Hamish Downie’s Five Questions with Daniel “Dusty” Albanese

TGG: Could you tell us about yourself?

DA: For the past 15 years, I’ve mostly been known for my work as a street photographer through my blog TheDustyRebel. There I’ve documented various urban subcultures—such as political movements, buskers, and street artists. In fact, street art is what I’m most known for. I’ve contributed to dozens of books, lectured at several universities, and been in a few documentaries such as JANZ In the Moment and Stick To It:

In 2017, I began production on my first feature-length documentary and book, OUT IN THE STREETS, which explores the global Queer Street Art movement.

TGG: Could you tell us about your documentary project?

DA: Nearly a decade ago, I dreamed of making an international documentary about street art and its relationship to LGBTQ+ activism.

As I began researching, I found very little written about Queer Street Art and questioned why it remains less visible, especially when many of the famous pioneers of graffiti and street art—such as Keith Haring—were queer. I decided to find out.

Street art is more popular than ever, but the community around it has largely ignored queer artists and their history. Through years of research and word of mouth, I compiled a database of every queer street artist I could find around the world and began unearthing the queer roots of street art.

Over the past 5 1/2 years, I filmed in 16 cities across seven countries, interviewing over 40 artists and activists. Needless to say, OUT IN THE STREETS has been a true labor of love!


TGG: What was the biggest thing you learned during the production?

DA: How vital it is to be passionate about what you’re doing. Making an independent film is extremely difficult, and often your own passion is the only force propelling your forward. To be honest, making this documentary has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am totally self-taught and funded an international documentary on a micro-budget. From the start, I knew the only way I could pull it off was to figure out how to juggle the challenges of being a one-man band while trying to maintain a production value as if I had a crew. I really learned how to push my own limits.

TGG: What’s next, and how can we help you? Can you tell us about this
particular crowdfunding platform, as I’ve never seen it before.

DA: After being delayed because of COVID, I recently finished filming. Now comes the next mountain to climb: raising funds for post-production. Fundraising is obviously the least fun part of making a film, but it’s unfortunately essential.

Our film is a fiscally sponsored project of Film Independent, which means donations to the film are 100% tax-deductible. If you’re outside of the US or do not want/need a tax deduction, you can make donations directly to us through PayPal (paypal.me/thedustyrebel) or Venmo (@dustyrebel). More details about supporting the film can be found on our site. Literally, every little bit helps!

Film Independent Page: https://www.filmindependent.org/programs/fiscal-sponsorship/out-in-the-streets/

TGG: Finally, where can we follow you on social media and donate to your film?

DA: You can find me on Instagram (@dustyrebel) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dustyrebel).

For the film, there’s also an Instagram (@queerstreetart) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/queerstreetart).

And the film’s website has a page all about donating: https://queerstreetart.com/donate

Daniel “Dusty” Albanese | The Dusty Rebel
Photography: danielalbanese.net
Film Website: www.queerstreetart.com
Out In The Streets Trailer: https://youtu.be/Tj8lpzX-yQ4

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