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Meet the Fabulous Drag Clowns of London

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“It’s not just an act,” says photographer Poem Baker of Tuttii Fruittii and Toni Tits, a pair of drag clown performance artists living in Southeast London.

Baker first discovered the “Jungola Klownz” while delving deep into the city’s underground art world. They were on stage as part of the Haus of Sequana, a women-only group inspired by the tribal practices of the African, South American, and Asian diasporas. With an intersectional feminist learning, the “tribe” uses body paint, movement, and chanting to challenge patriarchal norms and prescribed gender roles.

The photographer was so utterly taken with Tuttii and Toni, who are inspired by everything from queer to clown culture, that she asked to follow them home and into their workaday lives. Routine goings-on for “the girls,” as Baker endearingly calls them, are anything but quotidian. Everything from eating breakfast to thrifting is met with the finesse and joie de vivre of a night on stage, and Jungolaklown is a visual diary of their activities.

When they’re not hanging out or performing together, Tuttii works as a hair sculptor, and Toni is a video artist. Baker visited them monthly, and the series was a collaboration in the most true sense of the word. Though she spent her career up until this point shooting in black and white, the drag clowns required she leap headlong into the world of color.

When asked what she’s learned from her time with Tuttii Fruittii and Toni Tits, Baker suggests that perhaps she’s learned more about herself than she has her elusive subjects. Far from the humdrum rhythms of mainstream society, she found a place to belong: “London is my home, and I love photographing all its wonderful, colorful characters— the eccentrics, the artists, the crazies, and the the bohemians.”

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All images © Poem Baker

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