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Taliyah “Starr” Shepard: No Cops, No Creeps, No Phobes

Library Gallery

April 1 - April 6

In every state, in every town, there’s a culture that is under your nose and your feet. It has a strange aura and it draws you in. The basement culture scene is an ancient practice that holds as much weight as religion. Every week we gather and partake in the wine and other things. We listen to music and lose ourselves in a moment that brings us together. The prophets speak to the feelings of the youth. They usher us into a collective consciousness that is somehow still individual. How do so many youth find peace here amidst the swinging arms of a mosh pit? The darkest corners of the basement? I’ve never felt so alive as water drips from the mysterious source in the ceiling onto my face. I’ve danced with future lawyers, doctors, and musicians. I’ve heard them preach about advancement for all minorities and cultures. They speak with more love and knowledge than our senators and presidents. If you fall to the ground many hands are quick to uplift you. We take acceptance seriously that’s why there are: No Cops, No Creeps, and No Phobes allowed.

This show sheds light on the beauty of basement show culture. Going to college you find “your people,” now put those people in someone’s basement on or off campus. This is my experience with the culture. I started attending these spaces in 2021 and have since been to 20+ shows in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. The culture spans many decades and that’s the recorded ones. One of the things I found the most endearing was the statement “No Cops, No Creeps, No Phobes.” This is a statement that means the safety of those at the show. Even with those regulations, some things slip through the cracks. I’ve been to shows where they called the cops or someone’s actions were questioned. The response in these situations is something I’ve always admired as it comes from a place of love and support. The creeps aren’t tolerated, the (homo)phobes are non-existent, and we all escape the watchful eyes of the cops.

I’ve always had a problem with fitting in; here you don’t have you.

You do need $5 though.