In The Mood For Love is
I caught up with Jaouad Alloul to talk about his project, In The Mood For Love – an exploration of gender, sexuality, intimacy, consent, and love between men.
Jaouad , your involvment and dedication to the Belgian queer community is clear : You are one of the founders of the Pride of color, we saw you on stage for Colours of the rainbow, defending queer point of views on television. Your are singing, acting, directing, dancing. How is it important for you to put your art at the service of queer rights ?
It is all connected for me. I feel very blessed that my complex identity gives me the experience to touch certain topics. With getting older, I feel my voice becomes more rooted and confident. As an artist I can explore the freedom to express myself and at the same time touch matters that mean a lot to me.
Now you are presenting your new project “In the mood for love”, an expo on gender, sexuality, intimacy, consent & love between men. “In the mood for love” is art, workshops & events. Can you explain us how the idea to bring all this together came to you ?
In my life I have met a lot of sex workers. I could identify with their struggle and I could see that these people were just doing a job, often forced into. I recognized a lot of patterns that I, as a gay man, also have around my sexuality. So I started thinking: ‘how can I support sex workers?’ Organize a fundraiser. Of course I wouldn’t be Jaouad if I didn’t create something more universal, something wider that touches these matters. I want to raise awareness for sex workers because they are also part of our LGBT family. Last but not least I want to invite people to explore their sexuality because sex is fun and a vital part of a happy life.
In mainstream media we often have a hard representation of what masculinity is. Even in gay porn it is always very hard. I wanted to show that intimacy is as important (of course I like some good hard sex but if we can’t cuddle after, then why are we connecting in the first place). The mould of how we as men should behave, act and be is very toxic. In the mood for love wants to show other aspects that are fun and never ending. Sexuality is key to life: the more balanced you are, the more fun you will have.
All profits go to social organisations for male and transgender sex workers through Boysproject Antwerp & Alias Brussels. Can you tell us a bit more about this collaboration ?
Boysproject asked me to be godmother of the project which I immediately said yes to, but I also told them that I want to do more than just being pretty on a picture. Moving to Brussels, I felt the need to have a Brussels organisation as well. We met Manuszko, who works at Alias Brussels, on a night out. That is no coincidence, so I am very happy with having two organisations we are about to support.
And at the same time you are releasing your new single : “I think I’m in love”. How do you feel about it ?
It always feels scary to release and at the same time I take a lot of pride out of it. Another steppingstone, another way of sharing how I feel. 2022 will be a year full of music, I want to show people different sides of me.
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