Nestam, in collaboration with Whiz of Vizag (WoV), is set to conduct The Vizag Drag Show, India’s first Telugu drag event, on 23 January, 2022. It is a two hour online event taking place this Sunday, starting at 6pm. Patruni Chidananda Sastry, aka Suffocated art Specimen, who has given over 200 drag performances across the country, will be the special guest for the show. Initially planned as an offline event, the show now has become virtual, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.
But what is a drag show? What happens in a drag event? Speaking to Yo! Vizag, Shiva from Nestam says that drag is an art form, predominantly existing in the Western culture, and also being performed in India. In this type of show, drag is a performance where gender is performed for entertainment. For example, a male dons a feminine costume, and the female participants dress up in a masculine way. Sometimes its even not a single gender. The idea of playing gender with makeup, dressing and becoming a character is called as drag. The performers usually dress up to an exaggerated idea of gender and acceptance of all the gender spectrum. Shiva added that Patruni Sastry was introduced to Nestam by a fellow drag friend. Patruni, who had performed his first show as a drag artist in Hyderabad on 9 June, 2019, had agreed to be a special guest for The Vizag Drag Show. When asked about the idea behind conducting a drag show in Vizag, Shiva said that they wanted to introduce the concept of drag to Visakhapatnam, thereby blending drag into the Telugu society.
A number of dancing, singing, and theatrical performances have been planned by the organisers to introduce the drag culture to Vizag through The Vizag Drag Show. Shiva mentioned that Patruni will be the drag performer, along with few others, joining from the local queer community of Vizag and Hyderabad. Speaking about the collaboration with Whiz of Vizag, Shiva said that Hayathi, co-founder of Nestam, has been following WoV’s social activities and decided to get them onboard with a goal to reach out to more people. Moving forward, Nestam is planning to organise such events every month, to spread more awareness about the art of drag in Vizag.
Those who are interested to attend online may register themselves by contacting Nestam, or Whiz of Vizag, through their respective Instagram handles.