Let’s Talk About Chemsex

Let’s Talk About Chemsex is a Recoverist Month trailblazer taking place at Community Lane as part of Manchester Pride Festival, and will see artist Harold Offeh as a 90s radio host.

This art installation launches the year-long project that aims to explore the queer communities’ broad range of experiences of sex on Chems. Harnessing the power of the legendary Salt N Pepa track Let’s Talk About Sex, to talk about consent, intimacy, and desire.
Themed as a vintage radio show on a Community Lane market stall at the Gay Village Party, Offeh will invite passers-by to enter the show as a guest or respond to prompts and questions on the topic of sex on chems, intimacy, and consent. Visitors can interact with the host, or record a message on a special answering machine. Activities allow visitors to contribute words and phrases to a collective song about queer intimacy or they can suggest a track for a collective playlist on consent.

Over the next 12 months, people will have the opportunity to participate in further artist led workshops. Directly informed by the lived experience, the creative outcomes will contribute to the production and presentation of the final artwork over Manchester Pride Festival 2024.

A Commissioned by Portraits of Recovery and supported by Manchester Art Gallery and Superbia, over Manchester Pride weekend we’re inviting people to take part in activities and talks. This is an opportunity to find out about the year-long Let’s Talk About Chemsex project and how people can get involved over the coming year.

This event as part of Recoverist Month, September 2023

Recoverist = recovery + activist

Artist Biography

Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Turf Projects, London, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Wysing Art Centre, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, MAC VAL, France, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark and Art Tower Mito.

Offeh studied Critical Fine Art Practice at The University of Brighton, MA Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art and recently completed a PhD by practice exploring the activation of Black Album covers through durational performance. He lives in Cambridge and works in London, UK. He previously held the role of Reader in Fine Art at Leeds Beckett University and was a visiting tutor at

Goldsmiths College and The Slade School of Art, UCL, London. He is currently a tutor in MA Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art.

Portraits of Recovery (PORe)

PORe is a pioneering visual arts charity in Manchester. We work with leading contemporary artists and people and communities (Recoverists) affected by and in recovery from substance use to create high quality inspirational art.

We are the UK’s only contemporary visual arts organisation in this field. By working collaboratively with leading contemporary artists, people, and communities in recovery, we share the human face of the recovery experience – breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion. Addiction does not discriminate. Addiction is a health, social and cultural issue.

Our key stakeholders, people in recovery from substance use, engage with and create high quality inspirational art as a critical part of their recovery journey. Our work is inclusive, activist, durational and process based. Through culture we build ambition by empowering a stigmatised community to enable systemic change.

Without guilt, shame, or stigma, call our Let’s Talk About Chemsex voicemail care-line on 0161 850 7852 Leave a message about your thoughts and feelings on Chemsex, or themes of consent, HIV, and queer intimacy. These anonymous recordings will contribute to an audio archive for informing ongoing project development. All reflections welcome!

The Let’s Talk About Chemsex, telephone voicemail care-line forms part of artist Harold Offeh’s year-long project exploring the queer communities’ broad experiences of sex on Chems.