Last Saturday (February 18) afternoon, I walked into the Knockdown Center, a gloriously dilapidated former glass factory in Queens, to find Richard Kennedy and DonChristian burning sage and painting a sign that said "Very Black" on the wall. The two musicians, both regular figures in New York's queer underground scene, were putting the finishing touches on their ambitious new project called INDEX Festival: A Living Archive, which was set to open its doors later that afternoon.
Similar to festivals like Afropunk, INDEX was conceived a platform for and by people of color, with a focus on black and Latinx artists. But while you might go to Afropunk to check out a blockbuster Grace Jones set or a sick new punk band, INDEX, with a staggering lineup drawing primarily from the electronic music sphere, was where you found your new favorite club music DJ. The festival was stacked with headliners like the shape-shifting experimentalist Yves Tumor, revered Philly club duo SCRAAATCH, ballroom queen La'Fem Ladosha, sculptor/poet Rin Johnson, and dozens of other performers spread across five stages and 10 hours. Our trusted photographer Erez Avissar was around to capture the scenes below.
Photos by Erez Avissar