Nightlife has longtime been a key space where self-discovery and queer empowerment reaches its full potential. Free of limitations everyday social structures impose upon us and rich with mentors who've already transformed, or really become, themselves in those safe spaces, club culture welcomes in the weirdos and helps foster much-needed alt-energy. Recognizing this, Kenzo's new resort mini-film, Club Ark Eternal, highlights how nightlife can be a powerful political tool in fighting racism, sexual oppression and class violence.
Directed by Partel Oliva, Kenzo's short features choreography from Grammy-nominated Ryan Heffington, who's best known for directing Maddie Ziegler in Sia's "Chandelier," as well as a soundtrack by Egyptian-Iranian artist Lafawndah and BR-RR. Dancers are shown moving independently, their impact as passionate solo performers reflecting that familiar moment in a club when dancing on your own—eyes closed—feels liberating, completely unaware of any surrounding bodies.
"With clubbing spaces obviously needing to be understood and protected, we tried to think of impossible alternatives," Kenzo said of the film's treatment. "With many countries around the world entering a winter of the soul, we wanted to celebrate the kids who go out in 15°F/-2°C."
Kenzo's release follows recent reminders about the importance of safe spaces, from June's tragic Orlando shooting to Oakland's Ghost Ship loss and Istanbul's nightclub attack, bringing attention to the impact these essential environments have on culture today. Near the end of the film, an off-screen voice asks, "Life—what do you think of it?" A faceless voice replies, "I think it’s all about the rhythm and the love, and what you can do with the rhythm."
Watch Kenzo's Club Ark Eternal, below: