Agora Club II: Thrill Demeter brought together dining, discussions, performances, dancers, a vogue ball fashion parade and DJs to collectively perform and explore the act of transformation in an age reliant on extremities. The evening was hosted by board member of the University of the Underground American underground drag performer, emcee, filmmaker and actor – the one and only Peaches Christ.

Agora Club 2 – 22/11/18 – at De Marktkantine

In the latest edition of Agora Club – the party that performs the act of social dreaming – The University of the Underground orchestrated another ludic investigation: this time, exploring collective fears. Agora Club applies design experiences with cultural and philosophical debate to stage collective participatory performance parties like no other. From the survivalist strategies required to endure the Anthropocene to Silicon Valley space trips to Mars, the dreamers of the day, participants negotiated futures fraught with fear and thrill. The production of nightmares dominated the evening’s narration from monster politics to environmental catastrophe; the thrill of Demeter was summoned on the night of 22nd November. 

Panel 1, First Fruits invited guests to dine with the artists at the University of the Underground to taste extraordinary gastronomic delights from some of the leading designers in food and culinary experiences. First Fruits (Homo Faber Eats) was an exploration of the Thanksgiving dinner as a ritual and ceremony. Food will be served and shared between artists and guests during a panel discussion hosted by the drag queen Peaches Christ and Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun. Featuring Regine Debatty (Writer, curator, critic and founder of We Make Money Not Art), Lukas Taks from Eat Art Collective (Rotterdam based food collective), Marjolein Stappers (Designer and oyster shell archaeologist) and Debbie Aitatus from Studio Happy Story (Baker and artisan cake extraordinaire), accompanied by Thanksgiving couscous by Rainari Restaurant (Nomadic Algerian Cuisine)

Agora Club 2 – 22/11/18 – First Fruits (Homo Faber Eats) – Panel Discussion

The second panel, Exit Strategies investigated what our modern day fears are and how does the incomprehensible rise to the surface? Cultivating new life forms in other galaxies or building seastead islands to house the population of the near future. How do politicians, architects and government officials plan for extreme conditions and emergency futures? What actions should we take to navigate emergency futures? Panellists asked what we need to collectively overcome such disaster narratives and transform into a better future. Panelists included, Arne Hendricks (Bio-artist, designer and ½ creator of Amsterdam’s artist grown fatberg), Daniela De Paulis (Artist & Researcher at SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), David Wise (Composer for Donkey Kong video games), Sjaron Minailo (Experimental Opera Director), Otis Mensah (Spoken word rapper and Sheffield’s first appointed Poet Laureate). 

Agora Club 2 – 22/11/18 – Exit Strategies (Bye Bye Homo Sapiens) – Panel Discussion

Throughout the evening, various workshops took place, such as a Celebrate Your Demons workshop which combined traditional Dutch floristry and performance to celebrate or control personal fears. The evening also saw a ‘Bizarre Ball’ take place, lead by Yamuna Forzani, Queer activist and fashion designer. To finally end on mindblowing performances from the students, futuristic hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces and Fay Milton.