Tag Archives: portrait drawing

Portraits of two powerful Black German women who are doing critical work.

MisSa Blue performs Rising of the Black Sheep drawn by Suzanne Forbes July 23 2020MisSa Blue is a legendary German performer who has lived in London for years, because she was so sick of German racism.

Yes, there’s racism in Germany. Disingenuous, gaslighting racism, and violent, murderous racism. MisSa Blue grew up with white adoptive parents in the beautiful German countryside, and that’s one of the things she talks about in her powerful new work in progress, The Rising of the Black Sheep.

I met MisSa last summer when she facilitated the Performer’s Panel on Cultural Appropriation in Showbiz at Berlin Burlesque Week. That panel had a huge impact on my understanding of how to be an ally and how to do anti-racism work, and I am so grateful to MisSa and the panelists and the BBWeek team for making it happen. I also drew MisSa during her Birthday Extravaganza earlier this summer!

Below, you can see MisSa talk about sword swallowing and other things in her TEDx talk.

The Rising of the Black Sheep is a mixed media performance which is being developed, and MisSa hopes to bring it to the stage, when there are stages again.

The sold-out show was live-streamed to an international audience – Alotta Boutte who I knew in the Bay Area was in it! – and we stayed for a Q&A afterwards. We were all moved and grateful to have been present for the show.

You can follow MisSa Blue on Instagram here and check her website for updates on the development of “Rising” and other projects.

MEP Dr Pierrette-Herzberger_Fofana by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is the first woman of African descent to be elected to European Parliament from Germany.

On June 17, she told the parliament in Brussels that she had been physically abused by Brussels police while attempting to stop the harassment of Black kids. As an MEP, she was in Brussels because the European parliament was due to vote on a non-binding resolution against racism! The Belgian police have brought a defamation complaint against the 71 year old professor!! That’s where the situation stands. It is horrifying, and so typical of Brussels.

I drew this using reference from a photo by Daina Le Lardic.

I never draw from photos but I had to talk about this story which should be the shame of Europe, and Dr Pierrette who is a jewel in the crown of Parliament. I am following the case and waiting to see if Dr. Pierrette receives an apology or has to go to court.

You can find Dr. Pierrette’s website here and her Instagram here, and follow her on twitter.

Dropping in on US burlesque shows!

Minda Mae for Disabilitease by Suzanne Forbes July 19 2020Livestreaming shows means I can be anywhere, anytime, if I have the strength.

As I mentioned in this post, I am choosing to limit what I can do according to my level of fatigue, and set goals that are realistic. That means not trying to draw everyone in a show. I dropped in on day 2 of the Disabilitease Festival (which should not be confused with the UK-based show with the same name Disabilitease, which I also drew!) with the intent to draw a couple performers.

I drew the Festival producer Minda Mae, above, doing a beautiful seated bellydance.

Skirt Vonnegut for Disabilitease by Suzanne Forbes July 19 2020And I drew Skirt Vonnegut doing their Existentialism number, for the second time!

I drew Skirt several times last year during their tenure in Berlin, and they are a friend and serious collector of my work, so it was great to get a parallax view of this cool routine.

I also dropped in on “Burlesque at Home“, a great show I would have loved to have seen and drawn all of.

Miss Jessica for Burlesque At Home by Suzanne Forbes June 16 2020Above, New Orleans icon Miss Jay Broussard!

Aka, Jessica Champaign. What a legendary performance! Miss Jay was the finale.

Paul Aleksandr for Burlesque at Home by Suzanne Forbes July 23 2020And this is the lovely host, Paul Aleksandr.

Fellow creepy creature maker and glittery goth clown Paul Aleksandr hosted from the UK! I loved their blue look.

I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support lets me keep documenting an international bouquet of burlesque and drag performers while I work safely at home.