Young Suffragettes- Tallulah Haddon "Pick your fights and know your shit."

Photography by Joanna Kiely, Styling by Jilian Banjoko

Tallulah Haddon (19) is a performance artist and beatboxer from South London who's work plays with concepts of gender and sexuality. 

Haddon's work as a performance artist currently incorporates two characters “One is a drag king called Private Hole. My other character is Susie Swallow who’s a child cannibal. She’s really fun, I got interested in female sexuality and was finding it difficult to drag up. I felt I was betraying my femininity. Fuck the patriarchy why would I dress like a man?!” 

It’s this conflict between personal identity and society’s pressure upon women that led to Tallulah’s creation of Susie Swallow. “There’s a lot of masculinity in my own self without having to dress like a man...everything that I do is playing with how I look.”

The broad scope and DIY ethos of performance art is what drew Tallulah in “The ideas come out of not having many conventions. There’s cabaret, drag, singing and comedy. For me it's all about being in the moment. There is something about it...There’s something so beneficial about being in the atmosphere and not being able to escape. 

As a female performer, Tallulah has been sexualised by audiences “When you’re naked on stage you run the risk of being objectified; but if it’s as a character, I perceive it as an extension of the performance. The way people react can prove to you why you do it. It’s one of the most raw experiences you can have. Having a real experience when you are really not yourself.” And it’s exposure to womanhood that helped create the transgressive nature of her work “I’ve always felt a bit gross and wanted to draw people in to that. People want women to be airy, vacant. That’s why it’s important to see female performers working with something they’ve actually experienced.” 

Tallulah is one of the few female beatboxers in the UK “People react strangely when I say I’m a beatboxer. It's a male dominated scene but it’s just sounds; it isn’t misogynistic. Also, I think i's important to go into different arenas and challenge your perceptions. Feel the fear and do it anyway. I think you should always slightly not know what you’re doing. I do still find it intimidating but I’ve got used to it. I enjoy the challenge. Like every skill, you eventually get to a point where you believe in yourself a bit.” 

“Feminism is feeling popular - it’s positive!” However, Tallulah feels a need for inclusiveness and appreciation of others “Let’s not fight with each other. There has to be variety and it’s fine to be a “bad” feminist. We’re not going to be “One Nation”. Fuck you, Cameron. Pick your fights and know your shit.” 

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