Andrew Cuomo placed NYC under curfew from June 1 to June 7. While Black Lives Matter protests sparked up all over the US, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, on June 1, a mob brutally attacked Iyanna Dior, a Black trans woman from George Floyd’s hometown, at a gas station. The incident raised concern about the inclusion of Black trans women into the conversation. On June 14, around 15,000 people dressed in all white showed up at the Brooklyn Museum to walk for Black trans lives. 

Take a look at our exclusive photos from the first few days of the protests in NYC (violence warning); revisit the Brooklyn Liberation Action inspired by the 1917 Silent Protest Parade organized by the NAACP; protest in the form of joy with three Black-led organizations that brought jubilee to Harlem during Juneteenth. 

COVID-19

While a pre-COVID-19 report, the 2019 Global Health Security Index, ranked the US #1 in Global Pandemic Preparedness, the Trump administration’s dismantling of the team in charge of pandemic responses in early 2018, and downplaying the coronavirus threat from the very beginning, didn’t do us any favors. On March 22, Governor Andrew Cuomo  mandated a stay-at home order for New York State. As COVID-19 began to spread in the US, New York City quickly became the global epicenter of the pandemic. After experiencing a record-breaking deadly spike in April, New York, through social distancing mandates, aggressive testing, and clear messaging from leadership, was able to change the trajectory of the pandemic and drastically reduce the number of infections and deaths. New York City and the state as a whole were able to reopen in phases, and on July 20 the city went into the fourth stage of reopening, which allowed for schools to reopen, resumption of low-risk outdoor activities and entertainment at 33% capacity, and media production was able to resume. Almost 20 million COVID cases later, and well over 320K deaths nationally, NYC is nearing another possible shutdown. But life goes on — leave it up to the artistic community to make the best out of a shitty situation and stay creative. 

Live streaming becomes the preferred means of communication and performing; Jesse Alvior, a long-time resident of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, sees and documents changes first-hand; drag queens create their own socially distanced QuarantQueen Ball, instead of the cancelled Met Gala. 

CONVERSATIONS

When we say that we want to create conversations with the LGBTQIA+ community, we mean it. The three stories below are deeply contemplative, moving and inspiring.

Dévo Monique has had enough of being the token Black drag queen; photographer Adam Ross collaborates with Black Trans people Alex and Jael to show the beauty of trans women blossoming into themselves; Martyr was raped when they were 17 and uses their trauma to heal through art.

PRIDE

There was no official NYC Pride this year due to coronavirus regulations, so instead Pride month was transformed into a month of protests for Black and Black Trans lives. While the rest of the world was reeling from the devastating losses incurred by the coronavirus pandemic, a land straight out of a fairy tale managed to continue on as usual, unaffected by the pandemic or racial division. 

Bushwig collective celebrates Pride by riding bikes in solidarity with the BLM movement; the annual New York City Pride Parade turned into the Queer Liberation March; Taipei hosts the biggest in-person 2020 Pride, pink-washing and all.

Alexey Kim

Founder

Felix Santos

Co-Founder