Lets Talk About Chemsex


Current Project

Let's Talk about Chemsex

After a hugely successful launch at Manchester Pride last year - Let's Talk about Chemsex by international artist Harold Offeh enters its second phase.  

In this series of participatory workshops, Harold invites individuals to explore different queer experiences of Chemsex, intimacy, desire, and consent within a safe and trustful space.  

This workshop is the second in a three-part series, but participants are invited to attend as many or as few events as they choose. No previous knowledge is needed to participate.  

Participants will work with Harold, Niall Connolly, aka The Niallist and Jak Skot to produce audio recordings, sound works, music and album sleeve images reflecting differing perspectives and experiences of Chemsex. You will be supported to develop your own individual and collective creative responses with an opportunity to learn about song writing, music production and live performance.  

We want to reflect as wide a range of voices as possible, without judgement, stigma, or shame. Participants will see their work presented as part of special limited edition mix tape. You will also have an opportunity to participate in a public showcase at Manchester Art Gallery during Recoverist Month (September 2024) with a public contribution also planned for this year's Manchester Pride. 


The day will start with a discussion led by Niall and Harold exploring ideas of music and how people would like to input into the project. We’ll also look at ideas around ‘micro-music,’ using musical language and existing music, before splitting into groups to work with a different facilitator on music, design, and words.    


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 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.

Niall Connolly is a music and podcast producer with over two decades of production experience. He is based at Salford’s Islington Mill and is Resident DJ at the legendary Manchester queer club Bollox. He has released music under a range of names over the past decade and currently produces the monthly “Islington Mill And…” podcast as well as the weekly Dead Air live DJ streams. 

Jak Skot is an artist and writer based in the West Midlands. Often working in collaboration with other artists, his practice spans graphic design, film, image-making, poetry and prose.  This cross-disciplinary approach lends itself to a playful way of making, whether for himself or in the support of others. Jak has worked with Harold Offeh for a number of years, and was also recently a recipient of the Fieldnotes 2023 Writing Development Grant. 


You can also anonymously call our Let’s Talk About Chemsex Voicemail Care-line, on 0161 850 7852 to take part in the project. Leave a message and share your thoughts and feelings on Chemsex, or themes of consent, HIV, and queer intimacy without guilt, shame, or stigma. These anonymous recordings will contribute to an audio archive for informing ongoing project development. All reflections are welcome! 


Let’s Talk about Chemsex led by Harold Offeh is a 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 (1991), to talk about consent, intimacy, and desire. The track aimed to de-stigmatize discussion of sex and desire in popular culture. It was released at the height of the AIDS crisis and was accompanied by a now forgotten B’side called Let’s Talk About AIDS (1991), featuring the same tune but with lyrics addressing HIV/AIDS as something to address without shame or prejudice. 

Using workshops, talks and performance the project seeks to visually map and survey a diverse range of experiences. Let's Talk About Chemsex will draw on this history and aims to support efforts by organisations in Manchester to promote non-judgemental discussions on Chemsex, consent, HIV and queer intimacy. 

Commissioned by Portraits of Recovery and supported in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery, and Brighter Sound

Recoverist = recovery + activist 

Cover image: Emile Holba