Let's Talk About Chemsex

Manchester Pride/ Manchester Art Gallery

Past Project

Let's Talk About Chemsex

A Recovery Month event

Recoverist = recovery + activist


Art installation

Saturday 26 August 2023

Let's Talk About Chemsex, a Recoverist Month trailblazer at Manchester Pride, sees artist Harold Offeh as a 90s radio host.

This Manchester Pride 2023 art installation is the start of 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, to talk about consent, intimacy, and desire.

On a market stall on Community Lane in Manchester's Gay Village, themed as a vintage radio show, Offeh will invite passersby 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.

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!

Over the next following 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 2024.


Chemsex panel discussion

Sunday 27 August 2023, 2.30-4pm

A free (must be pre-booked) event at Manchester Art Gallery 2.30-4pm will include a panel discussion on the broader issues of chemsex. Panel includes Harold Offeh, Cheddar Gorgeous and Duncan Craig from We Are Survivors and Joshua Wharton from George House Trust.


Safe space group session

Sunday 27 August 2023, 12-1.30pm

Preceding the panel discussion, there will be a small group session hosted by artist Harold Offeh. No more than 10 people, who may have had difficult or problematic experiences of chemsex, are invited to a safe space to share, connect and discuss. Please email info@portraitsofrecovery.org.uk if you are interested to take part.


Commissioned by Portraits of Recovery and supported by Manchester Art Gallery.

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.

He 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.

Manchester Pride, Community Lane, Chorlton Street
Saturday 26 August 2023



Manchester Art Gallery
Sunday 27 August 2023 2.30-4pm

Book a free place

(Private group session 12-1.30pm - email info@portraitsofrecovery.org.uk for details)