Archived News Post: Introduction
How to mother and be mothered?
Lecture and workshop by Taka Taka
8—10 December 2020

Today, tomorrow and on Thursday Taka Taka will host a workshop and lecture at PHiC. Taka Taka will present a character construction workshop with tools that they have developed from their camp – dragtivist practice, resulting to perform for and with our characters. We will utilize and be empowered from our collective gaze (classroom) to a safe and warm environment. The aim of the workshop is to reveal the reality of the act of dressing/undressing as an undeniable personal and social engagement by having fun while understanding one’s impact, the realities of character and their production from fingernail till toenail. For this workshop we will use tools from drag to define our performance characters and reflect on the following question: How can we relate to society in order to channel and experience the power and responsibility of getting attention through our altered public image?

In the lecture How to mother and be mothered? Looking at social practices through the lens of cybernetics Taka Taka will talk about their experience of being drag mothered by Jennifer Hopelezz and mothering their drag kids as a para-family constellation of mutual empowerment. Drag Queens have historically played an important role in HIV activism in many communities, as well as sharing valuable knowledge about STIs, drug harm reduction, sex work and working your sex. They challenge gender norms, push boundaries around sexuality and redefine the heteronormative reality. Taka Taka personally experiences drag to be a transcending form of communication of a self-absorbed spectacle. Drag needs entertainment in order to give voice for its community in the public domain. Taka Taka will share examples where drag stands as an activist proposition for under-represented groups and their intersections. Doing Drag is interrelated with the statement of its sociopolitical position; thus the context where drag is performed defines its position.

Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos (36, GR), a.k.a Taka Taka, was trained as a professional make-up artist, studied Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2013) followed by the MA ArtEZ programme at the Dutch Art Institute (2016). Taka Taka identifies as a professional dragtivist and edu-curator who produces performances as art director for the Amsterdam cruise club, Church since 2014. Taka Taka is the godmother of the House of Hopelezz, sister for others, mother of the drag king House of Løstbois and proud daughter of Jennifer Hopelezz. Taka Taka sees life through the lens of Dragtivism by producing weekly parties and para-educational strategies for the margins of the marginal LGBTQIA ++ community.⁣


Taka Taka is the co-founder of Drag King Academy Amsterdam and collaborates yearly as the House of Hopelezz art director-producer-performer and/or curator with institutes and collectives such as: SOA/AIDS Nederland; Global Aids Village; Aids Healthcare Foundation, Amsterdam; Pianola Museum for Museum Nacht, Wende Snijders Kaleidoscope at KoninklijkCarre Theater, Drag Olympics at Homomonument, Begging Babes at Paradiso, Superball, the Battle of European Drag Houses at Paradiso, Queer Porn film night at Compagnie Theater, NoPantsNoProblemat Global AIDS conferences, Kids friendly queer Streetheart Festival at Kerkstraat, PrEPnu, Milkshake Festival-Erwin Olaf stage, City Collective Amsterdam, House of Yes-New York and more.


They have shared their knowledge and methodologies for gender-queer artistic practices and its intersections with HIV through interviews, lectures and essays with: Open! Platform for Art, Culture and the Public Domain’, Lost and Found, Nacht van de Nacht, and Perdu. Taka Taka has held workshops around Dragtivism and Character construction for: Dutch Design Week, Mediamatic, Queer Rotterdam, and Art Academies such as: SNDO-School for New Dance Development, Practice Held in Common – MA in Fine Art and Design (ArtEZ), Studium Generale – Gerrit Rietveld Academie.